Saturday, 6 February 2010


One of the viewing points for the Illumination of Hadrian's Wall is likely to be Birdoswald and I went out to get some pictures to show you the views from there.
It's a nice circular walk from my Gilsland home, about 5 miles if I meander in my usual fashion.
I walked through Gilsland village and noticed just how untidy it looks.
I suppose when you live in the Village you don't notice the crumbling wall outside the village hall, or the old caravan covered in green algea that obviously hasn't moved for years, but visitors must.
It's never been a pretty village but it could look better and people do try, when the hanging baskets are on the hall and pretty planted tubs by the bus stand in the summer it cheers the place up.
I went on up the Hill, taking the footpath through the field that cuts off the corner past Kiln Hill Farm, Michael has some of his cattle in there and they bellowed a  bit as I passed them by.

Michaels cattle

The path passes through a little wooded dene, quite a steep climb on one side but there are steps to help you up.
As you come out of the wood you can see Birdoswald Fort across to your right with the line of Hadrian's Wall in front of you.

Hadrian's Wall at Birdoswald

Through the field of sheep to the kissing gate and out onto the road.
The view from the road at Birdoswald along the Wall to Walltown in the distance is always spectaular, it's a good stretch of Hadrian's Wall here and so easily accessible.

Birdoswald looking towards Walltown

Birdoswald looking west

For my walk today I head east following the Hadrian's Wall Path to the bridge abutments above Harrow Scar, from the top here looking down towards Willowford you get an idea of just how determined the Roman's were. It's a bridge building exercise that would tax todays engineers yet the Roman army managed to build a very impressive structure, as shown on the interpretative boards on the lower abutments.
Nowadays you have to walk down the hill and cross the River Irthing using the new Willowford Bridge, impressive in it's own right, a gentle arc over the river.
I love to look for fossils here especially after we've had a heavy flow of water to churn things up a bit.

Fossil at Willowford

There are some fine remains on this eastern side of the Roman bridge and a long line of Hadrian's Wall takes you up hill to Willowford Farm, one of our local Bed and Breakfast places and a great place to stay, right on the Wall.
The track takes you alongside the Wall back to Gilsland, notice the Willowford Farm access track it runs along the line of the defensive ditch that was to the north of the Wall.
Gilsland Village

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