I am lucky enough to live only about an hour to an hour and a half drive away from Hadrian’s Wall, and being that I am obsessed with history and especially the Roman’s it is somewhere I love to go.
Something I have never done before is venture there by myself. I have been going to for a while, but due to anxiety I have never made it. That was until this weekend when despite the bad weather I decided I needed a day out. So I packed up my camera bag and off I went.
I decided the best place to start would be the Roman Fort of Vindolanda. I have been here many times before, almost every year for the past I don’t know how many years, the earliest guide book I have is from 2002 so I guess around about then. I knew the way and I knew my way around when I got there, plus I just find it a very peaceful, happy place for some reason. I also love the fact that because it is an archaeological site, they are still working on it, every time I go there is something new to see.
When I arrived there was no one else in sight, the place was silent, I have never ever seen it like this before but I liked it. It was kind of chucking it down with rain though so I headed down to the coffee shop and museum to wait it out. As much as I love going to these places with someone it was nice to be able to go at my own pace and take as much time as I wanted and not have to worry about what anyone else wanted to do.
When the rain had died down a bit I headed back up to the fort, there were a few more people around now but that was ok. I spent a lot of time wandering around and around, taking photos and snapchats, and just enjoying being outdoors.
After a few hours at Vindolanda I decided it was time to move on, funnily enough that’s when the sun started to come out. The next fort along the road was Housesteads, somewhere that I have somehow never been before.
I knew it was a bit of a trek to get to but I didn’t let that put me off….big mistake.
Don’t get me wrong the walk up to it was fine, quite steep but it was a proper path so it was fine, however once you get to the actual fort it’s all grass and what with the weather it was a little bit slippy, oh and the fort is partly on quite a steep part as well which doesn’t help.
Nice view even on a horrible day though right?
I didn’t spend too long at Housesteads because the rain came lashing down again and I just didn’t feel awfully safe up there. I did manage to fall at one point and I wasn’t the only one but luckily I wasn’t hurt. It was just so slippy! So I made my way back down the hill and bought myself a guide book (something I have to do everywhere I go) and next time I will be sure to go on a nice dry day.
To a lot of people these places are boring and just places with a load of demolished walls, but these sites and the Romans really fascinate me and have done for a very long time, they were so much more advanced for their time than most. The Celts were still living in round houses and the Romans had underfloor heating for goodness sake. I don’t know where my fascination comes from to be honest, maybe I was a Roman in a past life or something.
I really enjoyed my little day out despite the weather and I can’t wait for the next time I can get away. I have even gotten myself an English Heritage membership so I can visit lots of sites without spending an absolute fortune, I just need to make the most of it now.
Do you like to visit historical sites? Do you have any recommendations of where I should visit?