Explore Hadrian's Wall and Roman Britain with Mountain Goat every Friday
Every Friday passengers visiting the Lake District National Park climb aboard a Mountain Goat mini-bus to head back in time to the Roman era.
The Roman Britain and Hadrian's Wall tour is a fan favourite as history lovers and adventure seekers group together to visit the wall which has stood across the beautiful landscape of northern England for nearly 1900 years.
My journey into Roman Britain began on a slightly overcast Friday morning, inside the Windermere information centre, waiting for the Mountain Goat to pick me up and start my adventure.
As the day got underway, Malcolm, our Mountain Goat driver guide, explained the days itinerary in full while we travelled through the beautiful Lake District landscape on our way north.
Malcolm explains the history of the Lake District with the knowledge and passion only a local can possess, talking the passengers through the area’s history and landscapes before moving on to the roman influences in the area.
The journey out of the Lake District is picturesque and we travel through some beautiful landscapes before emerging onto the main road leading to our destination.
Hadrian's Wall spans the width of northern England, build in what the Roman's thought to be the most defendable point at the edge of the empire, only a couple of hours away from the Lakes.
After a brief stint on the M6 motorway and a stop at a service station for a quick coffee we were heading into the lands of ancient Rome.
Traversing some country roads through rolling hills we found our way to our first historical stop of the day, Lanercost Priory.
Established nearly 850 years ago the Abbey and the surrounding ruins was on was the capital of England for a short while, while the mortally sick King Edward I stayed there in an attempt recover. Malcolm explained during the time King Edward was at the priory his royal seal was moved there from London, making the priory the capital of England for a short while.
By the time we left Lanercost Priory the weather had changed for the better, the sun had come out making the temperature much more pleasant. It was also perfect for photographs, so it's a good job there were plenty of stops along our route.
The ruins of the wall itself are incredible to behold and were all the more amazing with Malcolm’s interesting and informative commentary, he explained the tactical reasons the Romans built the wall where they did and walked us through historical stories of Emperor Hadrian and the empire he ruled over.
After walking along a stretch of the wall we meandered through the countryside towards the Roman Army Museum, where interactive videos and reconstructions of life as a Roman soldier came to life.
We were shown daily life at the Wall, taught how the Roman army was formed and how they trained, fought and lived in the north of "Britannia".
Our journey continued as we travelled through more of the land once ruled and controlled by the Roman Emperor. The backdrop of the Lake District fells and being surrounded by ancient structures left by an empire which lasted around 500 years made the day truly special for a history lover.
After being show remnants of the Wall which stretched for miles we were driven by the famous “Sycamore Gap”, which features in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
A brief description of the area took place as Malcolm explained the history of the tree and the movie it features in and we were off to our final destination, Vindolanda, an ancient Roman auxiliary fort and settlement.
Vindolanda is still being excavated and so we watched with bated breath as archaeologists searched for hidden treasures, those which had already been found left on display in the museum.
A treasure trove of artefacts was stored in the four walls of the walls of the museum. The most precious of all were the writing tablets, short strips of wood inscribed with anything from military orders to letters home.
As our day ended, we returned to the Lake District with Malcolm taking us on a leisurely journey through Ullswater and over Kirkstone pass.
The tour is sure to be a highlight of anyone’s trip if they want to explore the ancient history of Britain and watch the Roman world be brought to life along the way.