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Hadrian’s Wall Walk: The History of Britain’s Best Known Wall

Tue, 18 Jan 2022

For an adventurous ramble in the British Isles, many are tempted by the Hadrian’s Wall walk. Spanning 73 miles from coast to coast in the north of England, this impressive landmark has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

Hadrian’s Wall is an important archaeological site that attracts heaps of visitors each year. However, its history is not as well known as some might think. So, before you set off along its path, read on to learn more about this ancient monument.

 What is the story behind Hadrian’s Wall?

 Hadrian’s Wall was originally built to help guard the north-west frontier of the Roman Empire, and was used for this purpose for almost 300 years. Forts, towers and even small towns sat along its length, as well as almost 10,000 armour-clad soldiers ready to defend the border.

The impressive engineering of the Roman Empire has meant that large sections of the wall still remain today, leaving an incredible imprint of years passed on British soil.

Was Hadrian’s Wall built by slaves?

Hadrian’s Wall was not built by slaves but rather by soldiers from within the Roman Empire. Although much of the labour in the empire did come from slavery, building the wall was tasked to the regular troops in Britain.

Constructing the wall provided years of work and was considered a rewarding use of time for the Roman army during periods with no battles.

What is special about Hadrian’s Wall?

The remains of this astonishing landmark provide a true insight into Roman Britain. 

Although around 90 percent of the wall is said to no longer exist (much was quarried to build churches and other sites), the preservation attempts since the 19th century mean that the remaining 10 percent is still the best-preserved frontier of the empire.

Its rural location may seem an unlikely spot for such an iconic piece of architecture, but this is one reason why it is so unspoiled. The excellent preservation of the site is partly due to the lack of urban development in the area.

Where exactly is Hadrian’s Wall?

Despite popular belief that the ruins lie along the border between England and Scotland, the entirety of Hadrian’s Wall is actually in England.

The wall spans from coast to coast, through the counties of Northumberland and Cumbria. On its route walkers will experience the picturesque English countryside, as they traverse rolling green hills and rugged moorland.

Uncover history on an adventurous walking holiday

To properly experience this captivating site, take a walking holiday to Hadrian’s Wall. Ramblers Walking Holidays arrange an itinerary that is filled with cultural insights and historical information while making the most of the beautiful surroundings.

Crossing from east to west you will be able to tread in the footsteps of the Roman soldiers that built and guarded this wall millennia ago. Expert leaders will take you on a journey that combines present-day with ancient history.

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