Welcome to Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the UK's most iconic landmarks. Built under the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the wall snakes 73 miles between Wallsend in the east and Bowness on Solway in the west.
Northumberland is home to the majority of the remaining sections of Hadrian’s Wall and five of the eight excavated forts, including the iconic fort of Housesteads and Vindolanda. The county is also home to many miles of tracks along unbroken parts of the wall that dip and swerve over high ground. These paths often provide spectacular views over a landscape largely unchanged since the days of the Roman legions.
Once patrolled by soldiers from all corners of the Roman Empire, Hadrian's Wall is one of our best-known and loved attractions. English Heritage is guardian of four of the main Roman sites on Hadrian's Wall.
The best thing about the Roman wall is that, remarkably, stretches of it are still intact and you can get a real sense of what life must have been like for the Centurions and guards who once garrisoned Rome's northernmost frontiers.
We don't need outsiders to tell us how special Hadrian's Wall is, so when the United Nations classified Hadrian's Wall as a UNESCO World Heritage Site - joining an impressive list including The Great Barrier Reef and Yellowstone National Park - it came as a welcome accolade but no great surprise.
USA Today described Hadrian's Wall as "better than Stonehenge" and it snakes across England for 73 miles. The most striking parts can be found in Northumberland - particularly close to the county's western fringes. At Steel Rigg, you can see the wall wind its way across the countryside, Cawfields to Walltown Quarry is widely acknowledged to be the most dramatic section of the wall and also try a visit to the well-preserved Temple of Mithras at Carrawburgh that lies just next to the B6318 Military Road.
Hadrian's Wall was Roman Britain's biggest building project, originally constructed in just eight years starting in AD 122 and begun on the order of Emperor Hadrian.
If you're walking along the Hadrian's Wall National Trail Path, expect some stunning sights and a friendly welcome at some of the many towns and villages that stand in the swathe of countryside that it dominates. Pubs along Hadrian's Wall are a great place to recharge after a invigorating walk, whilst accommodation in Hadrian's Wall country has everything from budget hostels and campsites to luxury country house hotels.
And don't make the mistake that the wall is just some isolated ruin. The fortification is dotted with Roman forts, milecastles, and temples as well as archaeological sites that are still giving us a valuable insight into how the Romans lived almost 2,000 years ago.
Go to places like Housesteads, Chesters, Corbridge or Vindolanda any weekend during the Summer months and you'll find people reenacting battles in full costume or explaining how the Romans ate or washed.
Hadrian's Wall is a living breathing attraction and the impact of the people who built it still resonates across the area today.