Arts and Literature
Countryside and Nature
New Fiction and Bestselling Fiction
New UK Titles
Pre - Publication Orders
Top Children's UK
Top Biography and History UK
Top Non Fiction UK
View All Titles
Hadrian's Wall, The Borders and Howgills
Hadrian's Wall Path
Hadrian's Wall Path
Hadrian's Wall Path is the National Trail of some 84 miles (135 km) linking Wallsend, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with Bowness-on-Solway on England's west coast.
The Path shadows, for its greater part, the historic line of Hadrian's Wall; it lies within a landscape of dramatic contrasts, starting amid bustling, redeveloped Newcastle and finishing on the lonely shores of the Solway Firth. This is the complete, official guide for the long-distance walker or the weekend stroller. National Trail Guides are the official guidebooks to the fifteen National Trails in England and Wales and are published in association with Natural England, the official body charged with developing and maintaining the Trails.
May 2010 revised edition
130mm x 210mm paperback
Colour photographs & maps
On May 23rd 2003, the Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail was opened. The eighty-four mile walk is both a journey through some of the most varied and beautiful scenery in Britain and a journey through two thousand years of history.
The Wall is one of the great military works of all time. It was a colossal undertaking. The original concept was for a structure three metres wide and five metres high with turrets, milecastles and forts. It was to be built largely of stone with the western section being built from turf. The accompanying military works would include a military road and a vast trench or vallum.
The Wall served to control the natives on the north-western corner of the all powerful Roman Empire. In times of trouble it was an insurmountable defence, in times of peace it regulated trade.
In the two millennia since its construction it has slowly decayed and the landscape has re-asserted itself so that the line of the Wall seems as natural as the Whinsill itself.
But the Wall continued to sustain the people of this troubled region. Its stones provided the fortifications for pele towers and bastles such as the fine old farmhouse at Drumbrugh. Burgh church tower, a refuge from the marauding Scots, is built out of the Roman Wall as is much of the Priory at Lanercost.
Where the Wall remains, much of it has been repaired or rebuilt. General Wade's military road was as responsible for its destruction as the local farmers needing well cut sandstone for their houses. It was men like John Clayton of Newcastle, who bought up the land around the central sections of the Wall in the nineteenth century, and saved it for posterity.
Anthony Burton's guide to the Path is the perfectly designed companion to the ambitious walker who sets out from Wallsend. The journey is supported by detailed maps and meticulous instructions about the route. There are some fine and evocative photographs by Graeme Peacock. And there is sound advice on the project being undertaken and the need for a proper respect for the countryside and the proud and antique structure along which you might be treading.
But Anthony Burton is also an enthusiastic and knowledgeable friend who takes equal pleasure in the mighty industrial history of Newcastle and the call of the curlew on the shores of the Solway at Bowness.
As he passes through Carlisle, he has time to note the turret and tower building passions of George Head Head of Rickerby House and observe the motto 'Study Quiet' above the porticoed gatehouse in Rickerby Park. But he also remarks that 'there is a pleasant stroll around the edge of a golf course, but sadly, being so close to 'civilisation', it is spattered with litter.'
He began at Wallsend because he wanted to finish on a high note. The Solway he finds a place of eerie beauty untroubled by time. At Bowness, where the ramparts have long been eroded away he finds 'a spot full of atmosphere, with the broad waters stretching away into the distance and Scotland in view on the far bank. It is still possible to recognize that, this was once a wild frontier and not just any frontier, but the most northerly of the whole Roman Empire.'
The journey from Wallsend can take two hours in a car. The walk can take two weeks or two months if you dally by the way. And you should dally by the way. There are two thousand years of history to absorb. At each step it is possible to see how the life of the past has been written on the landscape. The Wall itself with its long history is just part of the story. - Steve Matthews, Bookcase.
DVDs & CDs