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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in guesthouses, B&Bs or hotels
Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1090USD

 
 

Overview

Trip Code: WHH

Trip highlights


  • Scenic variety of northern England from the red sandstone hues of medieval Carlisle to the modern cityscapes of Newcastle Upon Tyne and to the quiescence of Bowness on Solway
  • Explore the blustery heights of Highshield Crags in the Northumberland National Park and the lime green pastoral scenes of the Eden valley
  • Trace the history of the north as you walk alongside the iconic monument of Hadrian's Wall
  • Enjoy the hospitality of handpicked country B&Bs brimming with personality & local charm

This is the West to East 8-day version of our Hadrian's Wall walk. It has the same length, but with a couple of longer days. It may appeal to faster walkers, or perhaps to those who want to spend less time visiting the museums and historical sites.

Hadrian's Wall Path is a great walk. It has a lot of scenic variety: from the red sandstone hues of medieval Carlisle, to the modern cityscape of Newcastle Upon Tyne; from the quiescence of Bowness on Solway to industrial Tyneside; from the lime green pastoral scenes of the Eden valley to the barren blustery heights of Highshield Crags in the Northumberland National Park. Omnipotent along the route the Wall snakes its way. In sections interrupting a housing estate here, popping up under a road there. Then, from being little more than a grassy bank, it transforms into stone and rollercoasters over crag tops and down into impressive fort-like structures such as at Birdoswald and Housesteads.

The Walk was officially opened in May 2003 after many years of negotiations with landlords and farmers to finalise the exact route which stretches 84 statute miles/133 km across town and country, forest and moorland, World Heritage Site and National Park. The actual wall however was started as long ago as 122 AD! At this time the Roman Emperor Hadrian was having a lot of trouble with the restless natives to the north. Those devilish blue-painted Pictish and assorted Caledonian warriors were causing mayhem across the wild Northern frontiers and hassling trade and settlement.

It became imperative to create some kind of order and consolidate the extreme North of the Empire, especially after one of the legion divisions was withdrawn from Britain to fight the German tribes leaving Britain underdefended. The wall was built “to separate Romans from Barbarians,” across northern Britain at its narrowest point between the Solway Firth and the North Sea. In its original form it was built in 6 years over 73 modern miles (80 Roman ones). It was extended and enhanced with impressive stone defences following natural ridge lines and with a deep ditch (The Vallum) dug alongside it. Later, much of the stonework was mortared allowing it to survive the centuries to become one of the oldest structures in the country today.

Small forts called "Milecastles" were built every Roman Mile over the whole of the route. At intervals, huge garrison forts were built so that a counter attack or a raid could be organised at short notice.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

The walk commences from Carlisle; a very interesting historical city, with a castle founded by Henry I, extensive wall and other Roman remains and then there is the cathedral area. The town has changed hands several times between Scotland and England and this is reflected in parts of the town’s structure. A lot of the buildings such as the castle and the Old Town Hall are made of fine red sandstone. Visit the Tullie House Museum for a fine collection of Roman remains. The inner city has been pedestrianised making exploration enjoyable around the market square. Accommodation: For two nights we stay at Abbey Court Guesthouse, it is centrally located and is a Victorian Town House.

Meals:  Nil

As you have a second night in Carlisle, the first walk of the tour can be done in either direction. Ideally take a morning bus or taxi to Bowness-on-Solway and walk back to Carlisle. However recent bus time changes may dictate the other way around! The walk starts from very near the site of the former Roman fort of Maia, looking out over the Solway Firth. The trail follows a minor road and then from Glasson, joins an old railway embankment for a couple of miles. Walking through Burgh-by-Sands a short detour takes you to the point on the marsh where Edward I died in 1307, awaiting to invade Scotland yet again! There isn't much evidence of the wall on this section as it was largely a mud construction in this area, however walking through the villages of Beaumont and Grinsdale, you veer towards and follow the River Eden, and you may get some Lakeland views of the peaks of Skiddaw and High Pike to the south. The trail is more or less parallel with the line of the wall and vallum (defensive ditch). You follow the south side of the River Eden into Carlisle passing through old industrial areas and gardens to emerge in the town near the castle.

Meals:  B

From Carlisle the route once again follows the River Eden where you cross the river after Stanwix and through Rickerby with its Victorian folly tower. Further on at Linstock there is a medieval ‘pele’, Peel Tower that rang a bell in times of danger so that the locals could congregate within its fortifications. Back on the riverside you pass Crosby-on-Eden, perhaps in time for coffee, and follow the old Roman road or 'Stanegate' out of the village. Then a sandy lane takes you up to the old wall line, along by Wall head and Blea head farms. The trail skips across fields then joins a minor road near the village green in Newton nearby, crossing the attractive Cam Beck before once again undulating across country to the village of Walton. If you are not staying here it is another 3 miles and a mile off the route to Abbey Bridge, Lanercost However, it is some of the best cross-country walking of the entire trek. Accommodation: B&B or Farm House

