Over the weekend I put on a slideshow for a group who want to hike Hadrian’s Wall next spring. What struck me as I was putting it together was that most of the remains are in the hilly parts of the walk. The flat lands on either coast, from the west coast at Bowness-on-Solway and east of Carlisle to Walton, as well as west of Newcastle, have very few remains.
This makes sense once you think about it because over the centuries people would have taken the stones for building material from the parts of the wall where they were easiest to move, the flat parts. Also they would have used many more stones closest to the large settlements of Carlisle and Newcastle.
So to see the best remains – the forts at Birdoswald, Housesteads and Chesters, the many milecastles, turrets and Carrawburgh Mithras Temple, as well as seeing the stunning views of what is left of Hadrian’s Wall snaking along the craggy Whin Sill – our group will have to get in shape over the winter to do the necessary hiking up and down the hills of Cumbria and Northumberland to see the Roman footprints of Hadrian’s Wall.
Palma Non Sine Pulvere – No Reward Without Effort, as my old high school motto says.