Showing posts from 2023

Sycamore Gap and the "Robin Hood Tree" on Hadrian's Wall

Update: It is with great sadness that I have to add to this post that the beautiful Sycamore tree that stood in the gap was felled sometime during the overnight on Thursday, September 28th, 2023. Needless to say there has been an outpouring of both sadness and rage all over the world at the senseless and cruel loss of this iconic tree and I am right there with them. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to visit it when I did. Nestled within a gap along the Great Whin Sill, Sycamore Gap is a natural amphitheater located on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, England between Milecastle 39 and Crag Lough, about 2 miles west of Housesteads Roman Fort . This section of the 73-mile wall follows the edge of a cliff and has several sharp dips in it caused by melting glacial waters - the tree occupies one of those dips. The wall and adjacent land, including the site of the tree, is owned by the National Trust and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area not just f

Housesteads Roman Fort in North East England

Lying midway on Hadrian's Wall atop a steep escarpment of the Great Whin Sill , Housesteads Roman Fort once played a vital role in defending the Roman province of Britannia from attack along the northern border of their empire. One of the best excavated and preserved Roman forts in Britain, the fort is well worth a visit if you’re interested in the history of the Roman army and their way of life. If, by chance, you really couldn't give two hoots about the Roman army and their history, Housesteads is still well worth a visit as it's located in one of the most dramatic spots in Northumberland!   Hadrian's Wall , also known as the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, is a former  73-mile (80 Roman miles) long defensive fortification that ran east to west across northern England from the Solway Firth to the River Tyne.  Built by the Romans beginning in about AD 122 under the orders of then-Emperor Hadrian, the wall took at least six years to compl

The Anchor Hotel, Haydon Bridge, United Kingdom

  On a wander over to the United Kingdom to visit some of the ruins and former forts along Hadrian's Wall - a 79-mile long defensive fortification of the Roman province of Britannia built between AD 122 - AD 128 during the reign of the emperor Hadrian - research showed that most of the sites that we were going to want to see were located nearby the village of Haydon Bridge in Hexham. Deciding that would be the ideal spot to spend several nights, I looked for accommodations in the area and chose the Anchor Hotel  which is an easy drive from the parts of the Roman Wall that we wanted to visit.  Situated on the bridge of Haydon Bridge which crosses the River South Tyne and originally dates back to the 1300's, the Anchor Hotel is a Grade 11-listed hotel, pub and restaurant that is steeped in its own history and has been a hotel in various guises for many years. Though its history dates back much further, in 1442 the Anchor served as a court house complete with hanging faci