A couple of Mondays ago, I was in Northumberland, heading up to Scotland along the scenic A68. Based on our map, we knew that we would go right past Hadrian’s Wall. This was not to be missed. So, when the signage told us “Hadrian’s Wall 1/2 m” (that “m” is for “mile” not “metre”), we took that turning on the roundabout and left the A68.
1/2 mile down the B6318, we hadn’t really found Hadrian’s Wall, although I was pretty sure that what looked like a manmade ditch (the vallum) to the north of the road was part of its remains. We stopped at Heavenfield Battlefield of AD 635, observed no remains, and continued along.
Shortly after Heavenfield, I peered over the drystone wall and saw a sign that said, “Hadrian’s Wall,” and a short section of … wall. “There it is!” I said.
For some reason, we continued to the next roundabout — it did have signs pointing us to Chesters Roman fort. But that was a lot further away than what I’d seen. As we circled around and came off the roundabout the direction we’d come, there was a sign telling us that the Wall was 3/4 mile away.
This brought us back to where I thought I’d seen the Wall, where we pulled off the narrow road into a private laneway with gates across it. I couldn’t see into the field across the road due to the wall in the way, but a hiker assured me that there was a bit of the Wall in that field.
I got everyone out of the car, and we climbed the wall on a “stile”, a series of steps on either side designed for walkers. And there was Hadrian’s Wall. Just sitting there. In the middle of a field.
The bit of wall was not overly long. Nor was it overly tall. The Wall made for good building material, so much of it is now gone. But still — Hadrian’s Wall!!! We proceeded to climb all over it and take photos: