Hadrian's Wall (Latin: Vallum Aelium) was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain, begun in AD 122 during the rule of emperor Hadrian. In addition to its military role, gates through the wall served as customs posts.
A significant portion of the wall still exists and can be followed on foot along the Hadrian's Wall Path. It is the most popular tourist attraction in Northern England and was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
Hadrian's Wall extended west from Segedunum at Wallsend on the River Tyne, via Carlisle and Kirkandrews-on-Eden, to the shore of the Solway Firth, ending a short but unknown distance west of the village of Bowness-on-Solway.
Although the curtain wall ends near Bowness-on-Solway, this does not mark the end of the line of defensive structures. The system of milecastles and turrets is known to have continued along the Cumbria coast as far as Risehow, south of Maryport. For classification purposes, the milecastles west of Bowness-on-Solway are referred to as Milefortlets.
The A69 and B6318 roads follow the course of the wall from Newcastle upon Tyne to Carlisle, then along the northern coast of Cumbria (south shore of the Solway Firth). It is a common misconception that Hadrian's wall marks the boundary between England and Scotland. This is not the case; Hadrian's wall lies entirely within England, ranging less than a kilometre south of the border with Scotland in the west at Bowness-on-Solway to 110 kilometres (68 mi) in the east.