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lagspiller
01-25-2006, 02:32 PM
Anybody here done the walk along Hadrian's wall? The wife and I are talking about it for this summer. Experiences and advice?

George.
01-25-2006, 02:38 PM
I've seen Hadrian's column, the Pantheon built by him, and the ruins of the temple he designed. But I guess that doesn't count...

lagspiller
01-25-2006, 04:23 PM
Hadrian would probably approve.
But I don't expect he built those near his front line though. A Pantheon doesn't sound like a part of a cutting edge line of defense. Walls are still the rage in some parts of the world.

But this one is more about a quiet sea to shining sea walk across England in a pub-to-pub style.

Donn
01-25-2006, 04:27 PM
A trans-island pub crawl. Sounds like fun.

ishmael
01-25-2006, 04:29 PM
I did some poking around online awhile back. If you Google, Hiking Britain or the like you'll get some good hits. Unfortunately my computer died and I lost the bookmarks.

My memory is that the walk you propose is very busy at certain times of the year. That could be good or bad depending on what you are looking for. If you are planning on walking from inn to inn it might take quite a bit of planning to insure a place to bed down for the night. I also seem to remember that that walk is one where it is difficult or impossible to camp along major stretches.

Good luck

Rick Clark
01-25-2006, 04:35 PM
Good times for you and the wife, be safe. ;)

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-25-2006, 04:35 PM
I know the middle third of it moderately well - Greenhead to Stagshaw.

It runs along the northern edge of a broad east-west valley which bisects the country.
The higher ground is to the north and any civilisation is along the line of the river - four to eight Km south. the single exception to this is Chollerford which is a two-pub, blink-and-you-missed-it sort of place with a handy bridge across the North Tyne.

If I were writing this for a man from Essex, I could say that this is bleak, high, wild and exposed country. But you're from Norway - the altitudes vary from 75m to 300m and its farmland sheep, cows some crops, some trees, some people and in the summer quite a large number of tourists at the main attractions and a smaller number spread out along the line of the wall.
Hexham and Corbridge are probably the best of the local towns - with Haltwhistle (http://www.haltwhistle.org/) a handy jumping off point with easy access to some of the most famous parts of the wall.

The eastern end of the wall is in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and, nice as it is, it is not really walking country.

There are lots of roman sites in the area but not actually on the wall - Dere street the roman road runs north-south as the modern A68 and can be followed north to Trimontium.

uncas
01-25-2006, 04:44 PM
Keep in mind...there is not that much left....Have bicycled along portions of it..
Heck, I bicycled through Paris and could not locate the, the...um, you know the...prison...yup you know the one...something to do with 1789-95...um...starts with a B....July 14th...

[ 01-25-2006, 04:45 PM: Message edited by: uncas ]

John E Hardiman
01-25-2006, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by uncas:
Keep in mind...there is not that much left....Have bicycled along portions of it..
Heck, I bicycled through Paris and could not locate the, the...um, you know the...prison...yup you know the one...something to do with 1789-95...um...starts with a B....July 14th...They tore it down on the day they celebrate, might as well go look for the Stone of Scone

uncas
01-25-2006, 05:08 PM
I was at least expecting a placque...or a monument...something.....just a few stones to sit on... :rolleyes:

Sea Frog
01-25-2006, 05:20 PM
Uncas,

Part of the basement is on display on an underground railway platform nearby, while a gilded figure represents freedom winning over tyranny at the top of the steep tower up there (http://www.davidphenry.com/Paris/paris246.htm)

uncas
01-25-2006, 05:23 PM
Well...I can see why I didn't find it...I was avoiding traffic on a bike...above ground...on cobbled streets.... :rolleyes:

Meerkat
01-25-2006, 05:54 PM
Bastille. Isn't it the modern Place DeGaulle? The new opera house sits on it's former site?

Cobbled streets are murder on a bike! Did it Munich.

[ 01-25-2006, 05:55 PM: Message edited by: Meerkat ]

Sea Frog
01-25-2006, 07:08 PM
Meerkat, Place De Gaulle is at the West end, Bastille and the new Opera House at the more popular East end of that axis, and a canal joins the Bastille to the Seine down South.

uncas
01-25-2006, 07:09 PM
Meerkat
.
Member # 4667

posted 01-25-2006 05:54 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bastille. Isn't it the modern Place DeGaulle? The new opera house sits on it's former site?

Cobbled streets are murder on a bike! Did it Munich.

