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

One of the things you really should do while you are in Northumberland is see Hadrian’s Wall. While there are a few different places you can go to see it, we feel the best place to see Hadrian’s Wall is Housestead Roman Fort.

Best Place to See Hadrian’s Wall

What is now Northumberland, England was once part of the Roman frontier and probably the best preserved Roman Forts anywhere is Housesteads.

If you enjoy the outdoors and enjoying learning about Roman history, a day trip to Hadrian’s Wall & Housesteads Roman Fort is a wonderful way to spend the day.

It is our choice for the best place to see Hadrian’s Wall because of its location and how much is still intact in this area of Northumberland.

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

Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland

Why Was Hadrian’s Wall Built?

Hadrian became Roman Emperor in AD 117 and conquered lands far beyond Rome.

Hadrian made it all the way into England around AD 122 and once he fought off the barbarians, it was decided that it would be better to secure the border than to expand the empire further and Hadrian had the wall built.

The wall was begun in AD 122 and took about 6 years to complete. The Roman Fort came a few years later.

Hadrian’s Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and spans over 70 miles.

While there are many trails you can take to see the wall and its fortification, we found the Housesteads Roman Trail to be best.

Housestead Fort Model at Museum

The Museum at Housesteads Roman Fort

There is a museum that contains a scaled model of what the Roman Fort originally looked like along with objects found during excavations at Housesteads.

Seeing this ahead of your walk will give you a glimpse into what the ruins you will see actually once looked like.

Be reminded that all that remains are stones.

Housesteads Roman Ruins Photo

What You’ll See at Housesteads Roman Fort

During your time at Housesteads, you will find various stone ruins. You’ll see remnants from the soldier’s barracks, hospital, Roman baths, and even communal toilets.

Views from Housestead Roman Fort

Probably the best part of walking around Housesteads is the view. To say that is breathtaking is an understatement.

It is still remote and the views of the countryside go on for miles.

Housestead Roman Fort Ruins

You have free access to all that is here. You can climb, walk, and sit on all of the stone ruins, but please take care not to be disrespectful of this amazing place.

It is one of the few places that you can actually be so close to history and if that is not respected, it might not always be the case.

Walking trail to Housestead Roman Fort

Housesteads Roman Fort Tickets

  • Free with English Heritage Pass

Hadrian Wall & Housesteads Roman Fort Parking

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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