Heritage bosses aim to turn Hadrian’s Wall into tourist hotspot with £30m cash injection


Heritage bosses aim to turn Hadrian’s Wall into tourist hotspot to rival the Great Wall of China with £30m cash injection that will highlight how it was an inspiration for Game of Thrones

  • Hadrian’s Wall will get a £30 million cash injection to improve, maintain the site
  • Plans to turn the wall into an attraction comparable to the Great Wall of China
  • Heritage bosses plan to catapult the site into the top ten attractions in the UK
  • They plan to use ties to Game of Thrones’ ‘Wall of Ice’ to boost visitor numbers

Heritage bosses are planning to turn Hadrian’s Wall into an attraction comparable to the Great Wall of China with a £30 million cash injection. 

The money will be used to highlight how it was an inspiration for Game of Thrones’ 345 mile-long and 700ft tall ‘Wall of Ice’. 

With an initial target of three million visitors annually, Hadrian’s Wall would be catapulted into the top ten attractions in the UK and clinch the number one spot for sites outside the capital. 

Hadrian's Wall is set to get a £30 million boost of government and charity funds to push the attraction into the country's top ten

Hadrian’s Wall is set to get a £30 million boost of government and charity funds to push the attraction into the country’s top ten

Inspired by Game of Thrones' 345 mile-long and 700ft tall 'Wall of Ice' (pictured), an ode to the Roman monument, heritage bosses plan to turn the wall into an attraction comparable to the Great Wall of China

Inspired by Game of Thrones’ 345 mile-long and 700ft tall ‘Wall of Ice’ (pictured), an ode to the Roman monument, heritage bosses plan to turn the wall into an attraction comparable to the Great Wall of China

The Hadrian’s Wall partnership board plan to exploit every possible angle of ties to the Games of Thrones franchise, owing to its popularity, and would like to include the show’s creator George RR Martin in the process.  

Chairwoman Lady Gibson told the Sunday Times: ‘We will be exploring every storytelling hook possible to let people around the world know about the wall and its historic significance, which includes using Game of Thrones.’ 

Martin, 72, was first inspired by the Roman monument in a visit in 1981. He told the Rolling Stone magazine: ‘I stood up there and tried to imagine what it was like to be a Roman legion- ary, standing on this wall, looking at these distant hills,

‘It was a very profound feeling. For the Romans at that time, this was the end of civilisation; it was the end of the world.’

Martin told the publication he had imagined monsters hiding in the dark Scottish highlands and that the wall felt like a ‘barrier’ against dark forces. 

The Hadrian's Wall partnership board plan to exploit every possible angle of ties to the Games of Thrones franchise, owing to its popularity (pictured, a scene from series 8)

The Hadrian’s Wall partnership board plan to exploit every possible angle of ties to the Games of Thrones franchise, owing to its popularity (pictured, a scene from series 8)

The History of Hadrian’s Wall 

Hadrian’s Wall was built between AD 122 and 128 along the Roman empire’s north-western frontier. 

Its construction was ordered by Emperor Hadrian, who had ascended the throne in AD 117.

It took six years and around 15,000 men to build and stretches 73 miles from Newcastle upon Tyne in the east and Bowness-on-Solway in the west. 

At every Roman mile there was a small fortified gateway built to house between 20 and 30 men stationed as guards. 

Only 10 per cent of the wall remains visible as much of it has been moved or buried. 

Though a common misconception, the wall does not mark the border between Scotland and England. 

Heritage bosses plan to use the cash injection to improve transport links to the wall and upgrade the visitor centres in an effort to attract more tourists. 

The money will come from the Hadrian’s Wall partnership board, who are putting £12million towards the project, while the remaining £18 million will come from the Scottish and UK governments. 

The government money will come from their joint £350 million Borderlands Growth Deal, a 2021 initiative to foster sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the border regions. 

The wall is one of the UK’s 32 world heritage sites and reaches 73 miles across England from Newcastle upon Tyne in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the West. 

It was built by the Romans around AD 122 to guard the north-western frontier of their empire  and boasts several remaining forts, towers, and turrets, though much of it has been moved or buried. 

The colossal monument has enjoyed a year of low visitor numbers, leaving it in its best condition since the end of the Second World War, according to WallCAP archaeologists.

The number of sites along the wall currently listed as ‘at risk’ numbers 19, but after a year of lockdowns, which left plenty of time for conservation work, archaeologists hope that figure can drop to 12. 

English Heritage, which manages the wall, has invested more than £100,000 in repairing ‘at risk’ zones.   

The wall is one of the UK's 32 world heritage sites and reaches 73 miles across England from Newcastle upon Tyne in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the West

The wall is one of the UK’s 32 world heritage sites and reaches 73 miles across England from Newcastle upon Tyne in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the West

The wall was built by the Romans around AD122 to guard the north-western frontier of their empire and boasts several remaining forts, towers, and turrets

The wall was built by the Romans around AD122 to guard the north-western frontier of their empire and boasts several remaining forts, towers, and turrets



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