That's why bikes in Holland have really...really wide tires... :D

imported_GregW
01-25-2006, 07:50 PM
Along Hadrian's wall in Carrawburgh, there are the ruins of The Temple of Mithras. It isn't much too see, only the outline of the foundation remain, however what makes it interesting is that the god Mithras was Persian in origin not Roman. So it would appear that some of the Roman legionnaires stationed along the wall were from the far eastern end of the empire, that's quite a hike!

Meerkat
01-25-2006, 08:16 PM
IIRC, Mithras was quite popular all through the empire at around 0 BC.

lagspiller
01-26-2006, 10:55 AM
Well, how about that. Lots of good advice. About the Wall, too.
(I started to get a bit worried when the trek seemed to be heading through Paris for a while)

I didn't know it was so popular. Its got to be in June-August period, so it looks like I should get my act together if it is really going to happen this year at all...

Otherwise - climbing dizzying heights of up to 300 meters sounds, hmmmm, well we aren't coming for the mountain terrain anyway, are we now? The walk, countryside, people and a bit of historical culture is the idea. Possible hoards of pilgrims are definately more intimidating than hills. I hate queing. Especially when I have to pay for doing it. Personally, I think you should GET paid for your troubles if you have to stand in line - and especially while on your vacation.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
01-26-2006, 11:04 AM
lagspiller, I think you should know that British school holidays run from the last week of July to the first week of September, inclusive.

The weather in June is often better, and of course the days are longer, but you know that...

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-26-2006, 11:05 AM
Had a word with some of the guys from the North East and I can't find anyone who has done the western end - or who has a good word for hiking in Newcastle - Drinking in Newcastle of course is another thing...

But in an idle moment i thought - there isn't really a weeks worth of walking in 80Km (50 Miles) and there is another (earlier) Roman Wall much less visited and better supplied with pubs.
This is the Antonine Wall (google it) which runs the shorter distance across central Scotland close(ish) to the newly re-opened Forth and Clyde Canal....

George.
01-26-2006, 11:18 AM
OK, I'm hijacking this. Don't panic, stay in your seats, don't try anything... :D

I have always wondered about Hadrian's wall. For one thing, I have seen pictures - it seems awfully low, awfully easy to scale or breach. How did it work? Did it have lots of guards, and legions stationed nearby to quickly react to any breaches? Or was the idea that a breach was beyond the technological capacity of the Scottish Celts?

Also, given how hard it must have been to build - wouldn't it have been easier to just conquer Scotland? The locals might have been tough cookies, but for the legions that had conquered Gaul and Iberia, what's another Celtic tribe?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
01-26-2006, 11:24 AM
The late Ian Wright passed through the newly reopened Forth and Clyde Canal in "Patience", two years ago. His description of passing through Glasgow makes walking through Newcastle seem a better option.

The wall was quite high, originally. There are small forts ("mile castles") every mile and substantial barracks every ten miles.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-26-2006, 11:39 AM
Wall Web page with cross section (http://www.cycle-routes.org/hadrianscycleway/roman_sites/roman2.html)

I suspect that the wall functioned much as the British built "Hedge" did in India, in that the gateways functioned as tax control points - at least as much as the military importance.

The remaining sections of wall are much lower than the original mostly because of the thieving nature of the locals - one of the delights is stone-spotting - looking for re-used dressed stone in unlikely places.

There was substantial Roman activity well to the north of the wall - if you visit the abbey at Jedburgh (50 miles North) you can see dressed stones with Roman graffiti.

Shang
01-26-2006, 01:45 PM
My ancestors used to slip over the wall at dinner time and murder the Romans for their sandwiches...

uncas
01-26-2006, 02:26 PM
Also, given how hard it must have been to build - wouldn't it have been easier to just conquer Scotland? The locals might have been tough cookies, but for the legions that had conquered Gaul and Iberia, what's another Celtic tribe?

Not as easy as ya think....Scots were/are a tenacious group...Just ask Edward Longshanks...
And his base was London...not Rome...

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-26-2006, 02:38 PM
The 9th Legion were known to have got as far as Auchtermuchty - and that was the last anyone ever heard of them.

Alan D. Hyde
01-26-2006, 02:39 PM
Don't forget the Antonine Wall...

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Img/923/0004089.gif

"Deputy Culture Minister Elaine Murray said:

"The Antonine Wall is the best preserved frontier in the whole Roman Empire after Hadrian's Wall.

"It is remarkable that these earthworks, constructed some 2,000 years ago, have survived so well. World Heritage Site status should ensure their survival for many years to come and emphasise the history we share with our European neighbours.

"Scotland's wealth of culture is a major draw for tourism, our biggest industry. Our world class natural and culture heritage is essential in maintaining and improving our share of the tourism market, and we are committed to ensuring it remains in good condition and receives the recognition it deserves."

