Hadrianís Wall lies in Northumberland, near Scotland. It covers seventy three miles and was built on the orders of Emperor Hadrian in AD 122. Hadrian ordered that the wall be built because he wanted to consolidate his kingdom. So the wall was built as a wall to mark the very end of the Roman territorial domain. Those out side were the barbarians.
The entire wall was manned by Roman legions for centuries; although the guards were mostly Auxiliaries and not Roman soldiers from the province of Rome. These were from the conquered provinces of Spain, Europe and Briton itself.
Although the wall is now in pieces and crumbles, it is spectacular. Some of the ruined garrisons are like stepping into a past that leaves one gasping for breath at the sheer genius and ingenuity of the Roman inventiveness, which is shockingly like our own. The Vindolanda site (or Chesterholm) has a museum that will offer a discount to the actual ruins, if you purchase a museum ticket also, on the same day. The museum has not only some beautiful pieces of Roman artistry but a film of educational value to watch and a restaurant for tea and cakes etc. The jewellery in the museum is actually on par with the current trends of fashion in the high street this season.
There are other sites of Roman interest like Birdoswald, Corbrigde which also has a museum and many other sites where Romans had garrisons along the wall.
The countryside into which the Romans built Hadrianís wall is magnificent, especially in autumn (fall) the reds, dusky pinks and resplendent copper of the Copper beach trees, which coincidentally were one of the trees growing along with Oak and Willow when the Romans arrived. The yellows, greens and browns just leave one feeling like there is not enough time to look at the splendour. It is like a vast canvas, the trees, stately and graceful with the endless sky above, painted by the hand of God. In fact words cannot describe the beauty of the scenery. In the evening I was virtually stunned into silence by the pale pink sunset that seemed to set the copper beach trees aflame with iridescence.
It is best to plan the sites of interest you plan to visit and places where you wish to sleep. It can be very cold and windy and some of the sites are extremely exposed to the elements. Good, stout walking boots, a windproof jacket and hat are a definite must, and a flask of hot coffee a good idea, if you can. I personally would recommend Vindolanda and Chesters Fort as well as Corbridge because we personally visited there and they are well worth visiting, but I know we missed others purely because we had run out of time.
The sheer majesty and feeling of living out ancient history draws thousands each year like magnets to these beautiful historic sites. To site in the bath houses where Roman legions once actually stood themselves is awe inspiring to say the least. If you do decide to visit the UK, this is an excellent place to visit. It really is not to be missed.