Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights From £575
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Trip created by Rachael Gavan
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All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.Download Itinerary
In AD 122 the Roman Emperor Hadrian commanded his army to build a great wall to mark the edge of the civilised world. Spanning 80 miles from coast to coast the wall was built to separate the Romans of Britannia in the south from the barbarians of Caledonia to the north. The Wall remained the north-west frontier of the Roman empire for almost 300 years and was home to regiments of infantry and cavalry. Today it is a World Heritage Site and is the most famous of all the Roman Empire frontiers.
On this classic self-guided long-distance trail, immerse yourself in the varied scenery of Northern England. Journey across the country on foot through the rich, rolling landscape visiting forts and milecastles, soaking up the fascinating history of this ancient monument. Hiking from inn to inn you’ll stay in charming villages and on working farms enjoying a warm welcome and wonderful local food. Your luggage will be transferred to your next accommodation each day and we’ll provide route notes and maps so you can relax and enjoy your adventure following in the footsteps of Legions.
There are options to split longer days or to shorten the route if you are on a schedule – simply get in touch to discuss the best option for you.
Make your own way to the bustling city of Newcastle. A great option for today is to visit Hadrian’s Wall Gallery in the Great North Museum. Artefacts from every major site on Hadrian’s Wall are on display, giving a fascinating insight into building, daily life and subsequent history of the Wall as well as the Roman Empire. It’s an excellent way to build excitement for your trip. Relax in your accommodation this evening before the start of your journey tomorrow.
Starting at the appropriately-named Wallsend which shares a history with Vikings as well as the Romans, you’ll hike along the banks of the River Tyne and through the heart of Newcastle. This is the busiest part of the route and not much of the Wall survives here due to the turbulent history and subsequent industrialisation of the area. However, this section allows you to hike what would have been the full length of the Wall as you journey through time, from present-day to the 2nd century. Near the end of your hike, you are rewarded with the first intact 100m of the famous wall which you’ll follow through the quiet village of Heddon-on-the-Wall where you will spend the night. (B)
Walk details: 25km/15.7 miles | Ascent: 59m/194ft | Approx. 6 to 8 hours
Gently rolling farmland, beautiful views of open countryside and quaint hamlets are revealed as you follow the old Roman road westwards. Keep your eyes open for rounded earthworks which are the remains of additional fortifications as well as the point where the wall design changed from 3m wide to just under 2m at Planetrees. From there, it is just a short hop to the village of Chollerford where you’ll overnight, home to the famous fort of Chesters, once a significant and bustling border town 2,000 years ago. (B)
Walk details: 26km/16 miles | Ascent: 241m/791ft | Approx: 6 to 8 hours
Where possible, the Romans laid their wall along the easily-defensible natural ridgelines that provided excellent views over the wilder countryside that you now pass through. This section of your hike boasts wonderfully-preserved sections of the wall, including turrets, milecastles and temples. Rigorously patrolled, these Roman garrisons once guarded this fiercely contested region against the raiding northerners. Exploring the fortifications along the trail allows you to imagine life for those who lived on the wall in the heyday of the Roman Empire. Towards the end of your hike today you’ll arrive at the wonderfully-photogenic Sycamore Gap, where the ‘Robin Hood’ tree stands proud on its own in a dramatic dip. Arriving in the uniquely-named village of Once Brewed you can enjoy a local beer in the Twice Brewed Tap House. (B)
Walk details: 20.5km/12.7 miles | Ascent: 416m/1365ft | Approx: 6 to 8 hours
Before continuing along the wall today, it is well worth taking a short detour to visit the Roman fort of Vindolanda. Occupied for hundreds of years, the ongoing archaeological site of Vindolanda has revealed many fascinating artefacts, including altars, graves and an assortment of everyday objects. Unique written pages about daily life in those ancient times can be seen in Vindolanda’s Roman Army Museum. Today sees the highest point of the walk where your climb will be rewarded with a magnificent panorama of the beautiful countryside below as well as the snaking spine of Hadrian’s Wall stretching out into the distance. The route meanders slowly into a gentler landscape towards Walton, regularly punctuated with watchtowers and milecastles. (B)
Walk details: 28.5km/17.7 miles, Ascent: 300m/984ft, Approx: 6 to 8 hours
*This day can be split into 2 shorter walking days if desired, meaning an additional overnight in Gilsland.
