Ruins at Vindolanda Roman fort in England
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Vindolanda Roman Fort & Museum

Top choice in Northeast England

The extensive site of Vindolanda offers a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of a Roman garrison town. The time-capsule museum is just one part of this large, extensively excavated site, which includes impressive parts of the fort and town (excavations continue) and reconstructed turrets and temple. Extraordinary finds unearthed in 2017 include the only known pair of Roman boxing gloves.

It's 1.5 miles north of Bardon Mill between the A69 and B6318, and 5.8 miles northeast of Haltwhistle.

Highlights of the Vindolanda museum displays include leather sandals, signature Roman toothbrush-flourish helmet decorations, and numerous writing tablets returned from the British Library. These include a student's marked work ('sloppy'), and a parent's note with a present of socks and underpants (things haven't changed – in this climate you can never have too many). Its purpose-built Wooden Underworld Gallery, opened in 2018, displays timber artefacts excavated here (from combs to axles and even a toilet seat) in temperature-controlled cases.

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