1600 years ago, in AD 410, the Roman Empire’s official presence (army, administrators and wealthy elite) left the province of Britannia. The empire could no longer sustain its infrastructure in its far reaches, and soon after it would no longer be able to maintain the Western Empire at all. The end of an era.
But the Romans left many footprints behind to discover and I think it’s time for me to go back and continue my journey along the ancient Roman roads of Britannia.
What better time of year than autumn to ramble along Hadrian’s Wall, looking out over the wild windswept landscape? What better way to spend a week than visiting the forts and milecastles attached to the wall that snakes its way along the ridges and slopes between Carlisle and Newcastle and beyond?
But before I get that far north there are a few things to see along the east side of England – the Jewry Wall in Leicester, Lincoln’s Roman sites, Aldborough’s Roman town of Isurium Brigantium, and a Roman bridge in Piercebridge.
A clamber through the North Yorkshire Moors is also on the itinerary, where I’ll have a look at a section of ancient road that is likely Roman at Wheeldale. Perhaps if I’m fortunate, the purple heather on the moors will be in bloom.
Journeying back south, my Roman rambling will take me along the Solway Firth to the Senhouse Roman Museum in Maryport. And, if I haven’t had my fill of Roman forts yet, the forts at Hardknott and Ambleside will lead me astray into the Lake District. Rumour has it that it’s one of the most beautiful areas of England.
Thank you to the Romans for leaving their footprints behind in some pretty incredible places!