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“For the right audience, a great attraction...”
Review of Vindolanda

Vindolanda
Ranked #2 of 36 things to do in Hexham
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Visit Roman Vindolanda today and you will find one of the North East’s most famous and not to be missed tourist attractions lying in the beautiful landscape of Hadrian's Wall Country. Formerly a key military post on the northern frontier of Britain, Vindolanda is the home of Britain's 'Top Treasure' - the Vindolanda Writing Tablets - and is one Europe's most important Roman archeological sites, with live excavations taking place every year. The recently fully refurbished on site museum provides a breathtaking exploration of the Trust's ongoing discoveries and accounts of Roman life. There are no other places on earth where it is possible to experience Roman Britain, Hadrian's Wall and history coming to life before your very eyes all in one space! Come and explore it for yourself and find out why Vindolanda is treasured worldwide.
Reviewed 4 September 2011

Having read the other reviews of this site, I can see where both positive and negative reviews have come from. This was the second time that I have visited this site, and I brought my extended family along on a recent break in Northumbria. Opinions on Vindolanda split the group in half.

My father, who is vey interested in history, loved it, as did my partner; however, my mother, sister and her toddler were bored by the site. There is not much recreation at the site, and there is very little to keep a young child entertained at the site. The entrance fee can be a little steep for people just walking around to keep others happy, and we regretted having paid over £30 to get in for only 3 of us to actually enjoy the site. However, those of us who did like it liked it a lot, and found especially the Vindolanda tablet area within the museum to be very interesting. The Roman Army museum was much more suitable for the casual visitor interested in getting some Roman culture in a fun way, and if you are attending with young children I would recommend the Army Museum 7 miles away as the better bet; otherwise, go to Vindolanda, but don't expect much more than you get at other Roman fort sites.

2  Thank millenniumperegrine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 August 2011

This place is truly amazing. The excavations of the Roman fort and the buildings of the village that surrounded it are interesting enough, as are the recreations of Roman shops down by the river. But, the newly refurbished museum is what lifts this place into a different league to other Roman sites in Britain. Seeing the handwritten documents that have been found there and the simple everyday personal messages they contain brings the distant past to life and give a real glimpse of what life at this far distant outpost of Rome must have been like. There are lots of artefacts on display, jewellery, coins, tools, even a huge collection of sandals! New finds are emerging all the time. A large team were at work digging as we visited and we were told there is about 200 more years of archaeological work to do there!

You can buy a ticket combining a visit to Vindolanda with the Roman Army Museum a few miles up the road - and I would recommend doing that. I think you need a car though to do both.

Thank David_Yorkshire_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2011

We have lived in Northumberland for over 20 years and yet it was just a few weeks ago that we took our first trip to Vindolanda.

Part of me wishes we had done it sooner as we had such a great day out there. Following our GPS we were lead to the East car park, which is the lesser used entrance, so our first encounter is through the Museum, shop and cafe.

We paid for our tickets and the chap behind the desk couldn't have been more helpful and pleasant with it. (Chris, I think is his name) Allowing us to park in a disabled spot despite not having a blue badge - we did have our disabled son with us, just no badge. Indeed Chris said we could park pretty much in front of the building if we wanted to. A great attitude like that made us feel really welcome and is such a change from some establishments where everything is just 'too much effort'.

As for the site itself, well the cafe, museum and shop is in a delightful location - tucked away in it's own little valley with a small stream running through it. If the weather is good, then it is a perfect place for a light lunch or snack - the quality of the food on offer was commensurate with an establishment of this type = no Michelin stars, but decent enough at a reasonable price.

Walking across the stream and up the hill is Vindolanda itself. The site is similar to, but I would say, somewhat larger than the excavations at Housesteads. A small wooden and a stone mockup of various buildings have been re-created. Our able-bodied lad loved these and indeed they both offer good views over pretty much the entire site.

Moving further West we came to an ice-cream store which turned out to be part of the West (main) entrance.

We were lucky enough, after enjoying our ice-creams, to tag on to one of the regular talks which take place at the weekends during the summer (and this is why I recommend visiting at a weekend!) The talk was given by a Geordie gentleman, with a real passion for what he was doing - bringing alive much of what might have been just some uncovered ruins.

In short, if you need help imagining what a place like this might have been: Visit on a weekend, during the summer and follow one of the guided (free) walks around the site - you will have a great time.

2  Thank RS_Tera_Dad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2011

If you can join the tour you'll get to know more about the history. Excellent museum with facinating artifacts. The volunteers excavating the site were very enthusastuc and more than willing to answer any questions. We visited Vindolanda 1st then the Roman Army 2nd we felt this was the best way round as the Army Musuem puts flesh on the bones of what you have seen at Vindolanda

1  Thank sunholstan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2011

Allow yourself plenty of time to explore this amazing place.

Thank Ngaire M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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