Built in the early second century as a barrier between Roman England and the uncontrollable ‘barbarians’ to the north, Hadrian’s Wall crosses the neck of Britain from east coast to west coast and is undoubtedly Britain’s most impressive Roman site.
The wall itself is dotted with ‘milecastles’, gateways protected by small forts, and observation turrets. Several larger forts, which were used to house the soldiers posted to the far north, also straddle the wall.
The most well preserved sections are within the county of Northumberland and the remains of several forts can be visited, including the stunningly situated Housesteads Roman Fort and Vindolanda, where visitors can watch the continuing excavations.
The countryside around the wall is perfect for walking and cycling. There are popular long distance walking and cycling routes that run the length of the wall, sections of which can easily be incorporated into shorter day walks or rides.
Image © VisitBritain / Rod Edwards