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Just a five minutes walk from South Shields seafront is Arbeia Roman Fort, the most extensively excavated Roman military supply base in the Empire.
Built in AD160, this UNESCO World Heritage Site stood guard at the mouth of the River Tyne and once controlled the main port of entry to the Roman Empire in Britain.
Originally built to house a garrison, Arbeia soon became an important military supply base for the 17 forts along the length of the mighty Hadrian's Wall.
Today, Arbeia is a fascinating place to visit and is a great insight into what life was like in Roman Britain. It combines the excavated remains of the original fort with excellent reconstructions of buildings.
In fact, it is one of only a few places in the country where you can see brought-to-life Roman buildings. Climb the reconstructed West Gate, find out how the soldiers lived in their barracks and explore the much more luxurious home of the Commander.
Some of the impressive finds that have been found along Hadrian's Wall can be viewed in Arbeia's museum and with regular excavations taking place who knows what you may witness yourself!
And a must for the kids is Arbeia's Time Quest attraction, where they can dig for nearly-real finds and learn how archaeologists unravel the mysteries of the past.
Throughout the summer Arbeia plays host to some fantastic events with Roman re-enactments, live music and activities guaranteed to entertain children and adults of ages