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Exploring both sides of Hadrian's Wall near Vercovicium

By Rudi Winter

This walk is a combination of a visit to the Housesteads Museum at the Roman fort of Vercovicium with a short exploration of the section of Hadrian's Wall surrounding it. Some of the mileage shown is simply moving fairly randomly amongst the ruins of the fort. The walk begins at the museum car park on the B6318. It is quite pricey but there are plenty of spaces, and there is an entrance fee which gives access to the museum and the fort. There is no need to worry about closing times at the end of the walk as it is possible to get out after closing by going round the visitor centre.

We went straight up to the museum NY7968 : Track leading to Housesteads Museum by Rudi Winter and had a look inside NY7868 : Interpretation board, Housesteads Museum by Rudi Winter first, followed by a detailed look at the remains of the fort including the trader's buildings (vicus) NY7968 : Vercovicium: workshops outside the fort by Rudi Winter outside the boundary wall, the commanding officer's quarters (praetorium) NY7868 : Vercovicium: commanding officer's quarters by Rudi Winter, the hospital (valetudinarium) NY7868 : Vercovicium: drain by Rudi Winter, the granary (horreum) NY7868 : Vercovicium: grain store by Rudi Winter and the fortifications NY7868 : Vercovicium: view from the angle tower by Rudi Winter surrounding the fort.

The northern boundary of the fort is Hadrian's Wall itself NY7968 : Vercovicium: Hadrian's Wall by Rudi Winter, set atop the Whin Sill NY7969 : Whin Sill east of Housesteads by Rudi Winter, a natural escarpment formed from an igneous intrusion into the surrounding rock. We followed the Wall to the west past milecastle 37 NY7868 : Interior of Milecastle 37, Hadrian's Wall by Rudi Winter with its customs gate NY7868 : Border gate, Milecastle 37, Hadrian's Wall by Rudi Winter and briefly joined the Pennine Way NY7868 : The Pennine Way at Turret 37a (Rapishaw Gap) by Rudi Winter to cross into Pictish territory to the north.

Turning east, we followed a path beneath the Whin Sill NY7868 : Whin Sill near Housesteads by Rudi Winter and across Ridley Common, past Broomlee Lough NY7869 : Broomlee Lough by Rudi Winter at some distance. This path leads up gently towards the point known as the King's Wicket NY7969 : King's Wicket crossing, Hadrian's Wall by Rudi Winter, where a mediaeval drovers' route crosses Hadrian's Wall. After crossing back into Roman territory, we returned along the Wall to Vercovicium NY7968 : Hadrian's Wall east of Vercovicium by Rudi Winter and then along the outside of the Roman fort back to the car park. You can see this trip plotted on a map on the Geo-trips page Link .

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Sun, 2 Jun 2019 at 20:46
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