Day 10: Housesteads to Greenhead
9.75 miles - 1,526ft of ascent
After looking around the fort there is an early opportunity to imagine what it must have been like to be a Roman legion. There is a short (and the only permitted) section of the Wall on which it is possible to walk. This stage follows almost entirely, apart from the descent into Greenhead, the National Trail and whilst not strenuous does have its ups and downs.
Within a mile our route arrives at Rapishaw Gap from where the Pennine Way, which for around 8 miles uses the Hadrian’s Wall Path, heads north. There are large sections of Wall to appreciate, particularly in the area of Hotbank Crags and Crag Lough. Sadly parts of the Wall were desecrated by quarrying in the 19th and 20th centuries but this has now ceased and the sites transformed for the use of visitors.
The succession of milecastles and intermediate turrets provide a wonderful and evocative accompaniment to this section.
Beyond the car park at Steel Rigg the path climbs to Winshields Crags, at 1,132 feet the highest point on the Trail, before eventually passing the ex-quarry sites of Cawfields and Walltown. Nearby is Thirlwall Castle, built from stone from the Wall and restored by Northumberland C.C and a short walk by Tipalt Burn leads to Greenhead. Day 9 Hexham - Housesteads Day 11 Greenhead - Alston