Hadrian’s Wall is a famous Roman Fortification in Northern England and I got to visit it on my Contiki tour. Most of it is in ruins, there is the outline of the walls of the fort, but few actual walls. So, you can see how it was laid out.
One thing that was not in the brochure was that Hadrian’s Wall is at the top of a hill, it makes sense, but isn’t necessarily expected. It’s a big hill too, and I got some great pictures of sheep walking up the hill (I was walking they were grazing). Once at the top of the hill you have to purchase tickets for 4.50 pound, which considering we only had about 20 minutes to explore the actual fort I thought was a bit pricey. Once I went in and started to explore the winds really picked up. I was reminded of one of the things I hate about skiing – the cold wind makes my ears hurt. I explored the grounds a bit but didn’t stay too long as my ears simply hurt too much.
The fort is much larger then I thought it would be and it’s a fort. Hearing it called Hadrian’s Wall I expected it to be more of just a wall then a fort. Perhaps I should have researched it a bit before I went. But the site was well cared for and had many postings telling you which area of the fort you were looking at. While you can see the wall from where the road is, you will only see the wall, you will not see the remains of what the fort looked like and how it was set up. They do seem to offer tours, or at least someone does, if you’re really into roman history I think that would be better then just walking around the fort, which I think is fine for the casual visitor.
Hadrian’s Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the type of attraction that might be on peoples bucket lists. While it was not one my favorite things I’ve seen (I have been to the pyramids, my standards are high), I’m glad that I went. Even when I saw people from my tour relaxing and having hot chocolates at the bottom of the hill I felt like they had missed something, not that I had wasted my time.
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