Autumn has well and truly arrived, but just because the seasons are changing that doesn’t mean Northumberland closes down.
There is still plenty to see, do and take part in across Hadrian’s Wall Country this October and November.
Neil Carney of Hadrian’s Wall Heritage, says: “Autumn is a great time to get out and about in Hadrian’s Wall Country. With trees turning to gold and low afternoon sun there are stunning views whether you’re in the town or the country, with plenty of places to stop off for a cuppa.
“And don’t miss the rare Roman cavalry sports helmet on loan from Museum Het Valkof in The Netherlands at Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery in Carlisle until October 23, on display in the UK for the first time.
“The Nijmegen Helmet is exceptional because it retains some of the silver and gilt decoration which would have looked spectacular when worn by the elite cavalry on parade, demonstrating the wealth and power of the Roman Empire.”
Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery is in the heart of the Historic Quarter of Carlisle. The Roman Frontier Gallery, which opened in June, is a major development for the western end of Hadrian’s Wall and tells the story of the 400 year period of Roman occupation at the Empire’s northern most frontier.
It explains what the Empire was, why Hadrian’s Wall was built and how Carlisle became the northern administrative centre of Roman Britain.
The Hadrian’s Wall Country Bus – AD122 – runs until October 30, providing an easy and environmentally friendly way to enjoy the World Heritage Site.
The award-winning bus runs from Newcastle Central Station and Carlisle with connecting services to Bowness-on-Solway, shuttling between the main Roman sites in the central section of Hadrian’s Wall more frequently during the day.
New editions of two of Hadrian’s Wall Heritage’s most popular publications – Walking in Hadrian’s Wall Country and The Hadrian’s Wall Path Essential Companion, £4.95 each – are also now available from hadrians-wall.org, where you will find information on places to go, things to see and bus ticket booking discounts.
Here’s a taste of what’s on across Hadrian’s Wall
- Segedunum Roman Fort and Museum, Wallsend, North Tyneside, www.twmuseums.org.uk/segedunum
Cullercoats: An artists’ colony by the sea – from October 22
Cullercoats was the centre of a thriving artistic community for 50 years in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, one of a number of artists’ colonies which developed around the coast of Britain at that time.
Its story is told through a selection of paintings and original prints from the collections of North Tyneside Council and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.
And look out for special activities at Segedunum during half term week!
Adults £4.50, concessions £2.70, children free (16 years and under).
Fireworks at the Fort – Free!, November 4, 6.30pm
The perfect solution for families looking to celebrate bonfire night with a difference, the Roman fort remains at Segedunum form a unique backdrop to a fantastic free firework display. The museum will have free admission from 4pm so visitors can explore the 100ft viewing tower and discover Wallsend’s unique Roman and industrial heritage, before heading outside to see the fort lit up with fireworks from 6.30pm.
- Chesters Roman Fort, www.english-heritage.org.uk/hadrianswall
Roaming Roman Trail and Dress as a Roman Soldier for Children, October 22-30, 10am – 4pm
After leaving their posts to shelter from the terrible storm, some mini model soldiers have become lost. Can you find all the soldiers? Plus there’s a chance for youngsters to try on a Roman soldier’s helmet and armour.
English Heritage members: free, £1 extra admission per child (non-member and English Heritage member). Non-members: adult £5, concession £4.50, child £3.
- Birdoswald Roman Fort, www.english-heritage.org.uk/hadrianswall
Autumn Watch – weekends (Saturday and Sunday) until October 16
As the leaves change and autumn bursts into life, why not bring the family along to spot the wildlife and wildflowers at breath-taking Birdoswald Roman Fort? In amongst the badgers, red squirrels and swallows that can be discovered around the fort, English Heritage has created a selection of Autumn Watch activities for little ones.
Activities include mask making, a handprint tree and autumn inspired games. English Heritage members: free. Non-members: adult £5, concession £4.50, child £3.
- Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlise, www.tulliehouse.co.uk
Nijmegen helmet, Roman Frontier Gallery, until October 23
This rare Roman cavalry sports helmet is on loan from Museum Het Valkof in The Netherlands. The haunting full face is modelled on classical Greek styles with slits for the eyes and mouth. This is the first time it has been on display in the UK, and only the second time it has been on display outside The Netherlands.
It dates from the second half of the first century.
Adult £5.20; concession £3.60; child 5-18 50p; child under five free.
Bonfire Night Supper, November 5, 5pm-7.30pm
Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet supper followed by an exclusive chance to watch the Bitts Park Fire Show fireworks from the rotunda viewing platform.
Tickets: Adults £11.50; children (under 12s) £5.75. Availability is limited and advance booking is essential. Call the Box Office on 01228 618 700 to book your space. www.tulliehouse.co.uk/bonfire-night-supper