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Hadrian's Wall Hiking Guide, Itinerary, Site Info.

How many days?
Most hikers I met along the wall try to minimise the number of days. If it's just about fitness and sport then I guess that is fine. But if you are actually interested in Roman history then it is wiser to slow things down at least so you can see everything. The itinerary I am showing here incorporates Corbridge Fort and Museum which is situated a bit south from the wall, and a full day at Vindolanda Fort and Museum. Vindolanda is close to the wall. Still a lot of hikers miss it as they arrive too late in the area on that particular walking day. A golden tip in this case is to quickly call a taxi on arrival that day and still have an hour or so at Vindolanda.
In my opinion a better scenario is to have a half day at Corbridge and a full day at Vindolanda.

Actually knowing what you are looking at during your hike!
There were 16 forts along Hadrian's Wall and a multitude of turrets (towers) and smaller mile forts/castles. Many of these can be seen and many of them cannot be seen. The stone wall can be seen on long stretches and on other stretches it has totally disappeared. Instead there can be traces of the ditches the Romans dug north and south of the wall or around forts. In several locations entire forts and mile castle foundations can be seen and here and there temples and a wall crossing.
The maps and brochures that are for sale everywhere and you might possibly already have in your possession are far from detailed. During your walk they are practically useless. The official wall path even leads you totally the wrong way from Newcastle (along the river instead the wall) and near Carlisle (along the river instead the wall again). You will miss 5 very important visible sites near Newcastle and just as many sadly invisible near Carlisle. Invisible does not mean you can't know what was at that location! Knowing where you are is much more enjoyable than just walking unknowingly looking at flowers and grass. Therefore I advice you to use the digital map I have created for you with absolutely all the locations dotted out. All you need is a smartphone!
Click here to GO TO MAP PAGE


The all including itinerary!

