Travel Journal

Hadrian's Wall

(Tuesday 17 August 2010) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 6 – Tuesday August 10, 2010 Hadrian’s Wall
Checked out and hopped on the 8:30 train and arrived at Hexham. A nice little village with friendly folks. We had some time before the bus so we did a little walking admiring the buildings and visiting a local open market.
We boarded the bus and had a guide giving commentary, however, we were only on the bus for a short time before hopping off at Chester’s Roman Fort. Looked to be a privately run attraction with rather stately mansions surrounding the property. Perhaps a hundred meters square and this was an example of a fort set every mile along the wall. Romans followed a set design for most of their forts so I imagine it was easy to determine what was what as when the fort was abandoned, it was not used for anything else and went to ruin. There also was a museum on the grounds which had an extensive collection of stone markers and other artifacts from the site and surround area.
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Back on the next bus to Homesteads Roman Fort which was much larger than Chester. The ruins were off the road about 300 meters on top of a hill through sheep pastures. The fort was later used by the Saxons I believe after the Romans abandoned it so it did not follow the normal layout as the compound had been modified. There were intact sections of the wall here and it was much larger than what I had pictured in my mind. About 5 meters wide and at least 8 meters high I recon. After touring, Julie got some picture of the baa-baa-baas and we boarded the bus just as the weather changed and it started to rain heavily.
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Because there was limited bus service we could only make one more stop before catching the last bus that went all the way to Carlisle in time for our 6PM train to Chester and we were rather hungry so we decided to get off at Haltwistle a village on the route. We picked up some food from the local store and eat them. We ran into a pub when the rain caught up with us and waited until the bus was due before walking in the rain back to the stop.
Unfortunately the bus ended up over a half hour late and we climbed onboard rather wet. There had been an accident in Haxham which had delayed the bus and now we quite possibly would be late arriving back in Carlisle for our train. The bus did have a guide on it as well who gave some interesting facts on the region while Julie napped. We did pick up a little of the lost time on the ride in but arrived only twenty minutes before the train arrived. We ran back to the hotel to collect our backpacks and rushed back to the station to catch the train in time.
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It was about a 2 hour trip to Chester and once there, the trusty Garmin guided us to the Dene Hotel. While it is often fun to try and figure out how to get to your hotel, when it is late and you’re wet and tired, the Garmin is very useful! While I still count on my keen tracking skills, the GPS unit does come in handy when you’re in a rush.
The hotel is a bit run down – I suppose you could say it has character. From our window you can see men playing bachie ball on the lawn in the park next door. We went next door where they were having a two dinners for 9.99 special and we ate everything. No need to set the alarm as we could sleep in the next day.

  • Keen Tracking Skills? by The Elder


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