Updated: Jan 20, 2021
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
Ready for a rare glimpse to the past? Over 2000 years to be exact!
Take a look around at this historical defensive “wall” built by about 15,000 men during the Roman Empire. Construction of the wall began around 122AD and took about 6 years to complete.
Hadrian's Wall, solely in England, stretches 73 miles coast to coast.
You are only seeing about 10% of the wall. Most of the stones have either been taken, buried, or destroyed over the centuries.
Look out at the horizon, if there is no rain in sight, you could see for miles. This was a great advantage to the Roman soldiers to keep out the Scottish Pict tribes, who at the time, were not under Roman England rule.
Now, glance at the grass under your feet and imagine the armies that trampled this ground centuries ago.
When visiting, some things to keep in mind:
The jaunt is pretty low key. It's an easy walk on pebbled lanes and up the grassy hill, so no need for stopping to rest and gulp air. Make sure to wear shoes with sturdy soles. Some areas are slippery up towards the wall.
Bring a picnic and let the kids run.
Share the space with the sheep. Don’t worry, they don’t seem to bother anyone. They are just grazing and enjoying the fresh air.
*While you are exploring, leave the metal detectors at home. They are illegal. You don’t want to get in trouble on your relaxing vacation.
Fun facts: Inspirations from the Wall:
Sir Walter Scott wrote a poem in 1813, To a Lady- with flowers from a Roman Wall’, and George R. R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones (the ‘Song of Ice and Fire series’) was inspired when he visited the wall in 1981.
“I was in England visiting a friend, and as we approached the border of England and Scotland, we stopped to see Hadrian’s Wall. I stood up there and I tried to imagine what it was like to be a Roman legionary, standing on this wall, looking at these distant hills.
“It was a very profound feeling. For the Romans at that time, this was the end of civilization; it was the end of the world. We know that there were Scots beyond the hills, but they didn’t know that.
“It could have been any kind of monster. It was the sense of this barrier against dark forces – it planted something in me. But when you write fantasy, everything is bigger and more colourful, so I took the Wall and made it three times as long and 700 feet high, and made it out of ice.”
~George R. R. Martin
If you get a chance, get inspired. What memories will you take with you?
Have you been to Hadrian’s Wall? What did you learn? Comment and share below.