Day 1
Start: Arbeia Fort, South Shields
via: Segedunum Fort, Wallsend
via: Great Northern Museum Newcastle
Finish: Central Newcastle                       
BandB/Hotel: Crockets Hotel, See: Booking.com
Campsite: No campsite available
  • Arbeia Fort in South Shields was an important fort in the line of all the supply forts. A gate, a baracks building and an Officer's house have been reconstructed. They are placed on the original foundations. The fort was first excavated in the 1870s. All the modern buildings were removed in the 1970s. It was founded in 120 AD and guarded the main sea route to Hadrian's Wall and became a supply fort. There is an idea that the name "Arbeia" might have referred to the Arab troops staying there at one time. who came from Mesopotamia but this has been disputed also. It is however known that Spanish cavalry, the First Asturian, was stationed there. The site has a small Museum and shop.
  • The Great North Museum in Newcastle has a 10 metre miniature display of the entire wall. Another well kept secret is that they have a large collection of Roman slabs like grave stones, mile stones, offering stones and inscribed masonry found along the wall location. Also special attention to the Mythras cult. Very interesting indeed. Often missed by wall hikers.
  • Segedunum Fort, Bath House and Museum at Wallsend. In this location or near here, Milecastle 0 was a possibly preexisting fort of Segedunum. There is however no evidence this milecastle existed as nothing has been found yet. Segedunum Fort was occupied for about 300 years from around 122 AD up to 400AD. The original garrison based here is unknown, but in the 2nd century it was the 2nd Cohors Nerviorum stationed there. In the 3rd and 4th centuries the part-mounted Fourth Cohort of the Lingones occupied the fort. Both cohorts were 600 people strong, consisting of 120 cavalry and 480 infantry. The site has a small museum, a shop and a reconstruction of a bath house. The remains of the actual ancient bath house are off site towards the river. A modern tower (much like an airport tower) gives a nice look over the entire Fort's site. 
Day 2
Start: Central Newcastle
via: Temple of Antenociticus and Wall Crossing/Gate of Condercum Fort
via: Vindobala Fort and Temple of Mithras
Finish: Wall Houses                               
Campsite: www.wellhousefarm.co.uk
BandB/Hotel: See: Booking.com
  • Temple of Antenociticus, circa AD 175-7. The small temple of Antenociticus stood in the vicus (civilian settlement) outside Condercum Fort in Benwell. It housed an auxiliary infantry cohort. The god Antenociticus is not mentioned on any known Roman altar stone from continental Europe, so it is believed to be native British. The sandstone head of the statue of Antenociticus was discovered in 1862 at the temple. Some parts of the lower leg and forearm of the statue were also found. It must have been a life-sized statue.
  • The Wall Crossing/Gate of Condercum Fort once lead to Condercum Fort on the site of the modern-day Condercum Estate in Benwell in Newcastle. It was the third fort on Hadrian's Wall, after Segedunum (Wallsend) and Pons Aelius (Newcastle).
  • The temple to the god Mithras just outside Carrawburgh Fort was probably built by soldiers in about AD 200. Mithras was an eastern god who, according to legend, had captured and killed a sacred bull in a cave. The iconic scenes of Mithras show him being born from a rock, slaughtering a bull, and sharing a banquet with the god Sol (the Sun). Mithras clothed in Anatolian costume and wearing a Phrygian cap; who is kneeling on the exhausted bull, holding it by the nostrils with his left hand, and stabbing it with his right. Three altars were found here and were all dedicated by commanding officers of the unit stationed here, the First Cohort of Batavians from the Rhineland. Copies of the altars stand in the temple.
Day 3
Start: Wall Houses
via:  Corbridge Roman Town
Finish: Corbridge                                     
BandB/Hotel: Wheatsheaf Inn, See: Booking.com
Campsite: No campsite available
  • Roman Corbridge was a fort, a town and supply base. It remained a community until the early years of the 5th century. The museum on the site has the largest of the Hadrian's Wall's collections! This itinerary has it included on half a day walk so there is enough time for a visit.
Day 4
Start: Corbridge
via: Cilurnum Fort in Chesters
Finish: Greencarts                                   
Campsite: greencarts.co.uk
BandB/Hotel: See: Booking.com
  • Cilurnum Fort in Chesters is the most complete Roman cavalry fort in Britain. It was built around AD 124. It housed circa 500 cavalrymen and was until the Romans left Britain in the 5th century. Inscriptions from the building projects of the Sixth Legion survive from the period 138AD until 61AD. An undated inscription was found from the first cohort of Dalmatians, an auxiliary infantry unit. The commander of another auxiliary unit, the first cohort of Vangiones from the Rhineland, buried his daughter at Chesters sometime after 160AD. An inscription confirms that by 178AD the fort was occupied by the cavalry unit the Second Asturians from northern Spain. In 1796 the antiquarian Nathaniel Clayton bought this estate. He died in 1890 and the last major excavations at Chesters were carried out by his nephew, Nathaniel George Clayton, between 1890 and 1895. Nathaniel built the site's beautiful museum, which was opened in 1896. The Victorian era meets the classical era. The site also has a shop and a coffee/lunch room. Wonderful place to visit! 
Day 5
Start: Greencarts
via: Brocolitia Fort
via: Vercovicium Fort at Housesteads
Finish: Once Brewed near Vindolanda
Campsite:  winshieldscampsite.co.uk
BandB/Hotel: Twice Brewed, See: Booking.com
  • The Fort at Housesteads (Known as Vercovicium, Borcovicus, Borcovicium, and Velurtion). The fort was built in stone around 124AD, soon after the construction of the wall began in 122AD. In the 2nd century AD, the garrison consisted of an unknown double-sized auxiliary infantry cohort and a detachment of legionaries from Legio II Augusta. In the 3rd century, it housed Cohors I Tungrorum, with a number of other soldiers from the Hnaudifridi and the Cuneus Frisiorum, a Frisian cavalry unit from Frisia in the Netherlands. According to the document the Notitia Dignitatum, The Tungrians were still there in the 4th century. By 409AD the Romans were gone. The fort at Housesteads is built along the wall where it's situated at a steep hill on the north side. On the south side you can see that it's at a higher altitude than the lower situated Vindolanda Fort, not far away from there. The site has a small museum and shop. It also has toilets which can be of great importance along the wall.
Day 6
Rest day: Visiting Vindolanda                 
Campsite:  winshieldscampsite.co.uk
BandB/Hotel: Twice Brewed, See: Booking.com
  • Vindolanda Fort was an auxiliary fort south of Hadrian's Wall and south of the fort at Housesteads. It was built around 85AD to 370AD. The garrison that was housed there consisted of infantry or cavalry auxilia. From the early third century onwards this was the Cohors IV Gallorum equitata. Also known as the Fourth Cohort of Gauls. They had auxiliary troops recruited locally. Vindolanda is quite large and has a lot of history. The site has a museum, shop and small restaurant on one entrance and a small multi media introduction expo on the other entrance. There are several reconstructions: Wooden wall and tower, Stone wall and tower, small temple, etc. Archaeological digs are ongoing and can be seen from nearby.
Day 7
Start: Once Brewed near Vindolanda
via: Roman Army Museum
via: Birdoswald Fort and Museum
Finish: Castlesteads                                   
Campsite: Sandysike Campsite, See nationaltrail.co.uk
BandB/Hotel: See: Booking.com
  • Roman Army Museum. Ran by the same company taking care of Vindolanda. They do a nice visual explanation of the construction of the Roman armies. Not to be missed. The museum has a shop and a coffee/lunch room. Toilets can only be used if you actually visit the museum. But the nearby green leisure area with parking near the wall has a public toilet.
  • Banna Fort at Birdoswald was occupied by Roman auxiliaries from approximately 112AD to 400AD. It was owned by a Victorian antiquarian who did several archaeological digs before selling it all off. The site has a rather poor expo which is more for kids, a shop and a coffee/lunch room. Toilets available.
Day 8
Start: Castlesteads
via: Tullie House Museum in Carlisle
Finish: Beaumont                                       
Campsite:  romanwall-lodges.co.uk
BandB/Hotel: See: Booking.com
  • Tullie House Museum Carlisle has a nice collection and gives information on all emperors involved with Roman Britain. Ask for the map cos it's in two locations in the museum. On display are also a diversity of stone slabs, a mock wall, roman tent and much local history facts and artefacts. The museum has a storage room for your backpack while you visit, toilets and a large cafeteria/lunchroom. Great place for a long deserved rest.
Day 9
Start: Beaumont
Finish: Bowness on Solway, or walk on to Anthorn
Bus service to Carlisle: Be aware: There might not be bus service on Sundays and holidays!
BandB/Hotel: See: Booking.com
Campsite: No campsite available
  • Roman Turret 70A at site St Mary Church in Beaumont. Not much to see other than the small much altered and designed hill on which the church now stands. Nice peaceful location though.
  • Fort Aballava at location of St Michael's Church in Burgh by Sands. This was a large and important fort in the line of all the supply forts like at Corbridge and Vindolanda. If the church is open, step inside and let one of the volunteers tell you the history. They have a postcard available for a small donation with a very good artistic rendition of the fort. Stones of the wall and other Roman stones have been used for building the defensive tower of the church. They are happy to show you where they are.
  • Bowness on Solway has a makeshift "end of the wall" location at the small coast promenade. To get to this little promenade you have to follow a sign and walk through an alley to the right. You will find a little shelter which looks like a Roman style bus-stop. It is not the actual end of the wall but I guess it's nice for a picture. 

