Manchester and Day Trips Out

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Hadrian's Wall


The Location of the Wall

Hadrian's Wall is located about 100 miles north of Manchester, and runs across the counties of Cumbria and Northumberland on what was once the England-Scotland border. It's around a 2½ hour drive up the M6 Motorway to Junction 43 (Carlisle) and then due east along the A69 trunk road which follows the Wall along it's entire length to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The author verifies it to be an easily achievable return day trip from Manchester.

Typical Roman Soldier of Hadrians Wall Hadrians Wall at Cawfields Wooden Fort at Vindolanda
Typical Roman Soldier of the time; The Wall at Cawfields and a r econstructed Wooden Fort at Vindolanda

History of Hadrian's Wall

The Wall was constructed, between AD 120 and 128, coast to coast from Bowness on Solway, just west of Carlisle, to Wallsend on the River Tyne estuary- a distance of 73 miles, (which the author can verify, having walked the whole length of the wall in 1972). Hadrian's Wall is recognised as one of the most important Roman remains in the United Kingdom, having been declared a World heritage Site.
Constructed during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian, (hence its familiar name), It survived as a formidable frontier barrier for 300 years, until the Roman legions withdrew from Britain in 410 AD, after which time it fell into decline.
Originally some 12 feet high and following natural fortifications and steep escarpments on the northern side, it was subsequently pillaged for its stones over the succeeding centuries and now is only a vestige of its former self. Its stones can be found in many local farm buildings, enclosures and church walls. Nevertheless, the monument is still most impressive and well worth a trip to see it and walk at least some of its line.
Much of this once great stark and inspiring frontier has disappeared from view, though sufficient stretches remain to make this a fascinating and worthwhile visit for the tourist, with extensive excavations having taken place over recent years, with several museums and fortifications now open to the public.

Hadrian's Wall is now recognised as a World heritage Site

Map of Hadrian's Wall

Map of Hadrian's Wall
Hover-Sensitive Map
Map Copyright © John Moss, Papillon Graphics 2004

Hadrian's Wall Forts & Museums

  • Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery
    Carlisle. Tel: 01228-534478. Website: www.tulliehouse.co.uk
    Award winning museum with displays about Hadrian's Wall, border history and the town of Luguvalium. Open 7 days a week. Entrance fee payable with concessions and family tickets - but please check times and prices before setting out. Closed Christmas and new Year.


    Section of Garrison Wall at Vindolanda Vindolanda Castle and Fort Hadrian's Wall Mile Castle
    Sections of Garrison Wall at Vindolanda and a typical Hadrian's Wall Mile Castle

  • Birdoswald Fort, Study & Visitor Centre
    Gilsland, Brampton, Cumbria CA8 7DD. Tel: 016977-47602. Fax:016977-47605
    Email. birdoswald@dial.pipex.com. Website: www.birdoswaldromanfort.org.uk.
    Birdoswald, known in Roman times as ‘Banna’, was one of 16 forts on Hadrian’s Wall. It is one of the most impressive locations for a Roman Fort on Hadrian's Wall. Set on a high spur overlooking the River Irthing the views are spectacular and it becomes very clear why the Romans built a fort on the site.
    Site has an interactive visitor centre complete with a full scale replica of a piece of the wall and audio visual presentation. The centre takes you through Birdoswald’s history from the Romans through to present day.
    Birdoswald Roman Fort was now designated as a World Heritage Site. The fort is well excavated and building remains can be clearly seen. A superb stretch of Hadrian’s Wall adjoins the fort for a ½ mile to Harrow Scar Milecastle. The fort originally would have had granaries, a large basilica (aisled exercise hall), a hospital, barrack blocks, commandant’s house, a headquarters building, parade ground, civilian settlement and graveyard. Remains of the granaries and basilica can still be seen today.
    Facilities include a car park, toilets, refreshment and tea room, shop and bookshop. Most of the site is accessible by wheelchair, but please phone for any special arrangements that may need to be made in advance. Please note that there is a ¼ mile walk uphill from the car park. Conference and Meeting Room facilities - see website for details.
    Open 10.00am to 5.30pm, 7 days a week, 1st March to 9th November - please check times and prices before setting out .
  • Housesteads Roman Fort & Museum
    Tel: 01434-344363. See also English heritage website at: www.english-heritage.org.uk
    Located about 3 miles from Haltwistle. Well signposted from the A69 and the B6318 which runs parallel to the wall. 2¼ miles north-east of Bardon Mill. Ample parking, but a ¾ mile walk uphill to the fort.
    The most complete Roman Fort in Britain. Its spectacular position commands excellent panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. It has barracks, granaries, a hospital and latrines, with excellent views of the Wall. Open all year - closed Christmas and New Year . Entrance fee payable with concessions and family tickets - but please phone ahead to check opening times and prices. Facilities include a Picnic Site, Toilets, Gift Shop and Refreshments. Disabled access available, but please phone ahead.

