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Bardon Mill

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    • Day2

      Chollerford to Once Brewed

      October 1 in England ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

      Today was my last segment on the wall. I have been hiking west to east but decided today to take the bus to Chollerford and hike back which is east to west. The buses run every 2 hours so I was worried that if I hiked to Chollerford that I may have had a long wait. The initial drawback was that I wouldn't be able to start my hike back until 1045 which is late for me. It was 15k back some up and down the sils but I thought I would make it in about 4 hours. What I didn't count on was a 50 kmph constant headwind. It tired me out and slowed me down considerably. It took me 6.5 hours to make it back to Once Brewed and was I ever tired when I got back. There were also some heavy rain showers such that I had to wear my rain pants all day. I also got a little patched out on the bus ride as it seemed longer than I thought it should have been. I asked the driver if we had gone past my stop it was so far. I guess I underestimated how far one can walk in a day. The best part of the hike was walking up and down the Sils again. Not only were the views spectacular but the wall seemed best preserved up on the Sils. It helped one imagine what the wall had looked back in 122AD. At Housesteads, an artist had used scaffolding to create the appearance of a Roman gate and then covered it in quotations. It looked a little out of place but certainly gave one the perspective on the size of the structure. I also walked north of the wall at one point to get the perspective of the Scots who may have wanted to attack the wall. Mr TPHM was a little disgruntled that I wasn't taking him out for photos but I was worried he would blow away. We got a final photo of us on our completion of the segment and he seemed quite happy. Tomorrow we are off to Durham.Read more


      Love this symmetry of this photo.


      trēs bien TPHM!!!


      Is any part of Hadrian's Wall preserved to full 15' feet height?


      None. I think in one spot it may have 8 feet


      Good for you Rob 👍

    • Day4

      24 Hours Durham

      October 3 in England ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

      Yesterday I left Hadrians Wall country first taking a bus to Haltwhistle, a train to Newcastle. Everything went smoothly and the journey took about 2 hours. There was a train strike on Saturday and the day after a train strike is always plagued by delays as the trains require being shuttled around to restart the system. The train I took to Durham was the first train to successfully leave for London. The station was extremely busy and the train was absolutely packed with people. I was lucky to get a seat and fortunately was only on the train for 20 minutes.

      Durham you may ask. Why Durham. I didn't want a long travel day leaving the wall, it was on the main train line to London and it was a UNESCO heritage site and the location of a fairly prestigious university. The town was established by a group of displaced monks who were travelling with the remains of their patron saint St Cuthbert. When the cart carrying St. Cuthbert got stuck in 965 AD they thought that this was a good sign to stop. St. Cuthbert even though he was dead must have had his wits about as the river Wear forms a loop around a very large hill giving rise to a very defensible geographical position. They built their monastery here which when the Normans took over England a few hundred years later was expanded into an Enormous cathedral. The Normans then had to built a large castle to protect the Cathedral from the Scots. During my time here in the North I keep hearing stories about the Scots invading etc. The stories sound very similar to those I heard in Scotland a few years ago about the English invading. Fast forward a millenium and Durham is now a very pleasant university town with a beautiful Cathedral and Castle. University just started last week which seemed a little late so the students were all wandering around town looking happy and relaxed. There were rowers on the river. The sun even came out. I checked out the Cathedral-very large and impressive, walked up and down pretty well every road in the city centre walked along the river. Today I found the modern university including the Bill Bryson library named after the well known author Bill Bryson. I had a large piece of Victoria sponge cake for a coffee break and made it to the train station today by one in order to take my train to London.
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      ohhh the Bill Bryson Library is on campus. I was picturing a cool hole in the wall bookstore. Very prestigious for Bill though!


      Quite a trip !!

    • Day30

      A wonderful day, the best yet!

      September 28, 2019 in England ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

      Today was fabulous! We had anticipated difficult climbs and a long distance, and although this was true, it all worked out amazingly. We started with the first steep climb that Amr and I had looked at, and it was manageable - you needed to take great care on the stone steps, a mistake and you could break your leg, but somehow it was not bad - maybe because we went slowly and carefully - but whatever, it was ok, and the rewards were magnificent views as we walked along the ridge. This continued, as we knew it would, after a level ridge walk down we went again, and up the other side - no zig zag to get up and down. This continued many times. One of the most spectacular downs was to Sycamore Gap which is famous for being the spot where they filmed the Robin Hood movie Prince of Thieves. We all had photos there, and another group of people took all four of us, and we took their group etc. there were quite a lot of walkers out today, and we realised that it is Saturday and people are out for weekend walks. Lots of locals, not just people like us.

      Another feature of today’s walking was MUD....lots of it. This is not a complaint, as we had no rain!! Occasionally there were droplets of most, but I never needed to put on my poncho, and it was beautiful and even sunny sometimes. The mud situation was bad, but then got funny once we had to get through an unavoidable bog and all had to go deeper than our shoes - even Amr in his quite high boots got waterlogged. So for the rest of the day we walked with wet feet and socks squelching along, and it still was good. Our shoes were so muddy that when we arrived here at our accommodation the first thing we did was to get a hose to clean all the mud off before it dried on.

      But it was fantastic with views of this gorgeous countryside, walking amongst the cows and sheep who all mix together in the fields, and today we were well marked with acorns and signs - we are getting expert at spotting the little white dots of the acorn sign in the distance at a stile or gate.

      So after the many ups and downs we finally walked smoothly, that is on the level, along the Wall and finally came to our end point of walking which was the Chesters Roman Fort. It was a marathon 22.3 kms, which doesn’t sound all that far by Camino distances, but this was tough walking. Carole and John were Trojans as we knew this was very arduous for them, and we all made it with gusto.

