The Romans in the North

Corbridge’s old stone bridge, Northumberland
Corbridge’s old stone bridge, Northumberland
York Minster
York Minster
York Minster
York Minster
Multangular Tower
Multangular Tower
Part of Hadrian's Wall at Segedunum
Part of Hadrian's Wall at Segedunum
Roman Wall at Segedunum
Roman Wall at Segedunum
View of the Solway Firth in Northern England
View of the Solway Firth in Northern England
Ruins at Vindolanda Roman fort in England
Ruins at Vindolanda Roman fort in England
Hadrian's wall, Northumberland
Hadrian's wall, Northumberland

See the Cramond Lioness at the National Museum of Scotland

Britain was Rome’s most northerly province. Several attempts were launched to try to subdue the whole island, but the Romans had to settle for the rich south, leaving the bleak highlands under the watchful eyes of the Roman army. The campaigns of generals like Julius Agricola always ended with the Roman withdrawing to the rough line of Hadrian’s Wall. This tour takes us through northern Britain and follows in the footsteps of Septimius Severus, the last emperor to make a serious attempt to conquer the north.

  • Explore the remains of the Antonine Wall, the most northerly frontier wall and the Roman forts at Ardoch
  • Visit York, the metropolis of the Roman north and where Septimius Severus set up his court
  • Discover Vindolanda, one of the most important civilian and military sites of the north
  • Tour Edinburgh, the Athens of the north, Scotland’s buzzing capital with the National Museum of Scotland

Themes

  • Romans

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

Assemble in York and check in to our hotel. A preliminary orientation walk around the city and lecture on the Romans’ last invasion of Scotland awaits.

Hotel: The Grange Hotel, York
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

Today we shall explore York. Eboracum was the Roman capital of the north, base of the sixth legion and effectively capital of Rome during Severus’ stay in the city. We will visit the famous Yorkshire Museum and see its collections, including a huge bust of Constantine, perhaps one of the first cut. Walk along the line of the legionary fortress walls to the Multangular Tower. In the afternoon we can visit the excavations of the legionary headquarters beneath the great medieval cathedral, York Minster.

Hotel: The Grange Hotel, York
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

We drive north to Corbridge. This vital supply base was used both by the garrisons of Hadrian’s Wall, but was massively expanded under Septimius Severus in order to provision his army heading north of the wall. An afternoon visit to Vindolanda. This fort was part of the original northern frontier but was reoccupied and enlarged in the third century. It is famous for the extraordinary discovery of hundreds of wooden writing tables giving details of army life, and a whole collection of wonderfully preserved leather shoes.

Hotel: Indigo Hotel Newcastle, Newcastle
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

We spend a day examining the eastern defences of Hadrian’s Wall. A morning visit to South Shields with its finely reconstructed buildings. In the afternoon we will drive to Wallsend where Hadrian’s Wall met the Tyne, the eastern anchor of the northern frontier, to visit the excavated fort at Segedunum.

Hotel: Indigo Hotel Newcastle, Newcastle
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

We drive north to Newstead, Roman Trimontium, an advance post north of the wall built in the second century AD. We will explore the site and take a walk along part of Dere Street to see the marching camp of Severus’ time. We will also explore the fine Trimontium Museum of Scotland before heading to Edinburgh.

Hotel: Apex Waterloo Place Hotel, Edinburgh
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

We drive out to Inveresk, an important fort where the local church of St. Michael was built over the remains of the military buildings. From here, we go on to the northern supply base at Cramond, where the famous Cramond Lioness was found, and in the afternoon we get a chance to see this sculpture in the National Museum of Scotland.

Hotel: Apex Waterloo Place Hotel, Edinburgh
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

Today we follow on the trail of Severus and his army as they marched north. First to Carpow on the River Tay where extensive earthworks survive of the Severan fort and supply base. From there, we drive to the Gask Ridge to trace the watch towers and signal station that kept lookout over the highlands and finally back to Edinburgh via Rough Castle and the Antonine Wall with its excavated limes style defences. This afternoon we say farewell and disperse for our journey’s home.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - All local transport
  4. Meals - Water with all meals, wine & tea or coffee with dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels

Travel Information

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2020 Tour Details

Mon 8th Jun - Sun 14th Jun

Available

£2,495

without flights

sgl supp: £550

RON20A

Led By: Dr Simon Elliott

Mon 21st Sep - Sun 27th Sep

Available

£2,495

without flights

sgl supp: £550

RON20B

Led By: Dr Simon Elliott

Guide Lecturer

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