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Hadrian's Wall

Hello all,

I'm looking for some advice on a day trip to Hadrian's Wall. I'm super excited about it (i'm a huge history buff). However, all of the day tours I see seem to go to different parts of the wall. I've narrowed it down to two possibilities:

One visits the Homesteads Roman fort (with some other stops along the way that aren't connected to the wall), and the other visits Birdoswald and Vindolanda.

Thoughts on what would be the better wall experience?

Posted by
187 posts

I think you mean Housesteads? ;-)

I have visited Housesteads and Vindolanda but not Birdoswald and did so independently so cannot really comment upon the day tour aspects.

However I much preferred Vindolanda over Housesteads simply because for me there was so much more to see. The museum has many more artifacts and on my second visit there about four years after the first they even had some of the Vindolanda tablets (letters) on display, although not the famous birthday letter to Sulpicia Lepidina from Claudia Severa, which is on display along with others at the British Museum in London. For me that was the deal maker. Those letters are fascinating. The tale of the water pipe was very amusing too.

Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum nearby are run by the Vindolanda Trust and one ticket gained admission to both sites. Does the day tour allow you time to visit both?

I remember Housesteads as being quite a walk uphill to reach from the visitors centre, whereas at Vindolanda was much more easy on the legs. Also at certain times of the year you will see archaeologists and volunteers at Vindolanda which they are continuing to excavate and discovering new artifacts all the time. I don't know if anything similar is happening at Housesteads.

Posted by
5536 posts

Here is the best advice you are going to get: Hire Peter Carney to be your guide for day. My sister and I did this and we learned so much. You get personalized service and he will drive you around to the different locations and teach you about them. Here is his website. You won't go wrong with Peter.

PS you might consider posting this in the England forum instead of Scotland.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for the help all! I'm taking the tour from Edinburgh which is why I posted here. I really appreciate the feedback and help though.

Posted by
269 posts

We did a day tour of Hadrian’s wall from Edinburgh. We used heart of Scotland tours in their “wee red bus”. We recommend thar company.