Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail is a fascinating and rewarding coast to coast walk from the North Sea to the Irish Sea alongside the iconic Hadrian’s Wall (also called the Roman Wall) in Northern England. It is Britain’s biggest Roman archaeological feature and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Opened in 2003, the 135km Hadrian’s Wall Path follows the course of the Roman wall closely along its entire length from Wallsend to Bowness on Solway and is one of Britain’s most popular long distance walks.
Hadrian’s Wall was a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, begun in AD 122 in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. It ran from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea, and was the northern limit of the Roman Empire, immediately north of which were the lands of the northern Ancient Britons. A significant portion of the wall still stands and can be followed on foot along the adjoining Hadrian’s Wall Path.
This Hadrian’s Wall Path itinerary covers the full length of the path in 7 walking days and one rest day (9 nights) so it is a bit more relaxed compared to our 7-night itinerary and appeals to a broader audience, giving you enough time to explore all the sights at a leisurely pace.
- Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- The vibrant city of Newcastle
- The delicious seafood in Northumberland
- Vindolanda and Housesteads Roman Forts
- Wild and beautiful landscapes
- A warm welcome and comfortable accommodation each night
- One of Britain’s most popular long-distance walks
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Note: Our default itinerary direction is East to West; when booking, you can opt to do it in reverse, which will not affect the tour price.
Day 1: Arrival Newcastle Upon Tyne/Wallsend
Arrival at the vibrant city of Newcastle. Newcastle is a major transport hub in the north-east of England and has excellent rail, road and air links from Scotland and the South of England. It also has an airport which serves many carriers. Overnight accommodation in the Newcastle area.
- Accommodation: The County Hotel Newcastle or similar
Day 2: Wallsend to Heddon | 24km
The Segedunum Roman Fort and Museum is the official start point of the trail. The first day follows the River Tyne along the Newcastle Quayside, underneath numerous bridges including the Millennium Bridge then continues west out of the city to the village of Heddon on the Wall.
Day 3: Heddon to Chollerford | 24km
Today you will walk following Hadrian’s Wall through the Northumberland countryside where the Roman Ditch/Vallum can be seen. Past the hamlet of Harlow Hill hike towards the landmark Robin Hood Inn, then on towards Chollerford where sections of the wall can be seen. The bridge over the River Tyne at Chollerford was built in 1775 and is a short distance away from the original Roman crossing.
Day 4: Chollerford to Once Brewed | 21km
Leaving Chollerford, the trail takes you past Chesters Roman Fort, you then enter Northumberland National Park passing the most complete sections of Hadrian’s Wall with a chance to visit Housesteads Roman Fort. Then you walk following the crags above Crag Lough through Sycamore Gap to Peel Crags and the very steep Cat Stairs finishing at the hamlet of Once Brewed.
Day 5: Once Brewed Rest Day
Enjoy a rest day today, giving you a chance to see Vindolanda and Housesteads Roman Forts, one of the highlights of the trip.
Day 6: Once Brewed to Gilsland | 15km
This section begins with a climb to the top of Winshields Crags, which is the highest point of the trail and you will enjoy stunning views in every direction. You will then walk on to Gilsland.
- Walking for the day: 15km, ↑255m ↓355m
- Accommodation: Brooklands Gilsland or similar
Day 7: Gilsland to Walton/Brampton | 13km
This section contains some of the best-preserved parts of the wall. Hadrian’s Wall continues to stand atop the high ground allowing views that stretch for miles in every direction, including to the Lake District to the south-west.
- Walking for the day: 13km, ↑200m ↓250m
- Accommodation: Old Vicarage Walton or similar
Day 8: Walton/Brampton to Carlisle | 19km
From Walton, the route continues through farmland following the Roman Ditch line through the hamlet of Newtown and along the banks of the River Eden into Carlisle. This is a vibrant city on the Scotland/England border with a stunning Cathedral, Castle and City Wall.
- Walking for the day: 19km, ↑10m ↓60m
- Accommodation: Crown & Mitre Hotel or similar
Day 9: Carlisle to Bowness on Solway | 23km
Starting along the Eden banks, you will then walk across the flat salt marshes of the Solway Firth passing the village of Burgh by Sands with the statue of Edward I next to the Greyhound Inn. The route continues to the official end of the trail at Bowness on Solway. This expansive estuary is internationally renowned as an area of outstanding natural beauty for its thriving birdlife and has a charm of its own. The Kings Arms in Bowness is a great place for a drink to celebrate your achievement.
- Walking for the day: 23km, ↑30m ↓25m
- Accommodation: Inn at the Bush or similar
Day 10: Departure
Local bus and taxi services connect Bowness to Carlisle from where there are excellent transport links to both Scotland and the south of England.
What to expect
Accommodations on this tour include a mix of welcoming B&Bs, guesthouses and 3-star hotels. They have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere, cuisine and/or unique services. All rooms are private en-suite. Note that it is sometimes necessary to accommodate you a short walk away from the trail itself, as there is not always suitable accommodation close to the path. Details will be given in your pre-departure info pack.
Click to view sample hotels for this tour
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included on all days. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. You can have dinner at the guesthouse you are staying at or at the village pubs and restaurants.
Difficulty and terrain
This itinerary is suitable for average walkers. Most days offer 4-5h of walking. The route is a mixture of paths, tracks and minor roads. Some of the paths can become very muddy and boggy and negotiating this terrain can be slow-going at times. Parts of the route cross main roads, so extra care should be taken at these points when crossing (read more about difficulty grades). The route is signed with white acorn signs and is easily navigable. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to go
This trip is available from the beginning of March until the end of October. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date during the season..
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By train or bus
- Arrival: Heddon is easily reachable from Newcastle by local bus or taxi (25min). Newcastle is a major transport hub in the north-east of England and has excellent rail, road and air links from both Scotland and the South of England. It also has an airport which serves many carriers. Check the Traveline or Trainline website for up-to-date travel information or use the Omio planner above.
- Departure: Local bus, train and taxi services connect to Carlisle from where there are excellent transport links to both Scotland and the south of England. You can check the Traveline or Trainline website. The 685 bus leaves from the centre of Brampton every hour. If you are getting the train from Brampton please note that the station is approximately 4 km from the centre of the town along a country road.
- 9 nights in private en-suite rooms (3-star hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses)
- 9 breakfasts
- Detailed journey documentation and practical information: Stedman Guidebook, National Trail waterproof map, A5 guide, Services information sheet (places to eat, banks, shops etc), AD122 bus timetable
- Luggage transfer from hotel to hotel on all walking days (one bag per person, up to 15kg)
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative in Northumberland
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras and supplements
- A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room (subject to availability); note that single rooms sometimes may be of an inferior standard to double/twin rooms
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request