I visited the Hadrian’s wall in June 2016. I’m glad I had visited Germany’s Limes first as my expectations were low and moreover I could appreciate the OUV of this transnational site. I was lucky to visit on the only day without rain for days on end, so much so that I spent a whole day here instead of a couple of hours before heading to Durham. As I drove westwards from Newcastle I made a couple of stops along the road to Carlisle. Most of the car parks are not free, however the pay and display ticket is valid for all the car parks. I visited the remains at Carrowburgh: Temple of Mithras and walked quite a stretch along the hadrian’s wall path there to see the parts where the wall is still covered by grass and soil and a great grazing spot for sheep. After a long walk, I went back to the car park and drove to the Roman auxiliary fort of Vindolanda. Although this is the largest set of ruins and also the oldest (it predates Hadrian’s wall!), I felt it was geared too much at attracting childrens’ attention and at times it felt like a school outing hotspot. Next I drove a couple of kilometres past Housesteads Roman Fort and parked next to a visible part of Hadrian’s wall with very big stones, a few metres from the main road. This helped me appreciate the seemingly neverending length of the wall across the rolling hills of Northumberland. The sight of the remains of Housesteads was a welcome change and it surely must have been an imposing fort as there are lovely views from there. I think that visiting Housesteads Roman Fort is a must to get a very good overview of several elements of this inscription. There’s a very small museum next to the fort with some remains and also the UNESCO plaque in shocking pink. I also visited the Roman sites in Corbridge before heading towards Durham. All in all, I really enjoyed my visit and look forward to visit the Antonine wall in the near future.
World Heritage Site
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