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Hadrian's Wall Walk Not for Wimps


Your recent "Deal of the Week" featuring the walking tour of Hadrian's Wall struck a chord with us. We have just returned from 17 days in Great Britain, including two days in Northumberland at the Wall, which follows the contours of the region's rocky, hilly terrain.

Rather than taking a tour, we decided to rent a car and explore by ourselves, making heavy use of our Michelin Guide. We stayed at a delightful farmhouse B&B about 20 miles west of Hexham. The B&B was near Steel Rigg, a popular Wall access and overlook, and not far from the Housesteads Fort, one of the most extensive Roman installation ruins on the 73-mile, first-century Wall.

While at the B&B, we had dinner with a young Dutch couple who were doing the walking tour you described. We got a taste of their experience as well as an excellent meal. The couple said each daily leg of their walk involved descending and climbing a number of steep, rocky hills. That day, walking the leg from Housesteads to Steel Rigg (about 5 miles by car), they had traversed nine such ascents and descents. They were bushed.

We, on the other hand, walked a short stretch of the Wall east from Steel Rigg, down a valley, up to the top of the next hill, and back. It was slow going, but manageable. (We're in our mid- 60s.)

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Hadrian's Wall and highly recommend it. However, anyone who considers the walking tour should bear in mind that it is NOT just a stroll in a meadow. Be prepared for several days of strenuous uphill and downhill climbing over rocky terrain.

Joe and Patty



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