Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Wall Mile 36

Leaving Milecastle 37, we head east towards the plantation and a rare treat: the only chance to actually walk on the wall. Once upon a time, walkers merrily yomped along the top of the curtain wall in the central sector without giving much thought to the damage they were doing. Increases in visitor numbers mean such access has had to be limited to one carefully controlled section, here in the woods immediately west of Housesteads fort. It should be pointed out that the drop to the north is a bit hairy, so the vertiginously inclined can walk on a path immediately to the south of the curtain wall. There is a popular climbing pitch along here and occasionally richly accoutred climbers will pop up whilst you are heading along the top. Smile benignly at them and pass on.

Before long, we exit the plantation and a gate on the right takes you down past the fort to pay for a ticket at the small museum to examine Houses reads itself, whilst the Trail itself rather grumpily lurches to the left and would take you along the northern wall of the fort and down a rather steep and badly eroded slope without a chance of a peek at this most impressive of forts. The museum has a small display about the site and some of the finds, as well as a bijou shopportunity.

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