fbpx

England: Hadrian’s Wall Hiking Adventure

September 4 - 12, 2022

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” – Friedrich Nietzche

Hadrian’s Wall country is quite simply a walker’s paradise, with stunning landscapes and a rich history. Walk England coast to coast on the Hadrian’s Wall hiking adventure. Located in spectacular Northern England, Hadrian’s Wall was built in AD122 under the orders of Emperor Hadrian. The stone wall stretched for an amazing 73 miles and was successful in controlling the northern frontier of the Roman Empire. Noted as Europe’s largest surviving Roman monument, Hadrian’s Wall was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is the most protected landscape anywhere in the United Kingdom. It ranks alongside the pyramids in Egypt and the Taj Mahal in India.

Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail is an 84-mile unbroken trail from Wallsend (Segedunum) in the east to Bowness-on-Solway (Maia) in the west. It passes through some of the most beautiful parts of England, from rolling fields and rugged landscapes to the vibrant cities of Newcastle and Carlisle. The trail skirts a number of fascinating Roman sites including Birdoswald Fort, Walltown Quarry, Great Chesters Fort, Steel Rigg, Vindolanda, Housteads Fort, Brocolitia Fort, and Segadunum, as well as numerous Roman turrets and milecastles.

This truly is a fantastic journey – challenging but extremely rewarding, with a sense of achievement after completing the passage that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Trip Favorite Moments & Reviews

“On Day 3, I cherished walking high along the wall alone with amazing vistas ahead and behind me, knowing the inn would be waiting with luggage in room, hot shower, local pint at dinner and familiar faces to share stories of the day.”

Gretchen W.

Details

  • Dates: September 4 - 12, 2022
  • Cost Per Person: $3,950
  • Optional Single Supplement: $700
  • Private Tour Minimum: 4
  • Activities: Hiking
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
  • Guides: To Be Determined

Other Info:

Private Tours: Contact us for small group pricing

Book this Tour

Trip Highlights

  • Walk the width of England, all 84 miles of it, coast to coast!
  • Enjoy stunning, unspoiled English countryside along the National Hadrian's Wall Trail.
  • Sample traditional pub fare and local beers in country pubs.
  • Visit the remains of the Northerly most outpost of the Roman Empire.
DAY 1 > Arrival in Newcastle

You can arrive at any time today in Newcastle, located on the east coast.The only thing we have scheduled today is a pre-dinner orientation meeting at our hotel with our local guide for the trip. He will provide you with details about the walk and answer any questions that you may have. Dinner is on your own tonight, as you may want to get to bed early tonight in preparation for our early morning departure tomorrow.

DAY 2 > Bowness-on-Solway to Carlisle > 14 miles

After an early breakfast we will shuttle west to the edge of the Channel of River Eden (which leads to the Irish Sea) and Bowness-on-Solway for the start of our journey along the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail. This is a lovely start to the walk with fine views over Bowness-on-Solway, which has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and hosts an abundance of bird life. Here the fishermen still fish for salmon using a Haaf net, a method introduced by the Vikings over a thousand years ago. To the south we look back on the high peaks of the Lake District. The walk is on mostly flat terrain through open fields and along canals and rivers. Because the Wall was built of earth in this section, there are few remains. We’ll enjoy a packed lunch along the trail and end up at our accommodation located near to the Hadrian’s Wall Trail. If you still have the energy, you will have the opportunity this evening to enjoy the beautiful city of Carlisle at your leisure. Carlisle is famous for its Castle, a great medieval fortress that has watched over the City of Carlisle for over nine centuries. Perhaps you’ll have time to explore fascinating and ancient chambers, stairways and dungeons and find the legendary “licking stones” prior to our official welcome dinner.

DAY 3 > Carlisle to Lanercost > 14 miles

After saying our farewells to our hosts in Carlisle we set out on today's walk; a pleasant day's ramble through open countryside passing through quaint villages. Although not always visible, this section of the Wall is made from sod but it’s nevertheless still impressive and a tantalizing prelude of what’s to come. We end today's walk at Lanercost with its hauntingly beautiful Priory founded in 1165 by Augustinian canons. We retire for the evening after a delicious home cooked meal.

DAY 4 > Lanercost to Gilsland > 5 miles

After two long walking days, we intentionally have a short day today to allow a bit of a recharge and have a relaxing start. A hearty breakfast will fuel us as we re-join the trail and see our first bit of the stone wall!  After a fashion, long sections of the wall become more evident, with examples of turrets and milecastles. Birdoswald Fort stands high above a bend in the River Irthing, in one of the most picturesque settings on Hadrian's Wall. A Roman fort, turret and milecastle can all be seen on this excellent stretch of the Wall, with probably the best-preserved defenses of any Wall fort.  This was an important base for some 1,000 Roman soldiers, succeeding an earlier fort made of turf and timber. We reach Gilsland just after lunch and there is a short transfer to Vindolanda Roman Fort, a Roman auxiliary fort just south of the Wall, one of the best Roman sights in the area. After the visit to Vindolanda, we transfer back to Gilsland and our accommodation.

DAY 5 > Gilsland to Steel Rigg > 9 miles

Leaving Gilsland we pass the 14C Thirlwall Castle, built out of stone plundered from the Wall. Before we start to climb out of Walltown Quarry we visit the Roman Army Museum which is part of the Vindolanda Charitable Trust. Watch the superb and award winning 20 minute 3D Edge of Empire film which takes us on an eagle eye view along the section of Hadrian's Wall that we are about to walk along - absolutely stunning and a definite must see! You will see many additional turrets and milecastles today as you rise up into the spine of England. This is one of the most impressive days of the hike. As we continue on through Walltown Quarry and Cawfields, the walking becomes more challenging with a number of sharp gradients and ascents as we gradually rise up to Winshields Crags and the highest point on the Wall – surely a must for any photo album! The views are quite simply breath-taking and the impressive nature of the wall starts to grow as you pass milecastle
after milecastle and  experience true Hadrian's Wall Country. We end the day’s walk at Steel Rigg where it’s just a short walk to our accommodation.

