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A few days around Hadrian's Wall

23rd - 26th March 2019

Route. 23rd. The Sill - Vindolanda - Chainley Burn - Thorngrafton Common - Vindolanda - The Sill (about 6.5 miles  1200ft of ascent )

Route. 24th. The Sill - Steel Rigg - Sycamore Gap - Highsheild Crags - Hotbank - Housesteads - return same way (about 6 miles  1000ft of ascent )

Route. 25th. The Sill - Sycamore Gap - Winsheild Crags - Caw Gap - Cawfield Quarry - Vallum - Winsheilds Crags - The Sill (about 7.5 miles  1250ft of ascent

Route. 26th. Housesteads - Kennel Crags - King's Wicket - Sewingsheild Crags - return same way (about 3 miles  500ft of ascent )


A change of location this week as we spent a few days at the Sill YH at Twice Brewed which is very handy for exploring Hadrian's wall.


Arriving on Saturday afternoon we cobbled together a walk which would take us away from the wall as we wanted to save the wall for our full days. This is the Sill which is a modern youth hostel and is part of a visitor centre..


Of course we knew about the famous Sycamore tree but were expecting to see it later in our stay but as we walked down the road to the roman fort of Vindolanda we looked to our left and there it was.


We were heading eventually for Thorngrafton Common, the high ground in the distance.


Passing a Roman milestone near Vindolanda.


We took the public footpath down past the museum at Vindolanda.


The path pleasantly winds down the valley of Chainley Burn..


After reaching the end of the valley we walked back on a higher path on the other side from which we got a good view of Vindolanda.

On the climb to the trig point on Thorngrafton Common. The river in the valley is the South Tyne and the hills above are Plenmeller Common.


 Far away in the distance are Cross Fell and the Dun fells.

 The large Lime Kiln found at the base of Thorngrafton Common.  

This is the course of Stangate Roman road.

A walk east along the wall was our choice for today and It's only a short walk from the hostel to Steel Rigg where we joined the wall.

Crag Lough seen beyond Peel Crags.

It's not very far to the famous ( and one of the most photographed ) sycamore tree.

It was a quite cold today with a very brisk cool wind which you can see blowing down the Lough.

Climbing the hill past Hotbank farm.

Eventually we reach Housteads, one of the best preserved Roman forts in the country.

Monday was a much nicer day and today we chose to walk west along the wall but first we went back to Sycamore Gap as yesterday as well as being dull there where lots of people sat under and around the tree. 

Heading west now climbing up to Winshield Crags.

Looking north to Greenlee Lough.

Looking back to Caw Gap.

And another view back from further along the path. I found the walking to be very pleasant underfoot and obviously navigation is pretty straightforward. ;-)

Approaching Cawfield Quarry..

The quarry is now a lake which today held hundreds of frogs. The Sill across the water was quarried away ( along with the wall ) in the second world war when presumably needs must.

We varied our return route slightly by walking along the Vallum which is a huge ditch that runs parallel to the south side of the wall in places and was thought to be an extra defence and also marked a "no go" area for civilians and others who had no reason to be near the wall..

From the Vallum we headed back over Winsheild Crags.

Before we headed home on Tuesday we had a short walk east from Housteads fort. The hill in the distance is Sewingsheilds Crags and is the furthest we are going today.

Looking west over Broomlee Lough.

One of the Roman milecastles.

Cross fell seems to have gained a little snow on it's north side.

On our way back now.

 Housesteads fort


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