Hadrian's Wall Walks
Barcombe Hill & Vindolanda
Date: 8th May 2005
Distance: 3.1 miles
Ascent: 450 feet
Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Start Grid Ref: NY773664
A short walk to the modest Barcombe Hill before an exploration of the Roman remains at Vindolanda.
Route Summary: Chesterholm - Barcombe Hill - Long Stone - Thorngrafton Common West End Town - Chainley Burn - Vindolanda - Chesterholm
1. Barcombe Hill
2. The trig point on Barcombe Hill
3. Vindolanda from Barcombe Hill
4. Lisa by the Long Stone
5. The Whin Sill Ridge from Barcombe Hill
6. Chainley Burn
7. The Roman baths at Vindolanda
8. Replica of a Roman tower
9. Barcombe Hill from Vindolanda
10. Remains of the military headquarters
Walk Detail: Our third walk of an action packed weekend this was really a prelude to a visit to the famed remains of the Roman settlement of Vindolanda.
The lack of distance was probably a good thing as we were both quite tired following our magnificent walk the day before. The climb up to the modest but shapely Barcombe Hill was hardly taxing enough for what is such a good viewpoint of the Whin Sill ridge to the north and Alston Moor to the south.
There was a nice stretch along the ridge of the hill to what is known as the Long Stone, apparently a memorial to some colliers who’d lost their lives in a tragic mining accident in the 19th century. From the Long Stone there is also a superb bird's eye view of Vindolanda.
The route down Thorngrafton Common was not always easy to follow and there were a number of cows grazing which I always find intimidating. The clear path down Chainley Burn was pleasant enough, though it was a pity it did not follow the watercourse itself for much of the route.
The path brought us nicely back to Vindolanda just in time for a real downpour on what had otherwise been a pleasant sunny morning. Vindolanda itself was fascinating though it lacked the dramatic setting of Housesteads. Another smashing little walk.