Northumberland National Park
What is it?
One of Britain’s greatest Roman monuments, it’s a massive barrier stretching from coast to coast across northern England. Emperor Hadrian’s 73-mile long imposing military border was built in AD122.
Why it is special?
A part of the UNESCO 'Frontiers of the Roman Empire' World Heritage Site, the middle, highest and most stunning section of Hadrian’s Wall passes through Northumberland National Park. It contains world-class archaeological remains including a complex pattern of:
- the wall itself
- its banks
- civilian settlements
- roads and field systems
Over the centuries local people plundered the wall for its stone for use in building roads and walls. Holes were even blasted in it for quarrying at Walltown and Cawfields right up until the 1970s.
Large sections of the wall were preserved thanks to a campaigning Victorian lawyer, John Clayton, who bought and excavated the Chesters Roman Fort and other parts of the wall.
Tell us something we didn’t know
Contrary to popular myth, Hadrian’s Wall was probably not built to keep out the Scots. Historians believe it actually acted as a form of border or customs post so that the Romans could keep track of population flow between the north and south of Britain.
What else can I do there?
Walk the wall on the 84 mile long National Trail, or a shorter circular route, visit the forts, or cycle along beside it.
How to get there
National Express coaches run from all over the UK to Newcastle and Carlisle. By car, roads leading to Hadrian's Wall include the M6, M1, A1, A7, A68, A69 and A74.
By train, Hadrian's Wall Country Line runs from Newcastle to Carlisle via Hexham.
Walks and cycle routes link most stations, and bikes can be taken on the train. The AD 122, Hadrian's Wall Country Bus, runs along the route from Easter to October.