We’re meeting family around noon at Chester Roman Fort, so we have limited time for activities in the morning. It is Sunday so breakfast is only from 8, but we manage to be moving around 9. Everything is packed into the car, suitcase and general stuff bag invisible in the trunk, day stuff like hiking shoes, extra sweater, water and snacks on the back seat. We hope that this way it doesn’t look totally loaded and attractive to thiefs when we leave the car somewhere during the day.
Today the sky is clouded, or rather the landscape is misty, as the clouds are hanging so low that we are driving through them. We drive north past Carlisle and follow the signs to Hadrian’s Wall, first stop is the Lanercost Priory which was constructed in the 12th century using stones from Hadrian’s Wall. The door to the church has a grotesque stone carving on the jamb, said to represent temptation, which the monks who lived here were supposed to leave at the door when they entered the church.
We follow the path of the wall to the east by car, sometimes long stretches of it are visible in the fields, with remains of milecastles and turrets. We try to catch a good view of the wall over the crags, but we give up when we realize we’re running out of time if we want to want to meet up on time and drive directly to Chester.
It’s interesting to see this fort, now that we know a bit more about the history of Romans in Britain. I can see how the wall is built, how the fort is layed out and can understand a bit of what the Romans where trying to do here. We have a quick lunch and continue our journey north, making a stop at Jedburgh to visit the abbey ruins. Much of it is still standing, especially of the church nave and choir and you can still see the foundations of the cloister, refectory, kitchen, .. A big hour left to drive to get to the holiday house near Sterling which will be our home for the next week while we visit this part of Scotland.