Hadrian’s Wall is the best-preserved and largest surviving outpost of the Roman Empire and is a testament to the military organisation, construction and engineering skill of the greatest empire in history. The wall spans 118km across northern England and was built in AD122 by the Emperor Hadrian and his army of 15,000 Roman soldiers. According to written reports, Hadrian built the wall to ‘separate his empire from the barbarians to the north’. The original stone wall stood almost six metres high and took six years to build.
Walk in the footsteps of Roman centurions for 135km along the iconic Hadrian’s Wall Path from the intriguing city of Newcastle upon Tyne (Wallsend) to the tiny English border village of Bowness-on-Solway. The walk is one of Britain’s most loved, long-distance hikes. It passes through an endless array of gorgeous scenery from the Northumberland National Park to picturesque county Cumbria and the Solway Coast ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’.
Experience museums and interpretive sites along the way which emphasise the incredible complexity, engineering, vision and sheer will-power of the Roman Empire in preventing the northern tribes from invading England.
Get Ready For
- Walk the length of the wall from coast to coast across the north of England
- Indulge your love of hiking and history as you follow this ancient stone relic
- Discover extraordinary examples of Roman military architecture
- Look for the Vallum, an earthwork defensive ditch along the wall
- Take in the simple pleasures of spending time immersed in nature
- Gorgeous scenery including the Solway ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’
The twin cities of Newcastle and Gateshead are separated by the river Tyne but connected by several bridges including the futuristic Millenium Bridge, the only tilting bridge in the world. Both cities thrive on surprising and delighting – experience their vibrant nightlife, explore the multi-cuisine restaurants, the recently revitalised quayside cultural area with its infusion of galleries and museums and the famous Angel of the North sculpture.
- 10m ascent, 20m descent
You begin your Hadrian’s Wall adventure with a short urban walk from the official starting point at the ruins of Segedunum Fort into Newcastle. This allows you to spend time at the multi award-winning Segedunum (strong place) interactive museum and archaeological site which features exhibitions, activities and a reconstruction of a Roman Bath House. The museum provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the Forts history which was home to 600 soldiers for almost 300 years. The route from Segedunum follows a converted rail line to join with and follow the River Tyne past the iconic quayside area and into the heart of Newcastle. Don’t forget to find a cosy pub and sample the city’s famous brown ale or “The Dog,” as it’s locally known.
- 175m ascent, 60m descent
You won’t see much of the wall today as the path continues along the River Tyne meandering to the now suburban village of Newburn. Enjoy the green oasis of the lovely Tyne Riverside Country Park as the Northumberland countryside opens up and finally leaves suburbia behind. Peaceful Heddon-on-the-Wall sits atop a hill and you’re rewarded for your effort with a considerable section of the wall remaining intact at the edge of the village. From Heddon (hill where heather grew) onwards, you will truly feel like your Hadrian’s Wall adventure has begun.
- 250m ascent, 325m descent
For most of today, the trail closely follows the B6318 (Military Road) which was built atop the wall in the 18th-century. But you won’t notice the noise from the highway as you pass by pretty sheep and cow dotted fields, open countryside and some lovely woodland tracts. Appreciate the food and hospitality of Robin Hood Inn, a traditional English pub dating back to 1752. You will follow the vallum (defensive ditch) before picking up a good section of the wall at Planetrees as you approach Chollerford. Just before Chollerford there’s the lovely little church at St Oswald’s built to commemorate victory at the Battle of Heavenfield and marks the beginning of the 155km St Oswald’s Way. Chesters Roman Fort and Museum is located just outside Chollerford and depending on where your accommodation is located, you can explore in the afternoon or the following morning. The museum holds a wonderful collection of Roman artefacts and very well-preserved baths and officers quarters.
- 425m ascent, 255m descent
Today may well be your favourite, if not most tiring days walk as you enter the rugged beauty of Northumberland National Park. Enjoy incredible views over Roman ruins, forts, fields and moorlands with the wall keeping you company as it climbs to Whin Sill ridge, one of the UK’s most significant geological features. This area boasts the best-preserved section of Hadrian’s Wall, including stunning Housesteads Fort, one of the first built along the wall and once home to over 800 men. The final section into Twice Brewed takes you past Sycamore Gap tree made famous in the Robin Hood movie featuring Kevin Costner. There are several theories surrounding the name Twice Brewed; one legend tells of Roman Soldiers complaining that the beer was too weak for them to fight and they demanded it be brewed a second time. However, locals will tell you the name comes from the two “brous” or the brows of two hills overlooking the inn.