      We had to telephone when we got to the Fort and were picked up by our host, Dave, who is at present salmon fishing in the North Tyne river, but his wife, daughter and granddaughter are here looking after us and we have just had dinner and are retiring to our rooms. When we first arrived, after we had cleaned the shoes and left them to dry, there was the cleaning of ourselves and particularly our socks which took many rinses to clean! But after dinner, wine and showers we are very content.

      I will put on photos of today, but there is no way photos can capture the perspective of the steepness, or the whole picture. But I will try.
      Read more


      What beautiful scenery

    • Day1

      Rain and Gail Day

      September 30 in England ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      Well I think that I called it right by getting two segments in yesterday. The weather started out overcast this morning but by 11 am it was full on rain and Gail force winds. I hiked from Gisland back to Birdoswald in 40 minutes and wandered around Birdoswald which is a partly excavated Roman fort and museum. The public transit is very intermittent so I had to be done by 1102 otherwise it was an expensive cab fare or a 2 hour wait. Of course one can only look at stones for so long. By 10:30 it was raining and by 11 it was very windy. I caught the bus to Greenhead where there is a Roman army museum. There unfortunately wasn't enough time to see the museum as the next bus came along at noon. I had to walk 5 mins from the bus stop and was it ever wet. Fortunately I had put on my rain pants. A fellow came into the museum drenched, He had left Once Brewed at 7:30. Up on the Sil he reported that it had been wicked. He had intended on hiking farther but was calling a cab. I told what I had done and he thought that was a good plan. I made on the bus to Vindolanda by 1230 and headed straight to the museum. Lots of Roman knick knacks which had been thrown away between 122 AD and 410AD. They have the largest collection of Roman shoes that I have ever seen. The clay and water create an anaerobic environment parenting things from rotting. They have a large collection of wood/paper writing tablets which has provided alot of insight into Roman life on the frontier.On a rainy day in September it looked like a pretty bleak place to have been stationed. When I got enough of the Knickknacks I headed out to check out the fort but it was still pretty windy and rainy and I gave up. My walk to Once Brewed where I am staying tonight was only a mile and with no sign of a bus I decided to hike. I was pretty soaked by the time that I made it there. I am all dried out now. I got a laundry done and my coat and rain pants are drying in the drying room. These bicyclists who I have been talking to tell me that the rain will be gone by tomorrow which will allow me to complete my last segment on the wall. I will take the bus to Chollerford and walk back to Once Brewed.Read more

    • Day2

      Hadrian's Wall Path; part 1

      September 18, 2021 in England ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      There are dramatic parts of the Hadrian's Wall Path either side of Housesteads as this is part of the Whin Sill escarpment, a tabular layer of igneous rock (dorolite). The the most intact parts of Hadrian's Wall are, not surprisingly, in the highest and least accessible parts of its course.

      We start at a dip in the crags known as King's Wicket, East of Housesteads and Milecastle 36. Passing the back of the fort to its west side, we reach trees and the path is actually on top of the wall. There are wonderful views looking ahead, and Hadrian's Wall does not look dissimilar to the Great Wall of China! We pass Hotbank Farm and we can see Crag Lough, an inland lake, ahead - but it is more spectacular looking back. We drop down to Sycamore Gap to pass a tree known as Robin Hood’s tree after its appearance in the ‘Prince of Thieves’ film, and soon reach Milecastle 39. Just before the Steel Rig car park (close to Milecastle 40) there are great views back to the Highshield Crags outcrop of the Whin Sill.
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    • Day2

      Housesteads Roman Fort

      September 18, 2021 in England ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Housesteads Roman Fort (originally called Vercovicium) is set high on the Whin Sill escarpment, a strategic position as you can see for miles. It occupies a 5 acre site, could accommodate 1,000 infantry and cavalry and is Britain's most complete Roman Fort; outside was a Roman settlement. The Fort is between Milecastle 36 and 37.

      It is noted for its communal latrines, hygienically placed at the lowest corner of the fort. It is well known for its granary where you can see the pillars that supported a raised floor to keep food dry and free from vermin. There was also.a hospital here. The view looking East from the barrack blocks is excellent.
      Read more

    • Day24

      Hadrian's wall

      August 7 in England ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      The edge of the Roman empire.
      Mejo svojega imperija so Rimljani 122AD zavarovali z več kot 100 km obzidja. 💪
      Lokalni kmetje so večji del zidu porabili za ovčje ograje. Kar ga je ostalo, je po koščkih dostopno za vse. Po njem lahko hodiš, se ga dotikaš, iz njega je narejena celo stezica, če si ovca, pa po njem lahko tudi kakaš 🙈.
      No, turistov praktično ni, ovc pa nisva štela 🤣
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    • Day4

      Housesteads fort

      September 6 in England ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

      We arrived at Housesteads fort and spent some time getting the fort and the impressive art installation built to celebrate the 1,900 year anniversary of the fort.

      The structure is sited on the North gatehouse and you could climb to see how the Romans would have viewed the landscape.

      A posh coffee in the way back and we arrived back at the car just before the heavens opened!
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    • Day32

      Hadrian's Wall and Scotland

      September 20, 2017 in England ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Today we travelled from the Lakes District out to one of the best viewpoints of Hadrian's Wall at Housesteads Fort then onto Scotland. The 73 miles of wall started to be built in 117AD for the Roman Emperor Hadrian. The section we visited, Housesteads is one of the Wall’s best-preserved forts with the foundations of many of the buildings still visible.
      By the time we reached Loch Lomond, Scotland the rain had set in. This didn't deter us, we drove to Balloch Castle Country Park and then drove north up the western side of Loch Lomond and then back south on the Eastern side of Loch Long, cutting across the hills to come back to Dumbarton.
      Read more

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