The edge of Empire

The edge of Empire


Northumberland is fortunate in having some of the best researched and best documented remains of Britain’s Roman heritage. Other places in Great Britain have Roman remains. But Northumberland’s Roman story is different. And because it is different, it is special. Marching camps, signal stations, campaign roads, a soldier’s life lived on the edge and, most remarkable of all, the World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall. Hadrian’s Wall is accessible by bus, by rail, on foot or by bike. Leave the car behind. Forget about navigating your own way. Catch any number of public transport options.

Start: Corbridge
End: Corbridge

Arrive: Corbridge
Here’s why: St Andrew’s church in Corbridge has a complete Roman archway inside and the village is ideal for boarding the AD122 Hadrian’s Wall bus service. Each Roman site along the entire length of Hadrian’s Wall has a different story to tell: Corbridge fort was on the Stanegate frontier; Chesters has its bath house and at Brocolitia the god Mithras makes his presence felt. Housesteads is the classic Roman fort with a  breathtaking hilltop position. Vindolanda has a brand new museum and the Roman Army Museum at Carvoran sheds light on the soldiers’ life.

In Roman times Corbridge was a bustling town and supply base for collecting food and provisions. Today at Corbridge Roman Town wander through the streets and be transported back to Roman Times. Make sure you visit the museum to see the famous Corbridge Hoard, on eof hte most significant finds in troman history.

Depart: Corbridge
Here’s how: All the details of the AD122 Hadrian’s Wall seasonal bus service and the network of other local bus services serving Hadrian’s Wall Country are on Rover tickets are available including discounts for online advanced purchases.

Walk Options:
Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail (circular routes are also possible from the Trail). In 2011 the readers of Countryfile Magazine voted HWPNT their favourite trail.

Did you know…
Chew Green - a Roman military complex (unexcavated but with lay-by and interpretation board) 9 miles west of Alwinton in the Upper Coquetdale valley. Access is either on foot via the Pennine Way National Trail or by car (single track road). Before planning your journey check with the Otterburn Training Area Range Control Office (01830 520569) for information on current training activity near Chew Green or use

Battlesteads  Perfectly located for exploring Hadrian's Wall and located on the outskirts of Northumberland National Park, at Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant you’ll find a warm and welcoming atmosphere where you can enjoy some of the finest home cooked food, prepared with home-grown ingredients, a wide range of local and national cask ales, a well-travelled list of sustainable and biodynamic wines, and locally-sourced produce.

Tourist Information Centre:

  • Hexham +44 (0) 1434 652220
  • Haltwhistle +44 (0) 1434 322002
  • Northumberland National Park/Once Brewed +44 (0) 1434 344396

Useful Website:

Places and distances

St Andrews Church in Corbridge
NE45 5DW
Important Saxon Church. Impressive 13thC remains - particularly east end lancet windows. Roman arch to baptistery. 14thC Vicar's Pele, built of Roman stones, in churchyard - needed because of Scots raids from 1296.
Approx 0.5 mile(s) between St Andrew's Church and Corbridge Roman Town (Hadrian's Wall)
NE45 5NT

Impressive excavated Roman town, walk down the high street and explore English Heritage's impressive museum of Roman finds. 

Approx 12.11 mile(s) between Corbridge Roman Town (Hadrian's Wall) and Housesteads Roman Fort
Housesteads Roman Fort
NE47 6NN

Housesteads takes you back 2000 years. Spectacular views, modern and insightful museum and stunning ruins.

Approx 6.65 mile(s) between Housesteads Roman Fort and Battlesteads
Battlesteads outside
NE48 3LS

An 18thC Inn, formerly a farmhouse, in the heart of rural Northumberland close to the Roman Wall, Kielder Water and North Tyne Valley.

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