The county of Northumberland is steeped in history, from the iconic castles to the old mines of Woodhorn Colliery. In this corner of Northumberland where you will be staying, the history lies along the famous Hadrian’s Wall. Hadrians Wall is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this special designation is reserved for those places around their world due to their cultural and natural heritage considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.
If you want to get the most of your time in this area, a visit to Vindolanda Roman Fort and Museum, is a must. Tie this in with a visit to The Sill and Sycamore Gap for a full day out of exploring from the Pods or Cottage.
What is Vindolanda?
Vindolanda is one of Europe’s most important Roman archaeological sites, situated just one mile south of Hadrian’s Wall. The site is owned by the Vindolanda Charitable Trust. Excavations take place on a yearly basis, and over time have uncovered some truly amazing artefacts which are displayed in the site’s museum. Everything you see in the museum came from the excavation site just yards away. You may be lucky enough to see a live excavation during the summer.
But it isn’t just the fort you will find here. There is also an activity centre which is really geared at the kids, a café, museum, and gift shop. As well as this you can potter around the peaceful Roman gardens, soaking up the history that really feels alive at Vindolanda.
Planning your visit from Sycamore Glamping Pods and Cottage.
Vindolanda is located a thirty-minute drive from the Pods and twenty minutes from Sycamore Cottage.
After spending the morning walking to Sycamore Gap and stopping off at The Sill for refreshments and a look around the visitor centre, we recommend then spending the afternoon at Vindolanda.
Visiting Vindolanda Roman Fort and Museum.
Use the postcode NE47 7JN but if you are wanting to head to the main car park, make sure you follow the brown signs once you are about a mile away.
If you follow the sat nav it will lead to a smaller car park which is closer to the museum’s entrance, so it is up to you which one you park in.
Vindolanda is an accessible site, only guide dogs permitted.
You can book your tickets online to save up to 5% off the entry costs.
Online prices, correct of 2022, are:
Under 5’s free
Family ticket: £27.50 for two adults and three children.
Opening times vary on season but as a guide, up until 31st October you can visit between 10am and 5pm. Last admission 4pm.
From 1st November and over the winter, opening times are 10-4pm with last admissions at 3pm.
Vindolanda Museum is closed between January 5th – February 7th however the fort site is still open.
The museum displays objects discovered during the excavations. It will blow your mind, that the objects you are viewing, came from the very site you have just visited. From leather shoes and jewellery to military equipment and pottery, it is simply amazing the history that has been uncovered here.
The museum is incredibly interesting but perhaps one for the children who are slightly older. For children under five, it isn’t very interactive so they may be finished looking around before you are.
As you leave the museum, you make your way through the gift shop and café, before stepping out into the Roman gardens. You can spend some time here exploring the gardens and activity centre.
The café is designed to make you feel like you could be in Italy, all very authentic and in keeping with the rest of the site. Either sit inside or grab a takeaway coffee and sit outside on one of the picnic benches, to take in the beautiful garden views.
The whole site feels relaxed and there is plenty of exploring to be done. An activity centre is in the garden which is great for children. It is engaging and really paints a picture of what life would have been like for Roman children.
Then of course there is the Fort. The visible stone fort dates back as far as the third century and the remains include the fort walls and the headquarters building. Remains of the complete settlement lie just west of the fort and include buildings lining what would have been the main street. These buildings include shops, houses, and a bath house.
Plenty of space for children to let off steam while you absorb the history.
To help plan your visit further, visit the website (https://www.vindolanda.com) and read about visiting The Sill and Sycamore Gap whilst staying with us.