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Ferne Arfin

Where to Stay Near Hadrian's Wall

By January 7, 2010

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Not that many years ago, when I first visited Hadrian's Wall, there were no big signs directing you to sections of the wall, no parking areas, no guides or trails.

I remember using a tourist map - bad for road directions but studded with pictures of landmarks - and an O/S Survey map (the best maps of the UK) to sort of triangulate my way to where I thought a piece of the wall might be.

Eventually, I found a small, handpainted sign on a fence - "To Hadrian's Wall" and an arrow. Under it was a handwritten note, directing drivers to a muddy field for parking. There was an honor box in which to deposit 5p for the parking and another note that read, "Please do not worry the cows". I tried my best, as I recall, not to give the cows any cause for wringing their hooves.

It's so much simpler now. There's a wonderful website, Hadrian's Wall Country, with everything you need to know about the entire length of the wall, coast to coast - bus routes, maps, guides, hiking paths, history - new information all the time.

I recently discovered their accommodation guide and even that is beautifully done and easy to navigate. It's handily divided into four regions and includes all classes of digs - from luxury hotels to hostels for walkers and cyclists, B&Bs , and wheelchair friendly accommodations. All accommodation is quality assessed by either Visit Britain or the Automobile Association(AA).

What I like best about the website is that you can look for a place to stay based a town, a specific stretch of the wall you'd like to visit or with an interactive map search.

The site should be useful if you're traveling to the region to see the coast to coast Hadrian's Wall Illumination on March 13.

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