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Hadrian's Wall Path, hadrian's wall walking holidays
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Hadrian’s Wall Path

Overview

Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail is a fascinating and rewarding cost 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 135-km 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 is an 84-mile walk taking in the full route, but not everyone has the time (or the energy) to do the complete walk. If you have less time, we recommend our 6-day Highlights itinerary or our 5-day short break.

  • Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • The vibrant city of Newcastle
  • The delicious seafood in Northumberland
  • Wild and beautiful landscapes
  • A warm welcome and comfortable accommodation each night
  • One of Britain’s most popular long-distance walks

Click to view map

Itinerary

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.

Day 2: Wallsend to Heddon | 24 km / 15 mi

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 | 24 km / 15 mi

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 | 21 km / 13 mi

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 Steel Rigg Peel Crags, close to the hamlet of Once Brewed.

Day 5: Once Brewed to Lanercost | 24 km / 15 mi

You could visit Vindolanda Roman Fort before you re-join the trail at Steel Rigg car park. The route continues with a climb over Winshields rugged crags and to the highest point of the trail at 345m with wonderful views over the countryside and some of Hadrian’s Wall’s best-preserved sections. You also pass the remains of Great Chesters and Magnis Forts, Walltown Crags and the impressive Walltown Quarry, the ruin of Thirlwall Castle. You will then cross the Cumbria/Northumberland border and walk on to the village of Gilsland, where you can relax at a local cafe or pub before continuing towards Lanercost.

  • Walking for the day: 24 km / 15 miles ↑280 m 450 m
  • Accommodation: Old Vicarage Walton or similar

Day 6: Lanercost to Carlisle | 19 km / 12 mi

The wall continues on past Birdoswald, taking you down, passing Banks Turret on towards Walton. 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.

Day 7: Carlisle to Bowness on Solway | 23 km / 14 mi

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: 23 km / 14 miles ↑30 m 25 m
  • Accommodation: Inn at the Bush or similar

Day 8: 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

Accommodation

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 a suitable accommodation close to the trail. 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.

Meals

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 & terrain

This itinerary is suitable for regular walkers. Most days offer 5-6 hours 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.

Getting there

Up-to-date travel advice on the United Kingdom is available here (for Canadian citizens) and here (for US citizens).

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this tour are Edinburgh (EDI), Manchester (MAN) or Newcastle upon Tyne (NCL).

By train or bus
  • Arrival: 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. Check the Traveline or Trainline website for up-to-date travel information or use the Omio planner above.
  • Departure: Local bus 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. If you wish to return to Newcastle, there are direct trains departing from Carlisle approximately every hour. Please note that there are NO buses from Bowness to Carlisle on Sundays, so try to plan your trip so that it doesn’t finish in Bowness on a Sunday or prepare to pay an extra GBP 35-45 per car for a taxi ride (20 min).

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 nights in private en-suite rooms (3-star hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses)
  • 7 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 transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (up to 15 kg per person)
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local representative in Northumberland

Excluded

  • 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 & 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

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