The wall follows the line from Old Kirkpatrick on the Clyde to Bo'ness on the Forth for 37 miles.

It was built on the orders of the Emperor Antoninus Pius following the re-conquest of Southern Scotland by his army in 140-142 A.D."

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Img/916/0003739.gif

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/News-Extras/132

http://www.antoninewallcottages.co.uk/images/hayloftweb_000.JPG

There are many cottages and pubs nearby. These are near the Falkirk Wheel.

http://www.antoninewallcottages.co.uk/

***

Bon voyage. :D

***

Alan

[ 01-26-2006, 02:45 PM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

Meerkat
01-26-2006, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by Shang:
My ancestors used to slip over the wall at dinner time and murder the Romans for their sandwiches...Hurah! You're back! smile.gif smile.gif smile.gif

lagspiller
01-26-2006, 03:03 PM
Ok. Looks like June must be the goal.
Since I mentioned this, the wife has talked to another couple and they want to join. At this rate we will be a que ourselves before we are finished.

As far as changing goals, we haven't taken this completely off the wall. Hadrian is THE wall. Adrenine may be good, but it is hard to compete with THE wall.

I know one other couple that did the walk. It was a great success. Both they and their kids came back spouting about the Wonder Wall. (or was that Oasis?) Whatever. It has to be Hadrian's. I know that it isn't complete, but there is much more than just a low wall - it was a system of several walls and moats. But the idea is really to get a tangible hold on world history. There is more to wonders than boats - believe it or not.

Alan D. Hyde
01-26-2006, 03:09 PM
Here's a map---

http://www.legionsix.org/wallmap.gif

***

The Antonine Wall---

http://www.legionsix.org/wall2.jpg

And, Hadrian's Wall---

http://www.ecastles.co.uk/hadrianwall.jpg

* * *

Alan

[ 01-26-2006, 03:15 PM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

George.
01-26-2006, 03:26 PM
OK, questions:

1) How long was it?

2) How many legionnaires stationed at each mile castle and larger barracks?

3) Were these first-rate troops or second-rate slackers? In other words, was their job to beat back an invasion or to act as a tripwire/alarm system while a real legion could mobilize and move up to the front?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-26-2006, 04:24 PM
George. the consensus view on the walls usage is that it was not under any great threat - the primary use was for economic control.

Much like the 1500 mile hedge in India Google the hedge (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=British+hedge+india&btnG=Search)

Here are a pile of Wall related sites.
Museums (http://museums.ncl.ac.uk/wallnet/)
Northumberland County (http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/vg/Hadrianswall.htm)
Particularly Good (http://www.roman-britain.org/hw/hw_menu.htm)
Vindolanda top site (http://www.vindolanda.com)
The Ramblers Association (http://www.ramblers.org.uk/info/paths/hadrianswall.html)
Quite good (http://www.thenortheast.fsnet.co.uk/HadriansWall.htm)
Another one (http://www.aboutscotland.com/hadrian)

Meerkat
01-26-2006, 04:31 PM
Interesting stuff: The Great Hedge of India (http://www.tenhand.com/clew/blog/archives/000627.html)

They should have built it out of Indicus Sativa ;)

lagspiller
01-27-2006, 12:46 AM
Great stuff. I've collected the advice and info in a word doc and added a new folder to my 'favorites' list... Hadrian links. This will keep me busy for a while.
Thanks for all the help.

Wild Wassa
01-27-2006, 03:25 AM
Lagspiller G'day. My wife has photographs of the Roman walls that circle the city of Chester. She took the photos during her recent trip to the UK. If they are of interest?

Helen and the kids walked on the wall, around the central part of the city. Helen said, that it was very impressive walking on the 2000 year old wall, circumnavigating the city and was one of the highlights of the family's trip. Chester was a key city for the Romans because they could control the Northern Welsh border and the northern part of England.

... and due south of Chester, Bath has original Roman baths, fed from the natural springs.

Other places of Roman signifigance the family visited were, London (the roads leading out of London, :rolleyes: ), York, Salisbury, Old Sarum (ruins), ... and other living and thriving cities that have Roman heritage.

Warren.

[ 01-27-2006, 03:48 AM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

lagspiller
01-27-2006, 05:58 AM
Thanks, Wassa. I've already got more than enough to keep me busy north of London. There is no way I can add a walk southward. (and I would actually like to continue westward - over to Eire - if I could add more... But I already see that I am going to have to do both that and Scotland on other trips.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-27-2006, 08:23 AM
I found this - which contains much that may prove to be of value to the traveller.
How to Camp Out (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17575/17575-h/17575-h.htm)