31 May 2011

Hadrian's Wall Path: Day 3

We were really lucky enough to have an exceptionally knowledgeable and very sweet local show us around the Lanercost Priory -- which is worth visiting because for such a small hamlet, it has 3 William Morris & Co. stained glass windows.  It really is a quite exceptional place.  We had to leave before the English Heritage part of the site opened, which was unfortunate since we couldn't contemplate the ruins -- we had to get on our way.  But we did get to go to a local craft fair in Dacre Hall, which was something out of Keeping Up With Appearances or something.

Here are the windows:

The proprietress of the B&B was kind enough to drive us about a mile up to Banks, where we began walking at the first turret that is visible of Hadrian's Wall.  Shortly thereafter, we walked through a wooded area that was so lushly verdant:
Woods near Wall Bowers
But that was nothing, because we got to Birdoswald and decided to take the AD122 bus to the Roman Army Museum at Greenhead.  We didn't visit the museum, but we did start the walk over the crags, which was overall spectacular.

on the crags at Walltown Quarry - that's Hadrian's Wall in the background, with those well-cut stones
The rest of the day got pretty tough, as we were going up and down over the crags to Once Brewed.  We passed the highest point on the trail, only 345 meters (1131 feet - for comparison, Mt. Davis in Pennsylvania is 979 meters/3213 feet), where we spoke with a nice Belgian guy from Ghent who was doing the Pennine Way trail.

Right down the hill from the plinth marking the 345 m point is Once Brewed Youth Hostel, where we stayed and ate.

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