Walltown and Thirlwall Castle
The Walltown and Thirlwall Castle walk starts at Cawfields. It then heads west along Hadrian’s Wall, returning via an easier route, adjacent to the Vallum. The outward path that we take follows the Wall closely and is actually included in three major long distance walking routes. The Pennine Way, the Hadrain’s Wall Path and Alfred Wainwright’s A Pennine Journey all use the same path. So there must be something good about it, right?
Cawfields is a great place to start. It’s a great place for picnics and stargazing too, but we will use it to park and use the toilet facilities.
The route follows a path across fields to start with. It isn’t long before we reach the first Roman feature (not counting the Wall itself of course).
Aesica Roman Fort
There are remains of a turret and Roman camps here and a little further we reach Great Chesters. This is the location of Aesica Roman Fort. Often features along the Wall are just earthworks but here there are visible elements of the fort.
From Aesica, the Wall continues on across relatively flat country, passing more turrets and a milecastle.
It’s as the path starts to meet the higher ground of the Whin Sill that we start to get the amazing views that are part and parcel of a walk along Hadrian’s Wall.
Walltown Country Park
We arrive at Walltown Country Park and more facilities. There is a picnic area here, so we can enjoy a brief rest before carrying towards Thirlwall Castle.
Standing on a hill in the hamlet of Holmhead is Thirlwall Castle. This is a 12th century castle, which might sound old, but it was later strengthened using stones from the then abandoned Hadrian’s Wall. The castle was in use up to the 17th century. It is now a Grade I Listed Building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
From Thirlwall Castle, it is only a short walk to Greenhead. This village is just off the A69 and is somewhere many people are aware of but have never been to. There isn’t a lot here but there is a tea room and we will more than likely visit it.
When we leave Greenhead, we will head up the road and then back towards Walltown Country Park. On the way we pass the vague remains of the Magnis Roman Fort.
Instead of going back along the Wall, we take a more leisurely route towards Walltown. This track eventually crosses the Vallum and then runs adjacent to it until we turn north and back to Aesica Roman Fort. From here we retrace our steps back to Cawfields.
We hope you can join us.
Julie and Martin x
Gallery – Walltown and Thirlwall Castle
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