Things to see & do

Hadrian's Wall

 © Joe Cornish

Hadrian's Wall was originally planned to be 76 Roman miles long (about 111 km) from Newcastle to Bowness-on-Solway to the north of Stanegate. It was later extended to 80 Roman miles (120 km) to Wallsend.

Built in sections, not from one end to the other, it was later decided that the wall would have forts included.

Housesteads Fort

A Roman Fort, looking towards Sewingshields Crags © Paul Wakefield

A Roman Fort, looking towards Sewingshields Crags

The Fort was built on a steep, windswept slope. The main source of water was a small stream, the Knag burn, running down a valley a hundred metres east of the Fort. The barrack blocks are arranged lengthways along the slope.

There are numerous areas to see at the Fort and why not head to English Heritage's Visitor Centre to see the museum and their events.

Milecastle 37

A milecastle and Hadrian's Wall © Paul Wakefield

A milecastle and Hadrian's Wall

Placed astride a narrow nick in the ridge top which allowed some access to the north, Milecastle 37 is now in part obscured by the 19th-century excavation spoil heaps.

The Milecastles were the earliest phase of building the Wall, acting as 'rest stops' for soldiers and travellers.

Sycamore Gap

Walk along the wall to the famous Sycamore Gap, seen in Robin Hood (1991) © Ken, Taking the Pic

Walk along the wall to the famous Sycamore Gap, seen in Robin Hood (1991)

Sycamore Gap, famous for its scene-stealing moment in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner, is a beautiful area of Hadrian's Wall.

The Wall surrounding the gap shows it was repaired with lime mortar and the construction deposits sealed pottery datable to the late second century.

Cawfield Crags

Lush green grass by Hadrian's Wall © NTPL/Joe Cornish

Lush green grass by Hadrian's Wall

Just beyond Milecastle 41, Bogle Hole, then Whin Sill, the remains of another post-medieval farmhouse, and from here Hadrian's Wall stretches along the top of Cawfields Crags for over 1 mile (1.5km), culminating in Milecastle 42, the first one along the wall to be properly excavated by John Clayton in 1852.

Witness the Wall

Get outdoors and try new things by volunteering at Hadrian's Wall © Laura Thompson

Get outdoors and try new things by volunteering at Hadrian's Wall

Obviously we're very passionate about walls... it goes without saying.

So it was great when Mark Newman, the National Trust's archaeologist, uploaded this video of Hadrian's Wall's walling contractors and a working holiday group at Hotbanks. For a little history and a small insight into what we do...

Watch now

What's on?

We always have something going on at Hadrian's Wall, plus our visitor centre has plenty of goodies and our events calendar is packed with activites such as bushcraft skills and various adventures.

Activities

The Roman Wall, taken in 1937

There's hidden gems to be found here, so why not do a little discovering? You can walk alongside the Wall, explore Milecastle 37, head to the infamous Sycamore Gap and discover the Crags.

Don't miss...

  • Our guided walks alongside the Wall
  • Experiencing what life was like at the Roman Fort
  • Spotting otters and deers
  • Seeing where part of 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves' was filmed
  • Trying geocaching - the hunt is on for the boxes!
  • Our fantastic range of events

We love bats...

Long eared bat

Long eared bat

We've even got a project called BatLife and work hard to raise awareness for these fabulous creatures. To coincide with BatLife we've got a range of events based on bats taking place throughout the year where you can help us care for them, perhaps by learning how to build bats a wonderful home. Keep checking back to see what's going on.

Did you know?

  • Bats are the only mammals able to fly.
  • A single brown bat can catch around 1,200 mosquito-size insects in one hour.
  • Vampire bats don't suck blood.
  • Bats don't have 'fat days'.
  • Bats use echolocation to get around in the dark.
  • Bats make up a quarter of all mammals.
  • Cold night? Curl up next to a bat! Inside those drafty caves they like so much, bats keep warm by folding their wings around them, trapping air against their bodies for instant insulation.
  • Bats have only one pup a year.
  • Bats wash behind their ears.

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