Sections of Britain’s greatest Roman monument can easily be visited on a half-day or full-day trip from Newcastle. Stretching for 241km (150 miles) from South Shields on the east coast to Cumbria on the west coast via rugged moorland and unspoilt countryside, the wall is a mecca for history buffs, walkers and cyclists and is today a UNESCO World Heritage site. Constructed on the orders of the Emperor Hadrian in AD122, Hadrian's Wall was built to mark the northern boundary of the Roman Empire in the British Isles and to keep out the barbarians to the north. After the Empire receded in the fifth century AD, the wall was left to decay, and many of its stones were used in the construction of nearby buildings.
Vast sections of the wall still remain and there are many different sites to be visited along the wall. Housesteads Roman Fort and Museum is an excavated fort located amidst spectacular scenery, and contains the only visible example of a Roman hospital in Britain. Vindolanda Fort and Museum is an open-air museum containing authentic reconstructions of the wall, as well as a Roman temple, house and shop. The Roman Army Museum at Carvoran provides an insight into the life of a Roman soldier, through models, reconstructions and artefacts. Chesters Roman Fort and Museum is an extensively excavated cavalry fort with impressive Roman bathhouse remains.