Before you walk Hadrian's Wall, check the following: 
https://twitter.com/HWpath
https://twitter.com/HadriansWall
https://twitter.com/EHHadriansWall
https://twitter.com/WallTogether
https://twitter.com/NTHadriansWall
https://twitter.com/Roman_Britain
https://twitter.com/VindolandaTrust
https://twitter.com/TheRomanSoc
https://twitter.com/carolemadge
https://twitter.com/ahencyclopedia
https://www.discovercarlisle.co.uk/See-Do/Roman-Carlisle
https://www.carlislecricketclub.co.uk/the-dig

Roman Frontier Netherlands Hike

I walked my Roman Frontier Netherlands Hike from 21 April until 04 May 2019.
My route visits all the Roman sites and Museums and follows the Frontier as close as possible.

The Dark Blue lines on the map are the Rhine river during Roman times and some connecting waterways.

The Limes route book that was published in 2019 in The Netherlands sadly again follows green areas instead of Roman history. Too many unnecessary detours that waste precious time that could be used for checking out Roman locations and Museums. But no worries, I have fixed this problem with my digital map:

Red line: Netherlands Frontier Route.
Dark Blue lines: Rhine river during Roman times and some connecting waterways
Purple lines: Alternative route or Additional route
Red objects: Visible remains of walls, ditches, canals.
Light Orange logos: Little or No remains: Important Locations and Castellos, Villas and Boats
Dark Orange logos: Visible remains:         Important Locations and Castellos, Villas and Boats
Loudspeaker logos: Places where virtual reality apps are available with views of Roman life
Red Caution Logo !: Traffic situations and places of danger that need extra caution.
Blue objects: Non related information and locations like food and unrelated museums
Green objects: Camping sites and Hotels

Rome Map Ancient Sites and Museums

6 - 11 February 2019 I visited Rome.
Map with Ancient Sites and Museums in Rome and some sites reachable in a one day trip:
Map Rome

As you can seen on the map it is possible to walk to the Ciampino airport along the ancient Roman road and visit all the remains alongside it. A good idea on your last day in Rome when going home. The walk will take 3 to 4 hours. Add some time for visiting the sites and museums.

You can see all the pictures I took on this trip on my Twitter if you like. You have to scroll down a bit though to the right date:
https://twitter.com/romanfrontier


Athens Map Ancient Sites and Museums

16 - 24 November 2018 I visited Athens.
Map with Ancient Sites and Museums in Athens and some sites reachable in a one day trip:
Map Athens

You can see all the pictures I took on this trip on my Twitter if you like. You have to scroll down a bit though to the right date:
https://twitter.com/romanfrontier

Gask Ridge Walk/Ride - Lower Ridge

1st and 2nd of September 2018 I walked the Gask Ridge Walk - Lower Ridge. 
I was hoping this would proof to be a great long distance route. 
Sadly the 2 stretches of highway that need to be followed without any alternatives, killed the idea. The detour via Dubheads in order to get back to Roman road was also quite demotivating. To cut a long story short: You can walk this route, but I would suggest to do it in 3 days rather than 2. Sunny weather would make it a lot more enjoyable too, especially on the long stretches of nothingness. Bring a lot of water as sometimes there are no shops, no houses. Be prepared to be shocked by walking along 2 stretches of highway. 

My suggestion is to rather do the car trip which i added to the map. It takes you to the 3 locations with actual visible Romans remains: 

1) Ardoch Fort in Braco
2) Kaims Fortlet just East from Braco
3) The Roman Road between Kirkton and Gask: With Kirkhill Watchtower, Muir o'Fauld Watchtower and Gask House Watchtower.


Dark Blue Line: Driving Trip Route visiting 3 visible remains.
Blue Line: The route I walked.
Purple lines: Alternative route or Additional route
Yellow line: Roman Road.
Green line: Running between the upper forts: Suggested intended defence line
Light Orange logos: Little or No remains: Important Locations and Watchtowers, Camps, Forts
Dark Orange logos: Visible remains:         Important Locations and Watchtowers, Camps, Forts
Red Caution Logo !: Traffic situations and places of danger that need extra caution.
Blue objects: Non related information and locations like food and unrelated museums
Green objects: Camping sites and Hotels


