Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day 14 of Hadrian's Wall Walk

Happy Halloween!

Today was Day 14 our our coast-to-coast walk.
The weather report for today predicted clouds in Newcastle and rain in Carlisle.
We decided to take a risk and walk, even though at this point in the journey we're closer to Carlisle than Newcastle.

We were only rained on briefly, and fortunately were armed with two umbrellas, so weather-wise it turned out just fine. I found myself singing several times during the course of the day, so I think that means I enjoyed myself.

Just to shake things up a bit I'll start at the end.

The last thing we saw was Lanercost Priory. A portion of the priory, built in the 12th century, has been restored and is currently a working church. The rest has fallen into ruins.
Complete with tombs.
And, oddly enough, the disrepair hasn't stopped two burials, with two "recent" tombs, one dating from the Victorian age.

At first we thought this was just a random little gate as there was no signage near it. After a few minutes of walking though we saw a sign on the other side of this wall and realized we should have gone through it to continue on the path. Still no explanation why it's so small. I think we ended up deciding it was made by the English gnomes.

A furry cute cow.
Rain cloud!

This is the start of our trip, at the Birdoswald fort which we saw last time. This is the site of an old orchard which they are in the process of reviving. It was one of our shorter walking days, with the trip being only 4.3 miles and just under 4 hours. But, if there is a next time we will probably make up for it as Carlisle is only 12 miles away!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Somewhere over the ...


No walking today because of the rain, but an excellent rainbow paid a visit.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

More laying down, less walking

No hadrian's wall walk today. Jessamy's getting over a cold, and I'm not doing so great either.

But until next week, here's a short video I took last week that didn't make it into post (it's also my first YouTube upload!).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day 13 of Hadrians Wall Walk

Yup, it's that time again! Yesterday was Day 13 of Hadrian's Wall Walk.

This time, we walked from Roman Army Museum to the Birdoswald Roman Fort which was 4.5 miles.

We took the train this time, as the journey is now taking over two hours on bus.

The weather report said it would be dry today, but we had our doubts when we arrived at the Roman Army Museum.

Our first site-seeing stop was Thirwall Castle. Built in the 14th century out of stone from Hadrian's wall by the rich family (this was a very dangerous area back then, and rich families built strong holds such as this) of Thirwall, it was later abandoned in the 17th century.

A (miniature?) horse.

An oven in Milecastle 48:
One of the best preserved staircases along the wall. Archealogists beleive that the stairway once reached 15 feet high.

The remains of three bridges. One was originally built at the same time of Hadrian's wall, but had collapsed less than 60 years later. The Romans rebuilt it. I'm guessing it had collapsed yet again as it was later rebuilt for a third time.I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture above, but since Roman times the river has moved! It's now running just past those green trees on the left.

This is J at Birdoswald, standing behind a Roman gateway.

If you look closely you might be able to tell that in the picture above some of the ground appears to be slightly raised. That's actually the outline of the yet-to-be-excavated headquarters of the Biroswald fort. And yes, there are sheep grazing around on this fort!

As part of the admission to the fort we could also see some excavation in progress.
Sadly the fort closed at 4 pm so we sat at a park bench and rested our feet until 5, then got on the bus to the Haltwistle Rail Station, and from there home.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Day 12 of Hadrian's Wall Walk

Yesterday we walked from Milecastle Inn, where we intended to start during our last failed attempt to walk, to the Roman Army Museum.

The weather report predicted light showers at 10:00am, and seeing as we're running out of time to complete the walk we thought, armed with our new wellies, we could cope with a little rain and wind.

Well, turned out to be not the greatest of decisions. We didn't actually start our walk until noon because, while we were riding on the bus, it started raining and the wind started to shake the bus (I made sure to put on my seatbelts). We ended up disembarking at Hexham and stayed in the tourist information centre until the weather cleared, then we walked to a local coffee shop (I think we took spot of one of the elderly regulars) to collect our thoughts. Soon the sun came out, the rain and wind stopped, and we took the next bus back out to hadrian's wall country.

On the way there we saw this:

Yup, that's a rain cloud.

But we decided to brave it anyway.

It was cold, and windy, and even the sheep decided to take it easy that day.

The wind was really strong, and at first I was highly amused, until of course we had to walk down a hill, in the wind. And by the second time we were hailed upon and the wind was strong enough where I was nearly knocked over I was rethinking the wiseness of our decision.

Finnally though, three miles away from where we started, the sun came out and the wind died (mostly) down.

Here I am, with my wind-swept hair trying to hold up Hadrian's wall near Walltown Crags.

I think this might be the highest part of the wall that we've seen.

We took shelter at Walltown Quarry, and then took the bus to Once Brewed visitor centre where we had a hot beverage and waited for the bus that would take us home.