6. Housesteads Fort to Chollerford
26.07.11 11 miles
A cup of tea in Chester Fort and a perfect Sandwich
The night was not comfortable it was more like winter camping and I heard the rain dropping on my tent. A wet morning but the rain was over. I wanted to hung my tent over the fence and thought no voltage is in the cable because no horses on the medow. But I got an electric shock and was now really awoke. After a cold catlick I got my breakfast in the farmhouse. It was a delicious one with fruits, porrige, bacon, eggs, fried mushrooms and tomatoes. I thought I walk only the Hadrianswall to get the full english breakfast. I had another nice talking with the 2 hiking women on Pennine Way.
I must pack my tent wet into the backpack and hoped the day will be better. It was a little bit foogy when I started the hike. First I must climmbed the hill to the wall. When I was on top I must go directly steap down and on the other side steap uphill again. On the way up I harvest 3 fresh mushrooms and I ate it dirctly without cooking. The wall runs along the steap edge and I had also a nice view in that lone landscape. It is a part of the Norththumberland Nationalpark and moos allover. http://www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/
From now the hike to Chollerford was easy, no more steap up and downs. Passed a Turret and a milecastle, walked through a small wood and then I had a wide view in direction to Brocolitia Fort. I saw the ditch but nothing from the wall. Another milecastle was following. When the Path touch the street to Chollerford I met a nice woman on her hike. She was around my age and told me "when I don´t find a Barn to sleep, I take out my sleeping bag, the bag is waterproofed, and lay me down near the wall or under a tree". I was impressed, I am not sure I would do it.
Now the path is running beween the ditch and the street to the small village Carraw. Here you can have Bed&Breakfast on a farm. I passed the farm and the Brocolitia Fort was coming, I must cross the street and the path was running through wetland. I had to go on thick plates of stone and in the creek are flowers in bloom which I never have seen. On the other side of the creek is the Mithraeum, the temple of the Fort. I met a German family on the way with the car to visit the highlights of Hadrianswall, I gave some tips what is to visit.
On the parkingzone beside the fort a man with a very small car offered Coffee in different kinds, I was glad that can have a little rest for my shoulder, Backpack is still with me. I ordered a cappuccino and it was good. The coffeeman is mostly here he told me that.
The wall is now still running on the edge of a wide hill and the view west seems that the landscape is changig from moorland to farmland. I saw the first fields with grain on this hike. The wall and the street are running together from here to Chollerford. Where the wall is changing his direcction from east to southeast laying all around big rocks and I had an beautiful view into the big valley of the river North Tyne. It is the Limestone Corner, in my Hadrians Wall Path book from Anthony Burton I read " The ditch, which has been such a prominent feature, stutters to a halt at any area of tumbled stone blocks. The Romans , when faced with resilient rock, simply gave up trying to cut a way through" . It loks really that someone started to work and then he was going and let all how it was laying.
After Limstone Corner the path is running downhill and I saw the wall also running down. It is really a nice area and I decided to have a rest sitting on the wall to enjoying my being here. A man in my age was coming with a little girl, perhaps 11 years old and he told me he want to go to Steel Rigg today, it was nearly 2 pm and they must go from here around 10 miles. What he is doing with this girl? That is the way to bring people that they want never have a hike when adult.
I followed the wall down, crossed a little street and on the next medow I saw a big turret. After the meadow the path leaved the wall through the ditch circled a little forest again climbing over a fence and now comes a bigger circle around some farms. I met the little street to Walwick a turn right and then left down to Chester Fort. I visited the Chester Fort, the shop has books, souvenirs and sweets. The little Museum is interesting and has a lot of sculptures from around the wall. After the Museum I had 2 sandwiches and 2 cups of tea. It was delicious but after one sandwich I was full. I visited the Fort and was going down to the river, here I saw the walls of the Romans Bathhouse. On the other side of the River North Tyne I saw some walls, rest of a Romans bridge.
Now it was not far to the campground in Chollerford. In the tearoom beside the gasolinestation you have to pay for the campground, a big nice medow, a washroom with showers and now the sun was shining, that is all what I needed. When my tent was builted and the shower was finished I had a little nap, laying in the sun, what a good feeling after the hike today. After my nap I had my supper, sitting beside the washhouse on a bench with a table, wrote my dairy and postcards.
It was to early to go to bed and I decided to visiting the Chester Bridge on the other side of the river. Near the tearoom is a very old stone bridge and only free for one line, a light is controlling the traffic. I went down the steps to a public path to the old romans bridge. It is not to believe what in England all is fenced, I thought the english owners are very anxious that someone will steal the land or why all is fenced and the farm ways are closed with gates and locks. The path to the romans bridge is like a closed path in a circus for the Tigers. But let the english owners doing what they must do because it seems to be not a problem for the other english people.
It was a nice sunset and on my short way to the bridge the sheeps are very curious. I was impreesed from the foundations of the bridge, it was such a good work to bring together the very heavy big worked stones. Under trees are laying a lot of stones from the ancient bridge. I was glad to visited this place and it is really worth seeing.
When I came back to my tent it was dark and so I went to bed, a long day was ended.