First up was the Cotswold Way. This trail begins in the most charming town of Chipping Campden - near the 14th century Woolstaplers Hall (now a museum). For those of you not up on woolly lingo, a wool-stapler buys wool from the producer, sorts and grades it, and sells it to manufacturers. The Cotswolds were a key center of the wool industry and I never walked a section of the trail that didn't also include sheep. :)
|The beginning of the Cotswold Way in charming Chipping Campden|
|One of the chambers in the side of the long barrow|
|Grazing sheep on the Cleeve Hill Golf Course|
|Pink sheep in the Lake District|
I first toured the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle, near the west end, to learn more about the Roman history of this area. The museum had an entertaining and educational animated film where I learned that the wall was begun in AD 122 under Emperor Hadrian to separate the Roman Empire from the barbarians (Scots!) to the north. The history is interesting and I'd love to do the entire walk, reading more about the history as I went along. You can't see much of the wall near Carlisle, but it is another charming town, and I enjoyed walking along the river and parks.
|Communal latrine at Housesteads Roman Fort|
Hubby and I drove to Housesteads Fort, the best-preserved of the 16 forts along the wall. We toured the fort and you can see my favorite part above. It is a communal latrine for Roman soldiers. No privacy for them... The poopers were along both sides and the troughs in the middle held water for the water they hopefully used to clean themselves... Then hubby drove me to Cawfields, Castlemile 42, and I hiked along miles of solid wall until I found him at the Twice Brewed Inn in the town of Once Brewed - or something confusing like that!
|Section of Hadrian's Wall in the mid-country|