Hadrians wall

I'll be going to Hadrians wall this summer. I will not have a car. How are the Roman Army Museum, Housestead and Vindalona? How long would you recommend per site? If you could go to only two, which ones would it be? Is it possible to walk between housestead and Vindalona, route, time?

Posted by Pamela
New York City, NY, USA
4421 posts

Hi Rebecca, I visited Housestead and Chester and enjoyed both. Didn't see the other two sites. But, have you checked out this website? You should be able to see what the walking possibilities are. I did very short walk along the wall. Ed may post. Or try googling Hadrians wall and the Helpline to find his earlier posts about walking Hadrian's wall. Pam

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

I've never heard of Vindalona, so not much help. I've walked the whole thing more than once - - there were places where I was holding a four per pace and places I was huffing to do two miles in an hour. There's a gradient chart on the National Trail website that might help. An hour is enough to wander the Housesteads fort. I've no knowledge of the other two.

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
953 posts

I expect its Vindolanda you mean. Yes you can walk between the two - it is a section in one of the national trails' walks - if the link below doesn't work, search for "Once Brewed, Vindolanda and Housesteads" walk. The whole walk is 8 miles, but you obviously only have to do the bit you are interested in (and to/from the bus stops, of course!). Note that it is described as "exhilarating", which is code for "strenuous", although the section you want to do is the flatter bit. Bus stops are shown on the map. www.nationaltrail.co.uk/HadriansWall/uploads/OnceBrewed05.pdf Vindolanda and Housesteads are both ruined forts (with museums), with the emphasis on the ruins and archeology; the Roman Army Museum is a more general look at the Romans with excavation finds, tourist-freindly recreations/mock-ups (such as a 3D film), and similar displays. So if you can only do two - for variety - I'd suggest either one of the forts plus the museum.

Posted by Dick
Olympia, WA, USA
1398 posts

You may have seen the website describing the bus that runs along Hadrian's Wall: http://www.visithadrianswall.co.uk/hadrians-wall-country/getting-around/hadrians-wall-country-bus. We used it to visit Housesteads and Vindolanda, both of which we liked a lot. I haven't been to the Roman Army Museum, so this isn't much help to you in choosing two of the three. But consider that there is a museum at Vindolanda also, with some fascinating exhibits from the archeological site there. It was not a fort but a town some distance behind the wall, full of Roman civilians as well as soldiers. You won't see the wall from there but you'll see town ruins and the museum. I'd give it at least an hour, preferably two (there's a little cafe), and Housesteads about an hour unless you want to add some wall-side walking which would be easy to do.