Today was a beautiful, sunny one in Northumberland and a perfect opportunity to walk Hadrian's Wall from Housteads to Hole Gap. This is 12 km of the most dramatic borderland scenery where the famous wall crosses the spine of England.
Superbly preserved Roman forts, milecastles and turrets are littered along the wall at this point – so much to look at in such a short distance. It’s easy to stare north towards Scotland and imagine the 'wild', unconquered tribes lying in wait for the occasional Roman attack.
But the interest is not just historic. This is a classic walk that joins east and west coasts, traversing the Pennines and reaching its high point during this section. The wall is built along the ridge of a volcanic sill and so has a cliff beneath it which at times reaches over 100 ft.
More recently, the 1991 film of Robin Hood featured Kevin Costner at the iconic Sycamore Gap, today a little bare of leaves but still great place for lunch. (Photo below)
Recce walks like this are a perk of the job! We enjoy keeping up to date, not just with the state of the paths, but with other important research such as where the best cafes and loos are!
‘Housteads to Hole Gap’ forms day 4 of our Best of Hadrian’s Wall walking holiday.