We woke to a beautiful day and after a very good breakfast at the Centre of Britain Hotel, we set off for Housesteads Roman fort.
We decided to go here because we heard that it would take a whole day to visit Vindolanda.
Our aim was to walk some of the wall whether on it or beside it.
Vindolanda was built before the wall and some distance away.
We arrived at Housesteads before anyone else was around, so we had the whole fort to ourselves for at least half an hour.
We made the long winding walk up the hill, bathed in sunshine.
There was a small museum at the top where we were very pleased to see a short film which reconstructed the fort in all its former glory. It was very useful to see before our exploration.
I am not going into lots of history here .... it is easy enough to look it all up on line .... but lots of information caught my imagination.
Here are the Roman loos.
Positioned in the bottom corner, set some distance from the other buildings with deep channels for runaway rainwater thus flushing away the ordure.
I loved the fact that it was open plan and that sponges on sticks replaced loo paper. I am intruigued to know if soldiers had their own personal sponge!!
Here are the barrack building bases. Eight hundred men were stationed here with one hundred per building, eight to a room.
Not much comfort here I would guess.
Unlike the commandant`s house which had underfloor heating.
This is actually the granary.
At the top we cut across the corner of the field and found a part of the wall that we could actually walk on. It stretched off into the trees with frightening drops on the right hand side.
To appreciate the scale of this, you must look at the shadows of the trees. It must have been a ferocious and brave people who would even try to scale these heights.
Eventually we came out into the open where the wall was blocked off and the walk continued alongside.
It was a long trek and we were ready for a break.
After retracing our steps we lunched at Twice Brewed, where I nearly fell asleep.
Twice Brewed is in the centre of this picture.
We pinned our hometown on their map.
In the afternoon we drove a short distance to walk to the highest point on the wall, Whinshields, thus completing another 5 miles.
We wended our weary way home through the flaming bracken
with the setting sun on our backs.
If you ever get the chance, do go to visit Hadrian`s Wall.
It is an incredible experience.