Carlisle and Newcastle
are also good bases for visiting Hadrian's
Wall, with regular buses and trains running
to Hexham and Haltwhistle, from where the
Bus runs to the Roman forts and main
sections of the wall.
The main sections when walking the full
route are from Wallsend to Heddon-on-the-Wall
16 miles . Heddon-on-the-Wall to Humshaugh by
Chesters 18 miles . Humshaugh by Chesters to
Gilsland 24 miles . Gilsland to Carlisle 21
miles . Carlisle to Bowness-on-Solway 17
Route Guide . Bunkhouses on the
Small villages often used as stopovers and
holidays for visiting the wall are: Greenhead . Gilsland . Banks .
Chollerford / Humshaugh . Heddon
on the Wall .
Bowness on Solway is also often
used as a stopover.
Hadrians Wall History
The first invasions of Britain by the
Romans were led by Julius Caesar in 55 and 54
BC, only short campaigns, with one
substantial battle where they defeated the
Cassivellaunus in the south of England.
Caesar then began trading with many of the
other tribes in Briton.
The Roman conquest of Britain began in AD
43 by Emperor Claudius, said to be as a
result of many of the tribes in Briton
fighting amongst themselves.
The Roman take-over of Briton was a slow
process, trying to gain support from the many
tribes throughout the country. Some tribes
welcomed the Romans, other rebelled.
The most famous rebellion was that of
Queen Boudica of the Iceni Tribe in around AD
60, where her followers killed about 70,000
Romans and their British followers in the
The Roman defeat of Boudica allowed them
to press on taking over areas further
By AD 84, the Romans had reached the north
of Scotland, building a road network and a
number of forts.
By 122, under Emperor Hadrian, the Romans
pulled out fo Scotland and began building
Hadrian's Wall along the north of England
between Newcastle and Carlisle, about 73
miles long. The many Scottish tribes and
mountainous landscape, made Scotland too
difficult to control.
Eighteen thousand soldiers built Hadrian's
Wall, abouth 15 feet high and 7 to 8 feet
There were 16 forts along the wall,
normaly a milecastle evry mile, and two
turrets between each milecastle. In the
central section, the remains of these can be
In front of many sections of the wall was
a 27 feet wide, 9 feet deep ditch.
In 142, the Romans built a similar wall
between Edinburgh and Glasgow, the narrowest
point in Scotland, 39 miles long, known as
the Antonine Wall.
In 162, the Romans abandoned the Antonine
Wall, pulling back to Hadrian's Wall.
By 410, the last Romans had withdrawn from
Briton as the Roman Empire began to fall
apart, this being the result of sustained
attacks by Europen tribes, ending almost 300
years of Romans living along Hadrian's Wall,
the furthest outpost of the Roman Empire.
The Saxons, a Germanic people moved into
England after the Romans departed, becomming
the main influence in England from the 400s
The best preserved sections of the wall
and forts are in the middle section, over the
highest and most remote points, where there
is little agriculture and few buildings.
John Clayton of Chesters House and Estate,
began excavations in the 1840s, and fought to
preserve the central section of Hadrians
Wall. A museum was opened at Chesters 1896,
attracting the first tourists to the
Today, Hadrian's Wall attracts visitors
from all around the world, with the central
section of the wall being one of the top
walking / hiking routes in the UK.