Meals:  B

A short section of road takes the walk out of the village of Walton, crossing King Water and then ascending. The day starts with some easy walking along the edge of fields and beside some old established hardwood trees. Ascending to Garthside, there are interesting views over the Irthing Valley and you can enjoy the first significant portion of Hadrian's Wall maintained by English Heritage at Hare Hill. Trek to Banks overlooking the Irthing Valley and Lanercost priory below. There are then some interesting Roman defenses to visit at Birdoswald, before crossing the Cumbria / Northumberland border on the River Irthing at Gilsand. In another mile or so you can visit the ruin of medieval Thirlwall Castle. Then bypassing the village of Greenhead, the way passes by Magnis and Great Chesters (Roman forts). Next it is on up Cawfields Crags with excellent views onto the Pennines, then down steps through Thorny Doors and the delightfully named Bogle Hole. The wall climbs to its highest point over Windshields Crags, arrive at Steel Rigg and descend to your accommodation. Accommodation: Twice Brewed Inn is situated a stones throw from the Wall.

Meals:  B

From Once Brewed the route ascends to Steel Rigg, back on the wall and undulates passing peel and Highshield Crags above Crag Lough, a lake below the cliffs. Now arguably the most scenic walking section of the holiday, where the remains of the wall sit on top of the natural Whin Sill basalt ridge. there are excellent views over the “Northward Tynescape” to the Bellingham and Simonside Hills. Next you roller-coaster to Housesteads, with its famed fort and National Trust Museum. A good couple of hours will do it justice. Another spell of walking gets you to where you leave the Whin Sill at Fozy Moss and follow beside the road, which in places is on the line of the wall. The next attraction is Brocolita Roman Fortress. Nearby there is a 3rd century mithric temple with replica deity figures of the Persian God Mithras and his associates. The Walk continues on to Chollerford on the River Tyne by a beautiful stone bridge from 1775. You may have time to visit the Chesters Roman Museum which has Wall artifacts, and great gardens with remains of the baths. Accommodation: The George Hotel is situated close to Hadrian’s Wall route and the Tyne. This cosy pub is an ideal spot for walkers to relax.

Meals:  B

As you commence walking today from Chollerford, you cross the bridge over the River Tyne and it might be worth taking footpaths down to the River to examine the foundation stones and footings of the original Roman bridge which are well preserved. The next attraction along the walk, is the hamlet and church at Heavenfields where Oswald King of Northumberland defeated the Welsh hordes in 633 AD, thus uniting Northumbria. Unfortunately the Northumbrians didn't do quite so well against the Vikings later on! Walking on, a slight deviation to Halton might be in order to examine a pele tower and grade I listed building situated close to Hadrian's Wall. The tower was first recorded in 1382. The walk then largely follows alongside the road into East Wallhouses. Reach a pub called the Robin Hoods Inn at East Wallhouses, and maybe after a pint, continue on the flattish National Trail now following beside the road, often along the vallum, the ditch created as a defensive feature when The Roman Wall was built. The reservoirs around Welton are good for bird life, and in another 3 miles or so there are the remains of Vindobala Fort which are really just field ridges as most the stone was removed in the 18th century. Arrive at Heddon-on the-Wall, where you can examine a good surviving section of the wall and finally end the day with a nice steep stroll down to Wylam (which is just off the route). Accommodation: Overnight in a nice Victorian country house which has been noted by English Heritage.

Meals:  B

Leaving Wylam, you have some final country walking before reaching the old village of Newburn, where the suburbs of Newcastle reach out. Walk into the city alongside the River Tyne. There is plenty of evidence of present and former industrial activity. You come into the riverside area of downtown Newcastle upon Tyne with vistas of the elegant Tyne Bridges and the city skyline including St. Nicholas Cathedral. There should be time to climb up to Newcastle Keep. Following the line of the old Tyne to Blyth railway line, you pass through the suburbs of Byker and Walker, finally reaching Wallsend. If you have time take a close look at the remains of the Roman fort of Segedunum. This is a multi award winning site, with reconstructions of a Roman Bath House and an excellent interactive museum. Tghis museum, by former the Swan Hunter Ship Yard, marks the end of the Hadrians Wall Trail. From Wallsend, take the Newcastle Metro to Whitley Bay (15 minutes) for a night at this seaside town. If you have time tonight or tomorrow, stretch your legs and take a walk to visit St Mary’s Island, Lighthouse and Visitor Centre where you will experience spectacular coastal views. Accommodation: The Metropolitan is a contemporary styled 4 * B&B.

Meals:  B

Depart Whitley Bay after breakfast for your onward journey.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts
  • 7 nights accommodation on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities where available
  • One piece of luggage per person transferred from Inn to Inn, not exceeding 20kg
  • Information pack including route notes & maps per room booked
  • Emergency hotline
  • Hadrian's Wall Path Passport
  • GPX Files

  • Dinners, lunches & beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Transport to arrive at the first B&B and return home
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Public transport during the walks

Grading

moderate  

Moderate. Some longish days (around 15–17 miles) and short steep climbs and descents. Generally however undulating. Mixed weather can be expected at anytime.


Departure dates

Daily from 19 Mar to 23 Oct (except 11 to 13 Sep)

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1090USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$340
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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