Going Green. (Northumberland) August 1st.
An extra walk for me having been invited by John Lockey to join the Gosforth Green walkers for a day on Hadrian's Wall. How could I resist, always enjoy the wall walks. A group of ten, mixed but mostly mature, we met at the car park at Housesteads, probably the most popular place to visit on the wall as it has a shop, a museum and a fort.
Reached by going west on the A69 turning north just beyond Hexham and going through Acomb and Wall to Chollerford. Continue for some miles on the B6138 (Military Road) to the car park on the right at Housesteads. Run by the National Trust the car park relies on number plate recognition to charge visitors. Pay as you leave, more about that later.
The map for the walk is OS OL 43 Hadrian's Wall but is not essential.
Car park at Housesteads, with shop that sells serious books, fun books, plastic swords and ice cream.
We started the walk from the car park, going between the shop and the toilets, past the slide and on to the gravelled path that climbs uphill to the museum, the fort and the wall itself. Not having a ticket for either we passed the museum and the fort entrance to a gate that took us to the Hadrian's Wall Path which at this point is also part of the Pennine Journey, a long distance walk not to be confused with the famous Pennine Way. We headed east alongside the fort which the Romans called Vercovicium.
Vercovicium, occidenta porta as you knew.
The footpath crosses the wall itself as the route climbs up and down, carefully designed to keep those legionnaires fit and healthy. It passes one milecastle and several turrets before reaching Sewingshields.