  • Vindolanda Fort & Museum (Chesterholme)
    Tel: 01434-344277. Website: www.vindolanda.com
    Vindolanda is probably the largest and most important Roman Fort excavation and Roman Museum on Hadrian's Wall. Located 1½ miles north of Bardon Mill - ¾ mile walk uphill from car park. Multi-Award-Winning site with extensive remains of settlement, gardens and onsite museum with bookshop and refreshments available. Rare Roman writing tablets, pottery, weapons and domestic artifacts. Open all year, but closed Christmas & New Year. Entrance fee payable with concessions and family tickets - please check times and prices before setting out.

  • Chesters Roman Fort & Museum
    Tel: 01434-681379. See also English Heritage website at: www.english-heritage.org.uk
    Located ¼ mile west of Chollerfordon the B6318. Chesters Bridge nearby - access by footpath from Chollerford. Entrance fee payable with concessions and family tickets. Open all year but closed over Christmas and New Year - please phone to check times and prices before setting out. Reputedly the best remains of a Roman Cavalry Fort in Britain, built across the wall to protect the North River Tyne . The bath house is the best preserved of its kind on the Wall. The Museum includes the Clayton Collection and an extensive array of excavated finds.
    Facilities include Parking, Toilets, Summertime Refreshments, Gift Shop and Museum.

  • Corbridge Roman Site & Museum
    Located ½ mile northwest of Corbridge on a minor side road. Tel: 01434-632349.
    See also English heritage website at: www.english-heritage.org.uk
    A supply base for Hadrian's Wall, it developed into a prosperous garrison town. The museum contains many local finds and an audiovisual tour. Open daily, closed Christmas & New Year. Entrance fee payable with concessions and family tickets. Facilities include Parking, Toilets, Summertime Refreshments, Gift Shop and Museum.

Hadrian's Wall Tourist Information Centres (TICs)

  • WHITEHAVEN TIC
    Market Hill, Whitehaven CA28 7JG. Tel: 01946-852939.
  • CARLISLE TIC
    Visitor Centre, Greenmarket, Carlisle CA3 8JH. Tel: 01228-625600.
  • HALTWHISTLE TIC
    The Railway Station, Station Road, Haltwhistle NE49 0AH. Tel: 01434-322002.
  • HEXHAM TIC
    Wentworth car Park, Hexham NE46 1XE. Tel: 01434-652220.
  • NEWCASTLE TIC
    128 Grainger Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 5AF. Tel: 0191-277 8000
Birdoswald Roman Fort & Museum Roman Army Museum Housesteads Roman Fort Vindolanda Roman Fort, Gardens & Museum Chesters Roman Fort Corbridge Roman Site Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle

Birdoswald Roman Fort & Museum Roman Army Museum Housesteads Roman Fort Vindolanda Roman Fort, Gardens & Museum Chesters Roman Fort Corbridge Roman Site Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle


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Copyright © John Moss, Papillon Graphics AD 2013 Manchester, United Kingdom - all rights reserved.
This page last updated 25 Nov 11.