Thursday, 5 September 2013

Run to Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall is the best known Roman construction in Britain. It crossed the north of England from the Solway Firth in the west to the River Tyne in the east. It was constructed 122-8 AD and formed the northern boundary of the Roman Empire. This boundary moved north to the Antonine Wall in central Scotland (see my posting here) 20 years after construction but returned to Hadrian's wall after a further 20 years.

The wall was a huge construction. It was 72 miles long built mostly of squared masonry. 3 metres wide and 5-6 meters tall. There were 80 small forts along the wall and two turrets between each fort. In addition there was a ditch dug in front of the wall for added protection.

The wall was abandoned in the 5th century and its stone subsequently used for building materials. There is an excellent road (the B6318) that runs parallel to the wall over its central section. This is very straight but with crests & dips and great views of the rugged landscape. This road looks roman but was built in the 18th century unfortunately using stone from the wall in its construction.

There is a walking route along the wall and this was being quite well used when I visited.   

The wall at Walltown Crags

The remains of a turret at Walltown Crags

Near Haltwhistle

The FJ at a section of the wall near Walwick. The defensive ditch is on the left.


  1. Keep meaning to visit this. Put it on the 'to-do list' for next year, I think.

  2. Well worth a visit and the road between Greenhead and Chollerford is one of my favourites.

  3. This is on my "to do" list too. Was thinking of trying to walk the Antonine wall route this year (starting from the east) but never got round to it. Hadrian seemed to have higher standards than Antoninus Pius, either that or it was a sign of how well the Roman Empire was doing at the time!

    1. My usual route to Hadrain's Wall is down the M74, Brampton, B6318 that gives access to the wall between Greenhead & Chollerford, then back through the borders on the A68/A72. About 250ish miles so easily do-able in a day. No problem to man with your selection of bikes! As I said the path along the wall is well used and there are good facilities (car parks, museums, forts etc) along the route.

      There is a lot less of the Antonine Wall being made of earth it has eroded away and its location in Scotland's industrial belt means that it has been built over. I suppose you could cycle along the Forth & Clyde canal and visit the wall along the way.