Birdoswald, about a half-hour drive east from Carlisle, has one of the best preserved forts along Hadrian’s Wall. Apart from in one corner, all the walls are exposed, and several towers and gateways are also visible. Known as Banna in Roman times, the site also contains the remains of an ancient hall (from immediately after the Roman occupation), a medieval tower, a sixteenth-century bastle and a mock-medieval farmhouse built in Victorian times.
The fort site, managed by English Heritage, has a café and museum, with interactive displays bringing the area’s history to life.
Leading up to the fort from the River Irthing is the longest continuous stretch of Hadrian’s Wall still in existence. Further east, at Willowford and Gilsland, are the remains of a Roman bridge and good examples of the turrets and milecastles that were regularly spaced along the entire length of the wall.