Unable to get away this year for an Easter break and looking for activities to do with the family? Look no further. Why not head for the National Trail of Hadrian’s Wall? Visitors travel from all over the world to see and walk the massive wall, begun by Roman Emperor Hadrian in 122AD. On completion five years later, it formed the north-west frontier of the imposing 5000km stretch of the Roman Empire.
It takes about a week to walk the 135-kilometre length of the Trail and you’ll walk through the spectacular countryside of Northumberland and Cumbria. But if you don’t have that much time, and the kids don’t have the inclination, never fear: you can quite happily cheat! Look out for the special bus service, aptly numbered ‘AD122’, which runs the length of the wall and is a life saver for tired legs, both long and short!
We suggest starting at the Segedunum Roman Museum at the eastern end of the wall (arguably the most interesting part) on the outskirts of Newcastle. As you exit the Metro, signs in Latin, such as ‘Noli Fumare’ will get the kids in the mood.
Must stop places include Chesters Roman Museum, Housesteads Fort and the star of this magnificent Roman engineering feat, carried out by 15.000 Roman soldiers, the Vindolanda archaeological site and fort at Chesterholm. Excavated fragments of writing tablets give a perfect insight into the life of the soldiers over 2000 years ago, and include a birthday invitation and a complaint about the shortage of beer!
Visit the following websites for further details. www.hadrians-wall.org www.twmuseums.org.uk/segedunum www.vindolanda.com www.nationaltrail.co.uk/hadrianswall/