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17. Hadrian's Wall (Inverarnan - Granges-over-Sands, Cumbria)

Route : 334 kilometers, 4 hours to reach Granges-over-Sands from Inverarnan. You have to start the descent and consider the way back home... The road is good and easy to ride. It is mainly a fast lane and traffic is light.


Near Carlisle, exit the expressway towards Brampton and park at Gilsland. From this village begin the still existing remains of Hadrian's Wall. Built in 122 AD. JC, it is an extraordinary construction, testifying to the genius and Roman organization in this area.

This fortification roughly followed the current border between England and Scotland, for almost 127 kilometers. Its aim was to protect the northern province of the Roman province of Brittany against the “Barbarians”, i.e. the Picts (non-Greeco-Romans). The wall was 2 meters wide and 4 meters high. Every 1km480, to be exact, there was a fort and between two, two towers. The importance of the work was more symbolic than defensive, with the aim of collecting taxes. It is today listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.


There you will find a long section of wall still in relatively good condition, a tower and a bridge over the river. Several places were in fact damaged in the Middle Ages, with people taking stones from the wall to create new constructions.


To achieve this we returned to the village of Gilsland and headed in the opposite direction. Poltross Burn was a fort, surrounded by a wall, with a kitchen and bedrooms. A military barracks style, what...

Info : parking in Gilsland, around fifteen spaces, motorhomes prohibited and no parking overnight. No amenities.


Take the car again to see the remains of this Roman camp, one of the best preserved of the sixteen that made up the wall. Its elevated position made it a strategic position. Excavations, carried out in the 1990s, showed that this fort, particularly its granaries, was occupied until the 6th century, well after the departure of the Romans.

Info : 5 minutes by car and 5 minutes on foot. Ample parking on site. WC, tea room and shop. Entrance is 13 pounds per person. The price is a bit expensive, because there are only a few ruins and ultimately not much more than the other remains with free access. On the other hand, the site is well maintained, you can watch a short explanatory film on the wall and the staff on site are very welcoming.


This small town in County Cumbria was an elegant seaside resort in the 19th century, thanks to the arrival of the railway in 1850 and its very mild climate with the Gulf Stream. Victorian and Edwardian influences are still present throughout and give it an old-fashioned charm.

From the pretty old station, a pleasant one kilometer walk along the seaside, lined with flowers and shrubs maintained in the English style, will amaze the walker. The cast iron benches and flower boxes are still original and cheerfully decorated. The station master still has his accommodation there. The city seems to offer a haven of peace to the retirees who fill the place. Private mansions were transformed into hotels, then gradually into luxury apartments.

For two nights, we put our bags at the Netherwood Hotel & Spa. Former private residence dating from the 19th century of a cotton merchant, then transformed into a hotel, this building is incredibly well maintained and has retained its old-world charm and a little old side, like the city. The staff are charming and we ate very well in their restaurant, with a magnificent view over Morcambe Bay.

Info : to our great astonishment, the prices in such an establishment are much lower than in certain other hotels chosen for our stay, even though the standard is high and the location is privileged. By doing some research, it turns out that several establishments of the same type have lowered their prices. A good opportunity to find them is to go through the site below, which lists several by district and offers them with discounts and/or packs with spa, tea, one more night, etc.

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