Britain plans wall of lights

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The Independent Online

Plans have been unveiled to illuminate the length of Hadrian's Wall, one of Britain's most iconic Roman landmarks, as part of festivities planned for British Tourism Week.

Organizers will place beacons at 250m intervals along the length of the 84 mile (135 km) wall, which bisects the width of Northern England. Around 500 beacons will be used to create a stunning line of lights to represent the positions of the former Roman defensive "fortlets" and turrets along the wall.

The first light will be illuminated at dusk on March 13 at Wallsend in the North East of England, with the line of light then making its way along the Wall to Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria in the West. Theatrical performances, processions and events are planned along the route.

The event is being produced by John Farquhar-Smith who was the technical director for the eight-minute handover ceremony in which the Olympic flame was officially passed to London by China at the end of the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

"I'm delighted to be directing this extraordinary event," said Farquhar-Smith. "Our aim is to capture the public's imagination with an event that will show the immense scale and beauty of Hadrian's Wall and the countryside, villages, towns and cities that it runs through. It will be a celebration of a truly iconic piece of World heritage."

Hadrian's Wall formed the Roman frontier across the north of England for almost 300 years. It was built in AD122 by the Roman army on the orders of the Emperor Hadrian and today attracts visitors from all over the world.

British Tourism Week 2010 takes place March 15-21 and will include a
program of events around the country.