Construction of Hadrian’s Wall began in about AD122 and within 12 years the task was pretty well complete. Straddling the country from Wallsend near Newcastle to Bowness on the Solway coast was a 73 mile (117km) barrier against the unconquered peoples to the north. It is the most important monument that the Romans left behind in Britain.

Given the scale of the operation and the kind of terrain it traverses, Hadrian’s Wall, as it says at Birdoswald Roman Fort in Cumbria, is a testament to the planning genius of the emperor, and the skill and power of his army.

In 1987 UNESCO designated Hadrian’s Wall a World Heritage Site and 30 years later the Lake District was given the same accolade.

An 84 mile (135km) National Trail called the Hadrian’s Wall Path opened in 2003, following the route of the structure through magnificent countryside in Cumbria and Northumberland. A section to the east of Birdoswald in Cumbria - where a £1 million investment by English Heritage was unveiled in 2018 - is one of the best parts. 

Attractions

Information

Hadrian’s Wall websites: www.hadrianswallcountry.co.uk / www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/hadrians-wall / www.visithadrianswall.co.uk

Wall Together website: www.walltogether.org.uk

Carlisle Tourist Information Centre, Old Town Hall, Carlisle CA3 8JE: 01228 598596, www.discovercarlisle.co.uk

Roman Frontier Gallery, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Castle Street, Carlisle CA3 8TP: 01228 618718, www.tulliehouse.co.uk

Hadrian’s Wall Gateway Visitor Information Centre, Lanercost, near Brampton CA8 2HQ: 016977 41267, www.lanercosttearoom.co.uk

Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail: www.nationaltrail.co.uk/hadrians-wall-path The 84 mile (135km) coast to coast path goes from Bowness-on-Solway to Wallsend. It takes about six days to walk.

Hadrian’s Cycleway: www.hadrian-guide.co.uk Runs for 174 miles (280km), from Ravenglass to Arbeia at South Shields

Stay connected

Keep up to date with all the latest news from the LAKE DISTRICT travel guide.