Page last updated at 10:25 GMT, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

More than 25,000 people see Hadrian's Wall lit up


The event recreated lights once shone from Roman turrets and milecastles stationed along the wall

More than 25,000 people turned out to witness a "line of light" along the 84-mile length of Hadrian's Wall between Tyneside and Cumbria, organisers said.

About 1,000 volunteers with gas-powered beacons stood 820ft (250m) apart for 30 minutes on Saturday evening.

Organisers Hadrian Wall Heritage Ltd estimate visiting tourists spent about £1m over the weekend.

About 4,000 people saw the first torch lit at Wallsend's Segedunum Roman Fort, with 10,000 in Carlisle city centre.

Linda Tuttiett, chief executive of Hadrian's Wall Heritage Ltd, said: "We've been delighted by the enthusiasm the event has generated.

Beacon being lit
The line of light remained illuminated for an hour

"It was tremendously moving to see the line of light make its way along the wall and to see the reactions of people who came to watch from all across the UK and overseas.

"Working in partnership with local people, we've done something really quite extraordinary to bring to life Britain's longest and greatest World Heritage Site."

The spectacle, to mark British Tourism Week, required the co-operation of more than 120 local landowners on the route.

The first torch was lit at Segedunum Roman Fort in Wallsend, North Tyneside, at about 1800 GMT.

The final beacon was ignited at Bowness-on-Solway, on Cumbria's west coast, about an hour later.

Peter Mearns of Northwest Regional Development Agency, added: "Hadrian's Wall is a British icon and this fantastic event reminded us all just how impressive it is.

"As well as bringing thousands of visitors to the region, it demonstrated our ability to deliver world-class events."

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