Days 5&6: Chesters to Steel Rigg; Vindolanda

Tired and suffering with my feet, I slept early at Twice Brewed Inn after a steak dinner and a couple of pints of Twice Brewed Bitter. So here is my account of yesterday and today together.

The walking along the wall yesterday was spectacular. It felt like the hottest day so far, and my going was slow, but all worth it.

I started at Chesters Roman Fort and Baths, an excellent place. The Bath House is exceptional, and there are some really interesting parts of the Fort itself. 

The apodyterium (“changing room”) at Chesters, although the a Romans wouldn’t have changed so much as stripped for their baths! Stripping room sounds odd though.

Onwards then, and not so much upwards as up and down and up and down! The pathway along the wall undulates violently at times, and the stones underfoot are not good for the blisters!

It got to lunchtime just about when I arrived at the Brocolitia Mithraeum, and I said a prayer of thanks to Mithras before tucking into my chicken and bacon sandwiches.

Lots of great long sections of wall followed, and the number of walkers I encountered rose steadily.

This felt like a very long day’s walking for me, but perhaps that’s because I need to get fitter!

Finally I got to Housesteads Fort, where I stayed less time than many do, partly because I’d been so many times, partly because I needed to get going to arrive at my accommodation.

A nice moment when I arrived at Sycamore Gap, famous for the tree and its part in the 1991 Robin Hood film!

Finally Peel Gap, and the Twice Brewed Inn! Time to take off my boots.

A good night’s sleep, and time to head to Vindolanda.

This is a remarkable place. I highly recommend the guided tour as a prelude to the museum, the new cafe and then a wander around the site!

Reconstructions, bath houses, temples, painted glass, a horse’s headdress, just the start!

I shall try to write more about Vindolanda in a separate post.

It’s been overcast today, which has been a bit of a relief – I never thought I’d be saying that about Northumbria!

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