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.

Directional post ar Walwick

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.

Roman Wall at Black Carts

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 Limestone Corner.

View north from Limestone Corner

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.

Roman Temple at Mithraeum

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.

Broomlee Lough from Sewingshields Crags

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.

Looking towards Housesteads from south of Sewingshields

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.

Restored Wall section 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.

Cuddy's Crags looking towards Housesteads

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.

Crag Lough

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.

Milecastle 39

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.

Descending on Peel Crags to Steel Rigg

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.

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