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How long should I plan for our Hadrian's Wall day?

How long should I plan for our Hadrian's Wall day?

Nov 17th, 2009, 04:42 PM
  #1  
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How long should I plan for our Hadrian's Wall day?

DD (21), DH and I will be visiting Hadrian's Wall for a day (that is all the time we have) next August. We will spend the night in Carlisle and then visit the wall. We have pretty much all day, seeing the wall and then getting to somewhere between Durham and York for the night. On the Hadrian's Wall day, I foresee stopping at Birdoswald Fort, Housestead's and probably Chester's Roman Fort, at the minimum. We won't be chasing little ones around pretending to be Romans (wish I was!) but will take hundreds of pictures with 2 cameras. We will not take long walks but will want to walk the Path a little. We will have a car and will leave Carlisle immediately after an early breakfast. About how long should we allow for this sight-seeing day? Are there other sites along the wall we shouldn't miss? Also, I'm trying to decide where we should spend the night--Durham? Darlington? Near Castle Bolton? (We will be heading to York the next day, which will be a Sunday, and want to be there about noon to go into the Minster, so I don't know what we will try to do,if anything, that morning other than drive to York; guess it depends on where we end up, our feet, and the weather!.)
texasbookworm is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 06:12 PM
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There was a great article in Smithsonian Magazine a month or two ago about Hadrians Wall, take a look online or at the library.
brando is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 06:30 PM
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We spent a day visiting Hadrian's Wall a couple of summers ago and it was a nice full day - from a couple of hours early in the day at Caerlaverock Castle to a walk on the wall near Hexham, finishing up in Durham early evening in time for a quite enjoyable dinner at an Indian restaurant. We liked Durham a lot and enjoyed spending an evening and part of the next day exploring the town.
PennyP is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 06:51 PM
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cigalechanta is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 11:51 PM
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I'd just plan on spending the entire day (you could spend 3 or 4) and stay the night in/near Hexham. I'd also stop at Vindolanda, and Lanercost Priory if you have the time. Then get an early start and drive to York the next AM.

Alternately - after spending all day, Durham is a good stop over. Maybe time it to attend Evensong.
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Nov 18th, 2009, 03:34 AM
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I'd favour Vindolanda over Birdoswald (which needn't detain you for long, though you could walk a hundred yards or so along the Wall at that point to look for the good luck symbol some builders left, which might shock some today).

Housesteads (this is the best place for a walk up the hill alongside the Wall for some spectacular views) and Vindolanda could each keep you enthralled for a couple of hours.

Chesters perhaps less so, if you're running out of time - it has some beautifully-situated remains of a bath-house, but the museum part is a rather old-fashioned collection of stones and architectural features, which didn't exactly grab me.

If you do find yourself with more time than you expected, there is a small and (I thought) atmospheric temple not far from the road:
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/s...show/nav.13309
PatrickLondon is online now  
Nov 18th, 2009, 07:34 AM
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We walked west from Housesteads. If you go about 3 miles, you will come to a place where a tree grows on the wall. Near it is a stone sheep pen. This scene was in a Robin Hood movie.
bigtyke is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 08:32 AM
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http://www.northumberlandnationalpar...adrianswallbus

Though you are driving you can get a fix on the main places and how long to spend by looking at the Hadrian's Wall Bus and where it goes. For non-motorists this is a great way to visit the far-flung major sites and sights along the wall, most of which IME does not exist or cannot readily be seen, at least at places i trekked to.
Palenque is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 08:07 PM
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"most of which IME does not exist or cannot readily be seen, at least at places i trekked to."

Huh? Are you saying most of the Wall isn't, or if it IS, one can't see it?

That is crazy. True, at either end there isn't much of the Wall left. But in the 'middle' bits you can see and walk along MILES of wall.
janisj is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 05:56 AM
  #11  
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Yes, I too was a bit confused by Palenque's comment--clarification, please?

Here's my thought for today about that day: Leave Carlisle after breakfast, go to Lanercost Priory, then Birdoswald, then Vinolanda and then Housesteads. At each do a bit of "sign-reading" and a bit of walking and lots of pic taking. May or may not do actual indoor museum bits when they exist. I think all that will take 5-7 hours. Then head to Durham for the night; cathedral is open til 8 pm so will have plenty of time to at least do that if nothing else.

Sound feasible?
texasbookworm is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 06:07 AM
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We went to Vinolanda and it was great in May 2009 (very windy though!). They have an ongoing excavation going on and they will stop and talk with you and answer all your questions. The museum is great as well. I think we spent 2-3 hours there.
jamikins is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 06:08 AM
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Oh and the wall was definately there - we all stook on it!
jamikins is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 08:19 AM
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to clarify - i trekked up to where the wall should have been and there was no trace of it except in bit and pieces - this is not to say that the wall is not still extant at many places - but that it is not like the Wall of China - complete and very noticeable - indeed i was disappointed even at places where the wall was clearly visible. I did not walk along the whole wall as janisj sesems to have done.
Palenque is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 08:36 AM
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What we see now, along the central section, is a largely nineteenth century rebuilding from the original stones, either as left behind or as recovered from local re-use: it's nothing like as monumental as the Great Wall of China (quite a bit older, for one thing), going up to about five feet from the ground at most, with some remaining gates and other structures. At either end, there's not a lot left, as PQ says, apart from archaeological digs at various forts and buildings.

It does require a bit of imagination to envisage it as it would have been when in full use.
PatrickLondon is online now  

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