With Hadrian’s Wall being World Cultural Heritage and also one of the most popular hiking trails in the UK it is easy to find spectacular landscape photography of the wall and the area on the web. And if you try it is very likely that the most striking photos you find were taken on the stretch of the trail that I was about to walk on day 3. On the night before I had been worried if I was really up to this long distance walk and this stretch in particular which I knew had many steep and rocky climbs and descents. But 10 hours of sleep had worked miracles, and so I was feeling well and up to the task when I left my accommodation Mingary Barn. My mood was only slightly dampened by the fact that the landlady had asked 5£ for a minimalistic lunch pack which consisted of 1 pack of toast sandwiches from the supermarket, 0,5l of water and two back of crisps. I took the sandwiches and the water but not the crisps. A snack that would make me even thirstier was the last thing I needed.
After getting the next stamp for my Hadrian’s Wall passport at the nearby Chesters Fort, Hadrian’s Wall path pretty soon left the street and entered fields and grazing grounds. I would not hit the road again until the evening. Walking pretty close and sometimes even through herds of sheep and cows (with occasionally a bull nearby) was a unique experience for a city child like me. But it pretty soon became a minor matter because the landscape became more and more breathtaking. Walking along a wall (which wasn’t always the wall but presumably went along the original wall’s path) over a series of smalls hills with rocky flanks was as exhausting as the view of the track ahead was breathtaking. But as exhausting as it was, the will to do the next climb and to behold the next magnificent view motivation enough to spur me on.
Sooner than I had expected I reached Housesteads, a big archeological site with many ancient Roman walls to inspect and study. I didn’t care for the ruins though – I have seen enough old stones in my life, and I already had a rough idea how a Roman fort was laid out. After a short break in the grass, I cracked on for the final and toughest leg of my trip which would take me over various crags to Sycamore Gap. Here one of Britains most famous trees is situated, a picturesque site for sure. Unfortunately, the light wasn’t great, and so my shots of this place aren’t overly spectacular.
The climbs and descents weren’t only very steep now, but there were also quite uneven and therefore dangerous. Walking them wasn’t walking anymore, it was more like climbing. The last steep descent before the Steel Rig car park was almost too much for me because it went very close to a deep fall which triggered my fear of height, leaving me standing there immovable. Only using my tripod as a third leg gave enough stability to tackle this challenge.
At the Steel Rig car park, I left the Hadrian’s Wall Path and followed the street downhill heading towards the Twice Brewed Inn. After a small dinner, I was picked up by the landlady of this nights accommodation that was situated a couple of miles away.