All Roads Lead to Rome(-an forts)


After so much busy city life in London and Cambridge, we made our escape to the English countryside to a small hamlet called Thorngrafton in Northumberland.  According to our host, the hamlet is composed of just 22 houses along a street, but that means everybody has so much space and our host was able to have her house built just for her.  Each of the houses is named by its owner with a plaque on front bearing its name.

I felt like I walked into a movie scene in an old English cottage complete with balcony and an amazing view of the countryside.  If Cambridge was Hogwarts, then Thorngrafton transported us into the Pride and Prejudice era.

After a quick breakfast of muesli (a cereal replacement made of a mix of granola, nuts, and fruits that seems to be popular in the U.K.) and Yorkshire tea, we were off to see a section of Hadrian’s wall and one of its forts, about 3 miles from the town.  This area is definitely easier to travel by car, but at least we got lucky with beautiful weather and some A+ views for our trek.

On our way, we saw sheep everywhere which, being from city and suburban areas, I got really excited about.  Li thought I was crazy for wanting so many pictures of sheep, but then again he thinks I’m crazy anyway.

After an hour or so of wandering, we finally made it to Hadrian’s wall and the remains of the Roman fort that used to be in the area just in time to have a solid view from the fort for lunch.  At the fort, signs were up indicating which ruins would have been which parts of the fort, including everything from ovens to wells to courtyards.

Because it had rained the day before, the ground everywhere was muddy and quite treacherous.  Li managed to slip and cover half his body in mud.  To top it off, we decided to be adventurous and follow a small trail over the mountain to get back instead of the paved road we originally took.  My shoe definitely almost got stuck and came off in the mud more than a few times, but at least it had a great view and it was fun to walk!    And added an extra hour to our trip probably…oops.


When we finally made it back to paved road, Li decided that he had had enough adventure for the trip.  Even though our next stop after the U.K. was back to Iceland for a road trip.  We did manage to see some gorgeous little villages/hamlets on our walk back, though, and some of them had “For Sale” signs. We decided that we’ll come live here in retirement, worry-free with all this land for us to roam.  Not a bad life to be living.  But for now, it’s back to the city.  Next stop, Edinburgh!



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