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Best Place to See Hadrian’s Wall: Housesteads Roman Fort

As one of the most iconic landmarks in Britain, Hadrian’s Wall is a must-see for any history enthusiast. If you are looking for the best place to see Hadrian’s Wall, we have just the place.

This 73-mile-long wall was built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in AD 122 and has since become a symbol of strength and power.

Located in the northern part of England, Hadrian’s Wall stretches from the east to west coast, crossing through rugged landscapes and ancient forts.

While there are many places you can see it, we think the best place to see Hadrian’s Wall is at Housesteads Roman Fort.

Why Housesteads Roman Fort is the Best Place to See Hadrian's Wall

Why Housesteads Roman Fort is the Best Place to See Hadrian’s Wall

Housesteads Roman Fort is an ancient fortification located in Northumberland, England.

It was built around 124 AD by the Romans and was known as “Vercovicium” in Latin, which translates to “place of thickets.”

The construction of Housesteads Roman Fort was part of Emperor Hadrian’s ambitious plan to fortify the entire length of the northern frontier.

Strategically built on the central section of Hadrian’s Wall, it took around 8 years to complete and was one of the largest forts on Hadrian’s Wall, covering an area of five acres.

Housestead Fort Model at Museum

Housesteads Fort Museum

The fort had a typical rectangular layout with rounded corners and was designed to house a garrison of around 800 soldiers.

There is also an on-site museum that displays a diorama of the fort and a collection of artifacts found in the fort and its surrounding areas.

It offers visitors a glimpse into the daily life of Roman soldiers and provides insight into their military strategies, engineering skills, and way of life.

Housesteads Roman Fort

Housesteads Roman Fort is one of the most well-preserved forts along Hadrian’s Wall.

The fort features reconstructed barracks, commandant’s quarters, a hospital building, granaries, and latrines.

Visitors to Housesteads Roman Fort can explore the site on their own or join a guided tour led by knowledgeable guides who share interesting facts and stories about the fort’s history.

Housesteads Roman Ruins Photo

It is situated on the edge of Northumberland National Park, which boasts breathtaking landscapes, rugged moorlands, and abundant wildlife.

The park offers a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and birdwatching.

The fort also hosts various events throughout the year such as reenactments, live demonstrations, and special exhibits, which offer a deeper understanding of the Roman way of life.

Hadrians Wall in Housesteads

Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s Wall was in use for approximately 300 years before it fell into disrepair and was abandoned.

Over the centuries, much of the wall has been dismantled and used as building materials for nearby structures.

However, thanks to the efforts of various organizations and individuals, including English Heritage, Hadrian’s Wall has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This means that it is recognized as having outstanding cultural or natural significance to the common heritage of humanity.

The Housesteads Roman Fort and other sections of Hadrian’s Wall have also undergone extensive restoration and conservation work to ensure their preservation for future generations.

Today, this ancient structure continues to attract visitors from all over the world, providing a window into the fascinating history of Roman Britain.

Overall, Housesteads Roman Fort is the best place to see Hadrian’s Wall. With its fascinating ruins, informative exhibits, and stunning surroundings, it provides a unique and memorable experience for all visitors.

Housesteads Roman Fort Location

You will find it at Haydon Bridge, Hexham, Northumberland, NE47 6NN

Hadrian Wall & Housesteads Roman Fort Parking (SEE MAP)

A day trip to Hadrian’s Wall & Housesteads Roman Fort is free for English Heritage and National Trust members. Parking charges apply.

The car park is managed by Northumberland National Park.

You should wear comfortable walking shoes as you will be hiking uphill and downhill on a trail as well as walking along rocky paths that can be uneven.

Other places to see Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland

While we think the best place to see Hadrian’s Wall is Housesteads, there are other places you can consider going that aren’t too far from there:

  • Chesters Roman Fort & Museum: Chollerford, Northumberland, NE46 4EU
  • Corbridge Roman Town: Corbridge, Northumberland, NE45 5NT
  • Roman Vindolanda Museum: Bardon Mill, Northumberland, NE47 7JN
English Heritage Pass for Overseas Guests

If you are planning to see several historic sites in England, you probably should invest in the English Overseas Heritage Pass.

It is good for up to 9 days (or 16 days) and will get you free access to several historic sites like Housesteads Roman Fort.

Have you had a chance to visit Hadrian’s Wall & Housesteads Roman Fort?

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Thursday 25th of January 2018

Wow, the Housestead looks so tranquil! I love looking at the countryside and outdoors as well- feels so peaceful!


Wednesday 24th of January 2018

Hadrian's Wall sounds pretty fascinating - I came across a sponsored walk where you can walk a large portion of it - I might sign up, your article has sold it to me, the ruins look wonderful!


Wednesday 24th of January 2018

One of the fun things of visiting Europe was seeing the Roman ruins everywhere. It really made the Roman Empire come to life in our minds instead of just seeing an abstract idea in our history books. And now we have another place to add to the list to go see more of them. Love your photos.


Wednesday 24th of January 2018

I honestly knew nothing about this location before reading your post! This looks like an amazing place to visit. I love visiting ancient ruins, so I'm definitely adding it to my bucket list!


Wednesday 24th of January 2018

I had no idea about this place, there really is so much in the UK that I have no idea about. Thanks for sharing your experience :)

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