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Really Old Things, Sheep, and Peacocks

Hardian's Wall

After nearly three months in Scotland, we headed south. We had just finished a housesit in Saltcoats, Scotland with two wonderful dogs and had about two weeks before our next sit in Wales.

One of the bucket list items for this trip was to walk part of Hadrian’s Wall, partly thanks to our friend, Jason Roberts (Hi, Jason!). Jason did a presentation at work many years ago about Hadrian’s wall and Mark and both agreed it was on the top of our list while in the UK.

“…Separate the barbarians from the Romans”

The wall was started in 122 AD and goes 84 miles from Bowness-on-Solway on the West coast to Wallsend on the East coast. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and managed by English Heritage. If you want to learn more about the history and see great pictures and videos, check out their website:

We decided to stay in Brampton, fairly close to several well-preserved sections of the wall and the Roman forts at Birdoswald and Vindolanda.

The route of the Wall © Newcastle University

One thing that surprised me was how much of the wall and the Roman installations were still there. They celebrated the wall’s 1900 anniversary in 2022. Kind of hard to wrap my brain around that kind of timeline.

More Sheep

Of course, there were sheep. At various points, the wall goes right through active pastures (watch your step). We saw a lamb walking ON TOP OF the wall, and one group decided my orange poncho made me their leader.

We visited the Birdoswald Roman fort, the Roman Army museum in Greenhead, and Vindolana museum in Hexham. We walked a section of the wall starting at Gilsland that went to the new bridge at River Irthing. All were within a short drive of our place in Brampton.

An Ostentation of Peacocks

I promised you peacocks, didn’t I? The Low Nook Farm Cottage where we stayed in Brampton was delightful. It was built in 1832 and very nicely renovated. Absolutely recommend if you want to take your own walk along the wall. ( They have a number of different feathered friends, like chickens and guinea fowl, though we particularly liked the peacock and his lovely lady peahens. One of the peahens took a liking to our car and would often perch on the roof.

Brampton is just North of the Lake District, our next destination. Here’s a mural in Carlisle depicting those barbarians Hadrian was so concerned about.

Carlisle mural of Celtic god Belatucadros by Glasgow artist Smug One

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