Enjoy easier hiking today with the landscape gradually softening to lush farmlands dotted with pretty little villages and hamlets, each with something unique to discover. There is little evidence of the wall here other than grassy mounds and ditches however it is a lovely walk with sweeping views over the gentle fields of Cumbria and out to the northern fells of the Lake District. The city of Carlisle was originally established as a Roman settlement and is guarded by Carlisle Castle, a fortress which has endured more sieges than any other place in the British Isles. Arriving this evening there is a great selection of restaurants or pubs to enjoy here before settling into your accommodation, ahead of the final leg of your journey. (B)
Walk details: 18.5km/ 11.5 miles | Ascent: 392m/1287 ft | Approx. 6 to 8 hours
Your final day is a wonderful hike through an Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty. You’ll follow the River Eden to the Solway Firth which opens to the coast with views to the Scottish mountains in the north. An amazing variety of birds call this nature reserve home including pink-footed geese, waders and curlew as well as many other species. Arriving in Bowness-on-Solway you can celebrate the end of your hike. Enjoy a final night in a warm and welcoming accommodation looking back across the miles and through history, completing your journey along Hadrian’s Wall. (B)
Walk details: 24km/ 15 miles | Ascent: 33m/108 ft | Approx. 6 to 8 hours
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast this morning perhaps followed by a walk along the beach or a visit to St Michael’s Church before departing for your onward travel. (B)
At each stage of your trek, we will arrange accommodation for you to stay that night. The accommodations will be of a 3 or 4-star standard and range from cosy guesthouses, inns, small hotels bed and breakfast – or perhaps even on working farms, all of which are the picture of warmth, comfort and rustic charm typical to northern England. Our accommodation partners are carefully handpicked for a number of factors – picturesque locations near the trail, very good facilities and a reputation for providing welcoming hospitality.
Wherever available, we will reserve en suite rooms for you. Please note however that on the Hadrian’s Wall Path, this is not always possible due to the limited accommodation options, on these rare occasions a room with private facilities will be booked instead.
Single occupancy rooms are available for a supplement of £295. Please get in touch with the team to book.
Accommodation will be reserved on a Bed & Breakfast basis, lunches and evening meals are not included. Local shops sell sandwiches and snacks for the day ahead. Many guesthouses will also be able to provide a packed lunch for you if you ask them the night before. In the evenings, meals can be taken in local restaurants, hotels or bars.
Make your own way to Newcastle to your first accommodation. There are good travel links with the local airport and regular trains and buses from major UK cities.
The trip ends in Bowness-on-Solway from where you can get a bus to Carlisle (except Sundays) or you may choose to take a taxi. From Carlisle, there are regular train and bus services to major UK cities.
If you wish to spend an extra night on the path, Day 5 can be split into two shorter days, with an additional night in Gilsland. There are also be options to shorten the route if you are on a schedule. Contact us to discuss what options will work best for you.
Our friendly office team hail from across the world but share a passion for the outdoor and wild spaces of Britain & Ireland. We are committed to providing you with the best customer service and are more than happy to chat through options and provide help and advice. Get in touch to find your perfect adventure.Ask Rachael a Question
Blue Graded Self Guided Holidays 4-6
Self guided Blue graded walking holidays are suitable for fit and experienced hikers. Walking at a good pace you can expect to be out for 6-8 hours a day. You will be following a trail but should understand how to follow a hiking map with at least basic navigation skills. Daily distances will vary – typically up to 20km but may be longer occasionally, or often on the more challenging trips in the grade. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.
Trail conditions will vary from well laid and maintained sections of gravel track to rough and rocky sections including muddy and wet areas. Short sections may be on tarmac.