Day 3 - Heddon on the Wall to Wall

Sunday 15th June - 15.5 miles, 8 hours

After a very filling breakfast we set off from Heddon on the Wall at 9:30. We headed out of the village on the road which runs on top of the line of the wall. Once across the A69 the path dropped into the fields alongside the road and views opened out over the Tyne valley below.

The road follows the line of the wall for several miles. The path remains close, either following the vallum to the south of the road, or the wall ditch to the north.

From Harlow Hill the path joins the north side down to reach Whittle Dean reservoirs. We stopped for a short while in the hide here, but very few birds were to be seen.

At Wall Houses the path skirts around the back of a farm house. Shortly afterwards there is quite a deep section of the wall ditch visible separating the footpath from the road.

We stopped for lunch at Downhill Quarries where the path leaves the road briefly. Here there is a well preserved section of vallum clearly showing the pattern of ditches and mounds that marked the edge of the military zone.

The path continued to follow the line of the vallum. We passed the vague outline of the Roman fort of Onnum and shortly afterwards reached the crossroads with Dere Street, now a busy roundabout where the A68 crosses the route.

There was a brief change in scenery as the path cut through the gorse bushes and trees at the edge of Stanley Plantation.

Crossing the road once more we followed an impressive section of the wall ditch. The path continued along the north side till we entered the now very peaceful meadow which was once site of the Battle of Heavenfield.

From here the path began a gradual descent towards the valley of the North Tyne River. At Low Brunton a large section of wall is visible which shows both the broad wall base and the narrower curtain wall above.

We left the path behind and headed into the village of Wall to reach our accomodation, the Hadrian Hotel. After freshening up in our room we returned to the bar for food.

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