The Housesteads Roman Trail
Pack up the car, put the dog in the boot and make more of your visit to Hadrian's Wall by taking in some of the less well known historic sites along the way. We've put together a Housesteads Roman trail for you to try out, including spectacular spots such as Cawfields and Walltown Crags.
Some of the best vantage points
The central section of Hadrian's Wall offers some of the best vantage points of the entire 73 miles. The most noteworthy Roman sites of this section of the Wall are often set up high, overlooking some of Britain's finest countryside, while the Wall dips, winds and snakes across the dramatic landscape.
This trail covers some of the most tranquil parts of Northumberland National Park and includes a fine stretch of Roman turrets and the impressive milecastle at Cawfields, as well as the fascinating collection of Roman finds at Housesteads Roman Fort.
It's not hard to see why this destination was granted World Heritage status.
This popular countryside area is situated between Birdoswald and Housesteads Roman Forts. Park up at Walltown Quarry, managed by Northumberland National Park, and head through the beautiful nature-spot, passing the ponds and up the hill towards Walltown Crags.
Walk along the Wall and watch it snake and dive along the crags of the famous Whin Sill. This trail section makes a picturesque half-day exploring in Hadrian's Wall Country.
Cawfields Roman Wall
This beautiful stretch of wall with turrets and a milecastle is situated on a steep slope, overlooking a peaceful quarry. The secluded site of Cawfields in Northumberland National Park is also a Dark Sky Discovery Site – officially one of the best places in the UK to view the wonders of the universe.
Climb up to the highest point on the Wall and you will see rugged Northumberland countryside, with spectacular views, on the edge of the Roman empire.
On a clear day you can see The Cheviots 36 miles to the north and Cross Fell and the Pennines 21 miles to the south.
Housesteads Roman Fort and Museum
You'll feel like you're standing on the edge of the world when you reach this iconic location on Hadrian's Wall. With a 360-degree vantage point of dramatic scenery and awe-inpisring views, it isn't hard to see why the Romans set up camp here.
Housesteads is home to one of the best-preserved Roman forts in the country with ancient drainage, heating systems and latrines (aka communal toilets).
Fly through time and see the fort reconstructed before your eyes in the museum, then get up close with hundreds of real Roman objects on display.
What makes this length of Wall and milecastle impressive, is the fact that it's located along the Whin Sill. What's a Whin Sill I hear you ask? The hard, dark rock of the Whin Sill was once molten, but now stands out as spectacular cliffs unique to the Northumberland countryside.
Sewingshields Wall along the Whin Sill is worth stopping on route to or from Housesteads Roman Fort for the commanding views. Milecastle 35 (Sewingshields) was excavated between 1978 and 1980.