Part of the Roman Empire’s success was its ability to scale up its trademark structures anywhere in the world. Long before Henry Ford’s assembly line, the Romans created standardized construction designs and practices. With little variation, they replicated everything — roads, toilets, forts, saunas, plumbing, and, yes, even walls.
The vast majority of the trek is through rural England. Much of it traverses working farms and pastures with livestock. So how is it that random people can just walk across someone’s land?
Having a comfortable place to rest is so needed after a day on the trail. After each length of our trek, we looked forward to a hot shower, a soft bed, and delicious breakfast. Each stop was a little different but they were all wonderful.
The Eastern end of the Roman wall is, fittingly, at a town called Wallsend. It sits on a bluff above the Tyne River, about five miles inland from the open sea. But if you are the type of person who wants to walk the entirety of Hadrian’s Wall across England, you’re probably also the kind of person who needs to see both coasts.
It is you and the crag. You and the wind. You and the tiny Alpine flower that’s found a sheltered crack to grow in. No guidebook can prepare you for that. This is a series of lessons I learned walking across a small island.