- 255m ascent, 355m descent
A challenging day awaits as the path follows the dramatic undulating landscape and windswept moors of Northumberland to the Cumbrian border. There are some strenuous climbs including the highest point of the entire walk at Winshields Crags (345m) but your effort is well rewarded with superb views in all directions. From these high vantage points it’s easy to marvel at the ingenuity in selecting these rocky crags as a natural line of defense. You will pass some intact sections of the wall, the remains of Thirlwall Castle and the fort remains of Great Chesters and Magnis before arriving into quiet Gilsland where you can enjoy a cream tea at the village tearooms or ale at the friendly pub.
- 200m ascent, 250m descent
Just outside Gilsland you’ll find Poltross Burn Milecastle (No. 48) – one of the best-preserved ruins on the walk. The remains include part of the north gateway and stairs to the parapet. The walk heads toward the River Irthing following some excellent sections of the wall to Birdoswald. There are over half a dozen engravings along this section of the wall which are well worth seeking out.
The path continues along an elevated plateau with plenty of beautiful scenery to the village of Banks before descending into farmland and continuing to the tiny village of Walton where you can refresh yourself at the lovely tearooms and café.
- 10m ascent, 60m descent
Today you’ll pass through some lovely sections of rural countryside and open fields but any evidence of Hadrian’s Wall is now behind you. The walking is pleasant easy and very enjoyable as it follows the banks of the River Eden into the 2,000 year old Roman city of Carlisle. Break your journey with some excellent pub food or refreshments at the delightful Stag Inn, in the pretty village of Crosby-on-Eden, before following riverside paths to the ancient city. Explore medieval Carlisle Castle built in 1092 which stands strategically between the border of England and Scotland.
- 35m ascent, 30m descent
The final day of your walk follows the River Eden beyond Carlisle passing through Burgh by Sands and along a quiet road to Port Carlisle with views to the Lake District peaks. The salt marshes and beautiful expanses of the Solway Firth lay before you. This area is regarded as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the birdlife is prolific. Before returning to Carlisle for your overnight accommodation don’t forget to celebrate your achievement with a drink at the Kings Arms in Bowness which is a favourite among walkers.
Today your Hadrian’s Wall adventure ends after breakfast. You may wish to consider extending your stay in historical Carlise to further explore its fascinating past.
Please note: There is little accommodation on the Wall itself, so the daily distances will vary from that in the walk notes depending on where your accommodation is located and if you take any optional diversions.
- 9 nights quality accommodation including warm welcoming B&B’s, guest houses and small hotels
- Daily breakfast including fresh fruits, yoghurt, cereals and/or a hearty, cooked English breakfast to support your day on the trail
- Pack-free walking with luggage transfers on each hiking day (1 x 20kg bag per person)
- Comprehensive information pack including guide book, detailed walk notes, map, luggage tag and laptop case
- Hadrian’s Wall passport (stamping available May to October)
- Pre-trip guidance and planning from experienced and dedicated RAW Travel staff
- Single supplement $690
- Travel insurance
- Lunch and dinners
Coast to Coast
Lakeland Ramble – Coast to Coast
- Relax and enjoy cosy B&Bs and pubs along the route
- Wander through charming lakeland villages
- Absorb the remote wilderness of the Lake District
- Listen for cuckoos in the Borrowdale valley
South Cotswolds – Cotswold Way
- Walk from charming Painswick to the elegant streets of Bath
- Explore honey-coloured villages and medieval market towns
- Follow the path through two butterfly conservation reserves
- Discover the ancient history of Neolithic Belas Knap
South West Coast Path: St Ives to Falmouth – Cornwall
- Discover aquamarine smugglers coves and wind-blown beaches
- Embrace the solitude and beauty of the wild remote landscape
- Be charmed by delightful fishing villages and colourful harbours
- Experience warm hospitality and quality B&B accommodation
A Cornish Camino – Cornwall
- Travel the path of Saints and pilgrims along the Cornish coastline
- Wander along cobbled streets past pretty whitewashed cottages
- Follow the path through tranquil woods and country lanes
- Walk the ancient cobbled causeway to St Michael’s Mount
TRIP date selection
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