Dream Destinations: Hadrians Wall country

Take home some history on holiday

By Emma Dodd

If you’re looking for a destination that lets you escape the pressures of modern life, then Hadrian’s Wall country could be the answer. Dating back to 122AD, this impressive fortification stretches from one coast of England to the other over a distance of 73 miles.

Originally built as the north-west boundary of the Roman Empire, remnants of towers, turrets and forts can still be seen to this day. Discover the artefacts that have been unearthed along the wall over the centuries and take in the beautiful scenery that surrounds this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are so many interesting sites along the wall, you’ll have to prioritise which ones to see during your visit. Chesters, Birdoswald and Houseteads Roman forts are likely to come high on the list, as well as Corbridge Roman town and Vindolanda Museum.

One of the most effective ways to plan your days on a trip to Hadrian’s Wall country is to pick one of its many trails to explore. The Chesters Trail is based around a relatively quiet section of the wall and includes bath houses, bridges, turrets and a well.

The Corbridge Trail starts from the town centre, before heading east to Heddon-on-the-Wall and the Denton Hall Turret. It finishes on the outskirts of Newcastle-upon-Tyne at the Benwell Roman Temple.

For the best views anywhere along the wall, follow the Houseteads Trail from Walltown Crags to Sewingshields Wall. It’s a great route for following some of the best-preserved parts of the wall as it snakes through the countryside, stopping off at turrets, milecastles and crags along the way.

What’s unique about Hadrian’s Wall country as a destination is that it passes through Cumbria, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear. That gives you plenty of options when it comes to where you’d like to pitch your caravan.

The obvious option is Hadrian’s Wall Camping and Caravan Site in Melkridge, which prides itself on being just five minutes from the wall. With a combination of grass pitches and hard standings, this small site can accommodate caravans and motorhomes, as well as tents.

There are two excellent pubs to sample along the wall, although The Milecastle Inn, with its small traditional rooms is reviewing government coronavirus guidance and will only reopen when it can safely do so. In the meantime, Twice Brewed is a great option once you’ve parked up your caravan for the evening.

Enjoy a home cooked meal and one of the ales brewed on site. Northern Frontier is a hoppy IPA with notes of chamomile, while the Nox Cherry Milk Stout was a runner up at the Newcastle Beer Festival 2019. Take advantage of Twice Brewed’s observatory and the exceptionally dark skies while you’re there.