Hadrian's Wall, which extends for 118km (73 miles) across the north of England, from the North Sea to the Irish Sea, is particularly scenic for a stretch of 16km (10 miles) west of Housesteads, which lies 4km (2 3/4 miles) northeast of Bardon Mill on the B6318. Only the lower courses of the wall have been preserved intact; the rest were reconstructed in the 19th century using original stones. From the wall, there are incomparable views north to the Cheviot Hills along the Scottish border and south to the Durham moors.

The wall was built in A.D. 122 after the visit of the emperor Hadrian, who was inspecting far frontiers of the Roman Empire and wanted to construct a dramatic line between the empire and the barbarians. Legionnaires were ordered to build a wall across the width of the island of Britain, stretching 118km (73 miles), beginning at the North Sea and ending at the Irish Sea.

The wall is one of Europe's top Roman ruins. The western end is accessible from Carlisle, which also has an interesting museum of Roman artifacts; the eastern end can be reached from Newcastle upon Tyne (where you can see some remains on the city outskirts, as well as a nice museum at the university).

You can find more information about Hadrian's Wall at the website www.hadrianswallcountry.org.

From early May to late September, the Tynedale Council and the Northumberland National Park run a bus service that visits every important site along the wall, and then turns around in the village of Haltwhistle and returns to Hexham. Buses depart from a point near the railway station in Hexham six times a day. Call tel. 01434/652220 for more information. The cost is £7.50 for adults, £5 for children, and £15 for a family ticket. Many visitors take one bus out and then return on a subsequent bus 2, 4, or 6 hours later. Every Sunday, a national park warden leads a 2 1/2-hour walking tour of the wall, in connection with the bus service. The Hexham tourist office provides further details.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.