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Hadrian's Wall, The Borders and Howgills
Walking Hadrian's Wall 3rd Revised edition
Walking Hadrian's Wall 3rd Revised edition
Guidebook and integral map booklet to walking the 84-mile Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail along the Roman Wall from Bowness-on-Solway to Wallsend, Newcastle.
The trail typically takes a week to walk, and is suitable for beginners as well as walkers with greater experience. The route is described in both directions, and the guidebook also features extensions to Maryport on Cumbria's far west coast and South Shields in the east. Clear step-by-step route descriptions are illustrated by 1:100,000 OS map extracts. The guidebook comes with a convenient map booklet of 1:25,000 scale OS maps showing the full route. The route description links together with the map booklet at each stage along the way, and the compact format is conveniently sized for slipping into a jacket pocket or the top of a rucksack. (Note: the map booklet can also be purchased separately.) A wealth of information on the history of the Wall is included, as well as a wide range of practical information for walkers, from accommodation and itinerary planning, to details on public transport and refreshments.
Contents Map key Overview map Introduction Hadrian's Wall: inspired and inspiring From national border to National Trail Preserving the heritage Taking care of the Trail Tackling a coast-to-coast walk Start and finish points Accommodation Choosing an itinerary Day-walking the Trail When to go Be prepared Maps Using this guide All about the Wall Building the Wall Divide and rule Pilfering and preservation The Wall today Hadrian's Coast Maryport to Bowness-on-Solway Hadrian's Wall Path Section 1 Bowness-on-Solway to Burgh-by-Sands Section 2 Burgh-by-Sands to Carlisle Section 3 Carlisle to Newtown Section 4 Newtown to Birdoswald Section 5 Birdoswald to Steel Rigg Section 6 Steel Rigg to Brocolitia Section 7 Brocolitia to Portgate Section 8 Portgate to Heddon-on-the-Wall Section 9 Heddon-on-the-Wall to Newcastle Quayside Section 10 Newcastle Quayside to South Shields Appendix A Route summary table Appendix B Stamping stations Appendix C Accommodation section-by-section Appendix D Walking links to the Path from nearby railway stations Appendix E Bus and taxi services Appendix F Useful contacts Appendix G Further reading
paperback with outdoor cover
colour maps and photographs throughout
Book review by Steve Matthews of Bookends.
Walking Hadrian's Wall Path by Mark Richards. Cicerone. £14.95
Mark Richards promises that it is easily walked within a week and that the path alongside Hadrian's Wall is suitable as a first long-distance walk. The challenge is there, to start at Bowness on Solway and walk those 84 miles directly across the country until you arrive at Wallsend. In so doing you are marching through the history of England.
The real enthusiast will begin at Maryport. The Romans called it Aluana and the little museum in the old coastguard station on the cliff contains a "peerless" collection of Roman altars. The coastal path north takes in Allonby and Mawbray. At Beckfoot, "at low-tide you will see extensive areas of rock - with names like Matta, Popple, Metastones and Ship's Keel".
Mark Richards is keen for the walker to explore around the route. Starting at Bowness - the name means "curved promontory" - you might visit St Michael's Church and note how the stones from the Wall came to be built into the fabric of the church.
The mile from Bowness Marsh to Port Carlisle is "a happy mix of stops and starts". He promises occasional glimpses of basking sharks and harbour porpoises in the Solway, but you are more likely to spot herons, oystercatchers, redshanks and curlews.
At Hesket House you can spot a fragment of an altar stone above the door lintel. Hesket House was once the Steam Packet Inn where President Woodrow Wilson's parents stayed before emigrating to America.
Drumburgh Castle is "a farm-house with panache". "Above the door are the decaying stone coats of arms of the Dacre family."
On the bridge to Longburgh we're told to "take a look - the lower portion of the stone walling is curved with signs of rope wear . . . a legacy of its life as a canal."
At Cross Farm in Burgh you can glimpse the cruck-built clay-dabbin barn. Stopping at the church is "obligatory". "What you see is a 'living reincarnation' of the Wall." On the east wall of the chancel is the carved head of a Roman pagan god.
At Beaumont - pronounced Bee-mont - "the late 12th century church is built from the masonry of the Norman castle - itself, in its turn, entirely borrowed from the Roman wall incorporating the signal station."
History is not just the distant past. "After Knockupworth Gill a profusion of power pylons cast their shadow over the Trail." The Waverley Viaduct, built in 1861, is now history. Carlisle, itself, "stands on a battle-line. It has faced the slings and arrows of a long and turbulent relationship with the land we now know as Scotland." In the castle "doubtless the chill of the dungeons will linger longest. It was here, in the rout after the Jacobite Rebellion, that the followers of Bonnie Prince Charlie were shackled before being hanged."
At Carlisle, we've barely begun, just drawing breath as we prepare for a further seventy miles across the dramatic Pennines, viewing a Wall that is one of the greatest legacies of Roman times, but also seeing, through Mark's good-humoured direction, much of the incomparable history of the Borderlands.
This superbly-produced guide gives a thorough account of the Wall itself and its history. It comes with a detailed map of the whole route and is well illustrated throughout.
What makes it the ideal companion is the way it wears its knowledge of the Wall, of the Romans, of local history and wild-life so lightly. Like walking the Wall itself, you are steeped in History.
And after you've completed those 84 miles so easily in under a week, you can sit back a better and a wiser man.
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