Hadrians Wall, Northumberland

Photo of Hadrians Wall in Northumberland National Park (Northumberland region)

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Visit Hadrians Wall

Constructed from Wallsend to the Solway Firth, Hadrian's Wall was constructed by the Romans as part of their defences against attacks from the tribes to the north. Hence it marks the northernmost border of their territory (four walls were built, but it is Hadrian's Wall that remains the best preserved - the Antonine Wall is further north).

Hadrian's wall is now a listed UNESCO English Heritage Site.

The most remarkable aspect of this extraordinary accomplishment is the large amount that can still be seen and walked, especially in the regions away from the coast.

Photo of Hadrian's Wall

Construction of the wall was under the command of the Emperor Hadrian, and began in 122 AD. It was to take about five years to complete its 73 mile length.

Originally the wall was mostly between four and six metres high, and while this original structure has collapsed to some extent there remain sections with height between two and three metres.

Additional defences along the wall included ditches adjacent to the structure, and forts at regular one mile intervals - hence 'milecastles' - of which traces can also be seen.

Part of the wall falls within the Northumberland National Park.

The best way to appreciate the wall is to walk along it (next to it!), and there is now a 84 mile (135 kilometres) 'national footpath' that follows the entire length - the 'Hadrians Wall Path'.

The central sectionof the Hadrians Wall Path is the most attractive - the path passes through Newcastle and Carlisle closer to the coast - and is a lovely way to appreciate the countryside of this section of northern England, as well as to appreciate the walk itself.

Note: this is the north of England, and there are times when the sun doesn't shine! Be sure to come equipped for possible wet or muddy conditions. Be aware that although the path is clearly marked, you can not always see Hadrian's Wall itself. Lastly, it is quite remote and food, water and accommodation need to be planned in advance if you are walking a significant distance along the trail.

See also:

Map of Hadrians Wall and places to visit

Hadrians Wall places to visit

See more places nearby in the Northumberland guide