DAY 6 > Steel Rigg to Chollerford > 12 miles

After a hearty breakfast you have what is probably one of the most famous and dramatic sections of the wall, past Sycamore Gap and Crag Lough. This section of the wall has been used a number of times in films, and is also one of the best-preserved sections of the Wall (known as Claytons Wall after John Clayton of Chesters who was a Lawyer in Newcastle and devoted every Monday of his professional working life to restoring the Wall to what we see today). We pass Housesteads, the most complete example of a Roman fort in Britain, and now the most popular site on the Wall. It stands high on the exposed Whin Sill escarpment, commanding breath-taking views. It was one of 12 permanent forts added to the new frontier by Hadrian in about 124 AD. Known as Vercovicium ('the place of effective fighters'), it was garrisoned by a cohort of around 800 infantry (for most of its history Tungrians from Belgium), later reinforced by Germanic cavalry. Our route then takes us to Chollerford, where a well-earned drink at the pub is in order.

DAY 7 > Chollerford to Heddon-on-the-Wall > 15 miles

This day begins by climbing up out of Chollerford with some lovely views North to the Cheviot Hills. Although the distance today is more than on previous days, it really is an easier day's walking being
fairly flat and in stark contrast to what we have previously done. You will still see remnants of the Wall but the joy of today is moving through wide-open spaces. More importantly there are a number of places to stop off en route for light refreshments and to take a well-earned breather. Upon reaching Heddon-on-the-Wall, there will be a short transfer to our accommodation at Newburn, where after a relaxing shower or bath you can have a lovely evening meal and look back on the superb walk that you have nearly finished.

DAY 8 > Heddon-on-the-Wall to Segedunum Fort > 15 miles

After our last hearty breakfast we will start the last leg of our epic journey. This final day truly is a day of contrast. Firstly, you follow the River Tyne through some lovely countryside, before walking through some of the rich industrial heritage which Newcastle upon Tyne was built on. Much of the waterfront has now been redeveloped as you pass grand hotels, the Tyne Bridge, Sage Gateshead (new music centre) and the recently opened Baltic (arts centre), a cultural revolution evolving from an Industrial one! At the end of the Trail is Segedunum Roman Fort which stands on the banks of the River Tyne in Wallsend and the last outpost of Hadrian’s Wall. For almost 300 years, Segedunum (which means "strong fort") was home to 600 Roman soldiers. We have a celebratory dinner tonight in Newcastle, for congratulations are in order. You can look back with pride and say with hand on heart that you walked the Wall, from one coast of England to another!

DAY 9 > DEPARTURE

You might choose to sleep in this morning and if you do, you certainly deserve it! You are free to depart at any time today.

Book this Tour

Trip Accommodations

Night 1 > Newcastle
Night  2 > Carlisle
Night 3 > Lanercost
Night 4 > Gilsland
Night 5 > Steel Rigg
Night 6 > Chollerford
Night 7 > Newburn
Night 8 > Newcastle
Book this Tour

We meet you in Newcastle the first afternoon of the trip and you are free to depart Newcastle at any time on the last day of the trip (checkout is at noon).

WHAT'S INCLUDED?
  • A local guide accompanies each trip, with an American guide added when the group size reaches 8.
  • Double occupancy lodging is included. If you are traveling solo, we will match you with another traveler of the same gender. However, you may pay a single supplement to have your own room.
  • All of your meals, starting with breakfast on Day 2 and ending with breakfast on Day 9 are included. Most lunches are packed lunches, eaten on the trail.
  • All your transportation and bag transfers are included once you meet your guide on the first day, except if you decide not to walk the full distances and need to take a local taxi or bus.
  • All group activities are included.
  • NOT INCLUDED Beverages, desserts, gratuities to your guide, personal expenses, local taxi or bus if you decide not to walk the entire distance on a particular day, and travel to and from the destination.
ACCOMMODATION
The accommodation on the tours are in Inns, family-run hotels, and Bed and Breakfasts.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL

We rate this trip as moderate to difficult, as walking long distances on consecutive days can be very
taxing.  We recommend training for this trip to better enjoy it. There are one or two steep climbs and descents in the middle section of the walk, with reasonably level walking on the other days.

EQUIPMENT
Good quality walking boots/shoes will be needed for the trip and given the normal weather conditions, appropriate outdoor clothing including raingear are recommended. More details will be provided in your pre-departure documents.
WEATHER
Although we have scheduled the trip at a time of year when the weather is most favorable, don’t forget; this is Northern England, and the weather is not in our control.
LUGGAGE
Your baggage allowance for the trip is one main piece of luggage which should preferably be a duffel bag or other soft-sided bag, and a daypack. It is best to avoid large solid hardtop suitcases as these cause difficulties on transfer vehicles etc. The larger piece of luggage will travel on the vehicle between accommodations and the daypack should be suitable for carrying any additional outer-layer clothing, water, lunch and other items you will need on your walk during the day.

Book this Tour

Save my Spot

Not ready to book yet? Save your spot by sending us an email request to "pencil you in" on our registered list. Save your spot today.

I'm Interested

I'm interested in this tour, but want to know more. Get in touch with us.

Plan a Private Tour

Looking to book this itinerary as a private tour? Complete our private tour inquiry form to get started.

Get Travel Inspiration Delivered Directly to Your Inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive regular updates on our upcoming adventures.