Chollerford - Steel Rigg / Housestead
This section of the Way is 12 miles (19 Km) to Steel Rigg but only
10 miles (16 Km) if stopping at Housesteads. For the Roman Heritage
Way to Melrose, Housesteads is the last point with anemities before
heading north to Bellingham.
Resuming the Way at the roundabout at Chollerford take the B6318 west
walking along the pavement past the entrance to Chesters 'Cilurnum
Fort' then following the road right and up hill to the small hamlet of
Walwick. This location has views to the south and east over the North
Tyne and to the wall at Brunton Turret.
There now follows a short detour from the line of the Roman Wall before
rejoining the line of the ditch as it progresses towards Black Cart
the site of yet a further well preserved section of wall. This
countryside is now a continual climb as the path follows clearly beside
the Wall and ditch till it reaches the change in direction at
From this vantage point at Limestone Corner there are views to west,
north and back east. On a clear day it may be possible to see the
Cheviot Hills above Rochester and close to the Way's entry to this
range at Byrness.
The line of the Way and wall is now ESE in an almost continuous line
over what is now higher and rougher moorland. The Vallum and ditch are
very prominent in many parts of the walk.
The next time the route
crosses the B 6138 is at Brocolitia Fort. A short walk to the south
brings the way to the Roman temple of Mithraeum.
Returning and crossing the road once more the Way remains on the north
side for the rest of the section. Shortly in the distance the higher
hills of Sewingshield Crags can be seen. As the way finally leaves the
parallel running with the road there are increasingly impressive
example of the Turrets and Milecastles on the line of the wall.
At Sawing Shields there is a small farm which is passed by going
through the woods. This is rough walking but shortly exiting onto the
open ridge of the Crags. The Wall was built right on the edge of the
Crags that formed a natural defence from the north. Follow the line of
the wall all the way to the top of these Crags.
From Sewingshields Crags the vista to the west is over Broomlee Lough
and along the continual line of Crags stretching mile to the east. The
path now descends to King's Wicket before a further series of crags
both up and down on the final approach to the large Fort at Housesteads.
Just short of Housesteads the way passes to the north side of the Wall,
but if Housesteads is a place to visit keep
the south east face of the wall and after a short climb the Fort ruins
are clear and extensive on the right.
To follow the route without stopping at Housesteads take to the north
side of the wall at Housesteads then entering into the woods at
Housesteads Crags. At this point it is permissible to walk on the wall itself but a woodland path can also be taken. There are frequent descents a then equally steep ascent as the way moves to Cuddy's Crag then Hotbank Crag. In the gap between these two the Roman Heritage Way and the Pennine Way break and head north over the lower moorland between Greenlee and Broomlee Loughs.
Descending down off Hotbank Crag the view of Crag Lough is stunning
and it is on the crag side that the way now progresses. It starts up
through woodland before opening out on the path directly above the
crags. This is close to the shear cliff edge so keep to the path.
The next feature to look out for is the Milecastle 39, this is known as
'Castle Nick' as a result of its building location.
Do not underestimate the time that this 4 Km between Housesteads and
Steel Rigg will take, the pace is relatively slow due to the terrain
and the desire to stop and admire the scenery.
The section to Steel Rigg is now almost completed with a descent down
Peel Crags which is very steep then walking to the car park a short
distance ahead. Below on the B 6318 is One Brewed a visitor centre and
youth hostel and the Twice Brewed Inn. Here welcomed refreshments and
even a bed can be found.
Navigate to each section of the walk using this
link or the right hand section
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