Birdoswald Roman Fort Family Guide
Begin your journey into Roman Britain with the whole family at Birdoswald Roman Fort. Lace up your boots and explore the edge of the empire - here you can see the longest continuous stretch of Hadrian's Wall still visible today.
Get hands-on with the whole family in the new exhibition and head out on a quest to explore the fort. Make a day of it by walking to see a nearby milecastle, turret and bridge. These buildings once acted as defence points along the Wall as well as the big forts like Birdoswald.
- Food and drink: The café serves warm Cumbrian dishes and locally sourced lighter options. Kids lunch bags are available, and there are highchairs and bibs to borrow too.
- Toilets: Toilets are located just as you enter the visitor centre courtyard. An accessible toilet and baby changing is available here.
- Dogs: Four legged family members are welcome on a short lead. Water bowls are located around the site. Assistance dogs welcome.
- Parking: There is a pay and display car park located just a short walk from the fort. It's £4 to park all day or free for English Heritage Members Accessible parking is available.
- Access: The walk from the car park is uphill but there is buggy parking by the family room if little legs need a ride up. Sturdy footwear is advisable as the ground around the fort is uneven.
Start your Roman adventure
Play, peek and build your way through the history of Hadrian's Wall, and life at the fort in the exhibition.
Take a quiz to find out what Roman job would have suited you best and then pose for a picture in your new uniform. Get to grips with building bricks and discover how the Wall was so much more than just a wall.
Get a 'soldier's eye view' of the landscape by peering through our periscope and learn how to defend the Empire with a Roman signalling game.
Arches were one of the most important features of Hadrian's Wall. Have you got what it takes to build one? The whole family will need to get hands-on and team up to use our have-a-go crane.
Conquer the quest
A spy is on the loose in the fort and it's your job to track them down! Head out to the fort and get clue cracking with our quest. Play a round of Terni Lapilli, a Roman board game, see if you suit the Commander's armour, and watch out from the South West tower along the way.
There's extra information for mum and dad to read as you go too. Capture the spy and celebrate your success by playing a tune on the xylophone near the South gate. The quest will lead you around most of the fort but feel free to venture further - there's plenty of space to explore!
Top tips for your trip!
- Snap a picture with the life-sized illustration of Emperor Hadrian on your way into the exhibition. He's surprisingly friendly for the supreme commander of the mighty Roman army!
- Follow the south wall of the fort towards the Irthing Valley and have yourself a picnic with panoramic views. You'll find a rather sought after picnic bench to sit at there.
- When in Rome, speak like the Romans did! So say 'salve' - it's Latin for 'hello'. Keep your eyes peeled for more Roman lingo in the exhibition.
Take some time out
You'll find the family room just past the entrance to the exhibition and admissions. You can use this space as you like. There's a buggy park just outside and a sink to use as you need inside. Feel free to feed in here if you prefer a quiet place.
Little ones can try on a toga and take a break in the Roman camp themed play space. We've got a soft play campfire and blocks for Wall building too so make yourself at home.