27 Jul 2009 - Hadrians Wall (Grinsdale to Birdoswald 20.7 miles), England

After the torrential rain of the previous day which made finding a suitable campsite difficult because the ground was so saturated, we were mercifully treated to a clear and dry night. We woke early and set off at 07:00 for a long day of walking through the spectacular and changing landscape of northern England. Most of the walk takes you through countryside with only a few remains of the wall to be seen.

However, the observant will see the ditches and ridges that betray the fact you are walking the route of the wall. It is not until you get to Hare Hill though that what was once walk in the country turns to a walk along an ancient monument which formed the boundary of a great empire. This is the first part of the wall if you started your journey in Bowness-On-Solway. See last years expedition Hadrian's Wall, 15th June 2008.
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Hadrian's Wall - The morning after a night in the open

Hadrian's Wall - The morning after a night in the open

6:30 AM and a hard day of yomping ahead.
Hadrian's Wall - Remains of the wall and Turret 52a

Hadrian's Wall - Remains of the wall and Turret 52a

I remember reaching the feeling of achievement at getting to this point last year and the thought that now, history is being delved into. What I didn't realise back then was that I had already passed the evidence in the form of earthworks but this wasn't so obvious.
Hadrian's Wall - On the way to Birdoswald

Hadrian's Wall - On the way to Birdoswald

After walking for hours and miles, I realise now how far I travelled last year in such a short time. No wonder my feet were torn to pieces. In this photo the big ditch is the southern vallum. Note the cows. These big beasts were scattered along many parts of the path and we had a few unavoidable and scary episodes passing through them. They are more scared of people but you never know which way they are going to run. Where they had calves though I made sure that I gave them a wide berth.

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