Hadrian´s Wall Hike

Hadrian´s Wall: Jerome Blanes´ modified Route

Before I walked Hadrian´s Wall I had already decided to stay with the wall as much as possible. This meant not following the Hadrian´s Wall Path all the way down to the river. I am very glad I didn´t! I would have missed 5 important remains of the wall including a Roman Temple, a ditch crossing with stone built gate and several stretches of wall. All this between Newcastle and Heddon. The Hadrian´s Wall Path includes other unnecessary detours. Along the route there are several signs missing and all sorts of confusing situations caused by trying to follow nature instead of the wall and its history. Therefore I decided after I created the Antonine Wall Route, that I would create a modified Hadrian´s Wall Route as well. And also simply to be followed with a smartphone in your hand.
Modifications and Features:
- Showing all the Forts, Fortlets and Turrents along the Wall as well as all temporary camps in the area. When indicated in dark orange there are remains to be seen. When indicated light orange there are little or no remains. Knowing their location will however make your long distance hike more enjoyable.
- Direct route from Wallsend/Segedunum through Newcastle to Westgate Road following the wall.
- Avoiding the long detour along the river´s former industrial spots and all the way to Heddon.
- Alternative route to stay with the wall between Carlisle and Carlisle Airport, avoiding the detour.
- Additional Routes there where signage is unclear or missing. Follow the additional line!
- Additional Walk Route from/to Arbeia (South Shields - Wallsend Newcastle)
- Additional Walk Route along the coast from/to Bowness Mile Fortlet 5 (Cardurnock - Bowness)
- Additional Car Roundtrip Museum and Forts (incl the amazing Vinovium Fort Museum Binchester)
- Additional Car Roundtrip Museum and Forts (incl the amazing Mediobogdum Hardknott Fort)

Blue line: Hadrian´s Wall Route. Sometimes not exactly in the right place.
Secondary Blue lines: Additional route indication where signage is unclear or missing.
Purple lines: Alternative route or Additional route
Green objects: Visible remains of The Wall and ditch.
Light Orange logos: Little or No remains: Important Locations and Locations Forts and Fortlets
Dark Orange logos: Visible remains:         Important Locations and Locations Forts and Fortlets
Red Caution Logo !: Traffic situations and places of danger that need extra caution.

Use the Google maps app on your smartphone to open the following map:
Jerome Blanes´ modified Hadrian´s Wall Walk:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1txP4d86CoLX0zgklVNY_TajVTcdxypVc&usp=sharing



Antonine Wall Hike


https://www.cafepress.co.uk/capitalp.296045849
Antonine Wall Achievers sow-on Patch
Jerome Blanes´ full Antonine Wall Hike
Unlike the route of Hadrian´s Wall in England, The Antonine Wall has no signage that is connecting the full route. There are signs, but only to some of the remains and only from local main roads. I have solved this problem for you by creating a full route map.
The entire route is as green as a green pepper. So don´t worry about the views, they are all there! It is an amazing journey! And you can get yourself an achievers sow-on patch afterwards!
Features:

- Intended to stay as close to the wall location as possible.
- No unnecessary detours.
- Includes locations of temporary and marching camps
- Additional walk to/from Cramond Fort (Carriden Bo´ness - Cramond)
- Additional walk to/from Bishopton Fort (Old Kilpatrick - Bishopton)
- Additional walk to Camelon Fort location.
- Additional walk to the Stenhouse Roman dome temple location. Also known as Arthur's Oon.
- Additional drive to Hunterian Museum and Bothwellhaugh Fort.
- Additional drive to National Museum of Scotland and replica Roman dome temple.

Red line: The Antonine Wall
Blue line: Walking route paved
Green line: Walking route unpaved or path
Purple line: Alternative route or Additional route
Green objects: Visible remains of The Antonine Wall and/or Ditch
Light Orange logos: Little or No remains: Important Locations and Locations Forts and Fortlets
Dark Orange logos: Visible remains:         Important Locations and Locations Forts and Fortlets
Red Caution Logo !: Traffic situations that need extra caution.

Use the Google maps app on your smartphone to open the following map:
Jerome Blanes´ full Antonine Wall Walk: