|This is part 2 of The Hadrian’s Wall Adventure, part 1 can be read here.
My good friend Simon and I stopped for a coffee and cake break at Birdoswald Roman Fort & Museum before getting back on the road.
4. Bridge over the River Irthing
5. Milecastle 48
6. Poltross Burns Milecastle
Poltross Burns Milecastle is well sign posted, just drive slowly due to two sharp bends with immediate turns straight after. There’s a dirt track opposite at least one big house where you can park for free. It wasn’t on our list of places to visit, we more stumbled across it accidentally. It is the remains of a Milecastle set beautifully on top of a hill with good natural light. It is well worth the short walk. Below are Essential Info and photos:
- Remains of a Roman Milecastle.
- Highly Recommended: beautiful and a good photo opportunity with the Milecastle wall.
- Admission Fee: Free
- Opening Times: Always open. It is recommend that you visit in daylight. There is no street lighting and there are stairs that would be hazardous after dark.
- Car Parking: Free on a dirt track.
- Not suitable for wheelchair users due to stairs and no ramp access.
7. Walltown Quarry
Walltown Quarry is a place of natural beauty. It does take you into Northumberland, meaning that any parking tickets you bought in Cumbria aren’t valid. It has a large natural duck pond, plenty of space to walk in nature (whether you prefer a short or longer walk) and a newly planted peace labyrinth.
The large duck pond is lovely. There’s lots of natural beauty to be admired. The peace labyrinth has been newly planted, but once the plants embed the walls will be about waiste height, full of colourful flowers and be reflective and peaceful. Below are Essential Info and photos:
- Walltown Quarry is a former quarry and now a place of natural beauty. It has a large natural duck pond, plenty of space to walk in nature and a newly planted peace labyrinth.
- Highly Recommended: a place of natural beauty.
- Admission Fee: Free
- Opening Times: Shop open 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday. Unsure of Sunday opening hours.
- Car Parking: £4 for all day.
- Facilities: Toilets. Reasonably priced gift shop that sells reasonably priced coffee and provides tourist information.
- Caution: Stick to well worn paths. There are reeds covering some of the surrounding wetlands, which could be hazardous or even life threatening.
8. Vindoland Roman Fort & Museum
Vindoland Roman Fort & Museum is just passed the Roman Army Museum. We had originally decided not to visit Vindoland Roman Fort & Museum due to the admission price of £6.75 per person. We were looking for Sycamore Gap and decided to go into the reception of Vindoland for directions to Sycamore Gap. The reception staff were helpful and informed us of where we could find Sycamore Gap, showing us a map and informing us that it is a 45 minute walk from Vindoland.
Simon suggested that as it was four thirty in the afternoon that we should pop into Vindoland Roman Fort & Museum instead of walking to Sycamore Gap. I was reluctant at first, especially after our disappointing experience at Birdoswald Roman Fort & Museum. We decided to go for it and it was anything but disappointing.
Vindoland Roman Fort & Museum is a ginormous fort ruins with a surrounding town. It is well worth every penny of the admission price. There is free parking. To see and absorb everything at Vindoland will take you at least half a day. They are still excavating at Vindoland, so if you visit in another few years there’ll be even more to see.
Due to time of our arrival, we didn’t have time to see everything. So set at least half a day a side for Vindoland alone. We intend to go back next year, spend the morning in Vindoland and then the afternoon on the road continuing to follow Hadrian’s Wall and stopping at places of interest. Below are Essential Info and photos:
- Remains of a Roman Fort, Town and has a museum, cafe and gift shop.
- Highly Recommended: It will take you at least half a day to see everything.
- Things to do there: Walk the streets that the Romans did. Marvel at Roman architecture and planning including: sewage and drainage network (without the sewage thankfully) and under-floor heating. See both a wooden and stone turret recreation, visit the museum, listen to archaeology talks, have coffee in the cafe and checkout the gift shop.
- Admission Fees: View here.
- Opening Times: View here.
- Car Parking: Free parking with a large carpark.
- Has toilets, cafe and gift shop.
We had a lovely day exploring Hadrian’s Wall. We will be going back, probably about this time next year to do Vindoland Roman Fort & Museum properly, to hopefully visit Sycamore Gap and explore more new places of interest in the Northumberland side of Hadrian’s Wall.