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Taste of Hadrian’s Wall and St Oswald’s Way

at a glance

Day 1 Arrive Alnmouth station or Rothbury - Overnight stay
Day 2 Carlisle to Lanercost - 14 miles (23 kilometres)
Day 3 Lanercost to Steel Rigg - 14 miles (23 kilometres)
Day 4 Steel Rigg to Chollerford - 12 miles (19 kilometres)
Day 5 Chollerford to Kirkwhelpington - 19 miles (30 Kilometres)
Day 6 Kirkwhelpington – Rothbury - 15 miles (24 kilometres)
Day 7 Departure day -
  • Grade: Grade 2
  • Total Distance - 74 miles
  • Self Guided
  • Place to Place
  • Maps provided
  • 7 Days Walking
  • 6 Nights B & B
  • Available to solo walkers
  • Loan GPS
  • Trip dog friendly
  • Twin Share Basis
  • Breakfast Provided
  • Emergency support
  • Loan of GPS for holiday
  • Baggage transfers
  • Transfer day 2
  • Holiday Options
  • Single room supplement - £240.00
  • Take your dog - £60.00
  • Take a bag for a dog - £34.00
  • Pick up from train (Alnmouth) - £50.00
  • Pick up from airport - £80.00
  • Solo Walker supplement - £373.00 (price includes single room supplement) please call to book
  • GPS rental - £25.00

The best of Northumberland and Cumbria – A taste of Hadrian’s Wall and St Oswald’s Way

On this walking holiday you experience two very different trails.

You start off on the Hadrian’s Wall Trail country is quite simply a walker’s paradise with its stunning landscapes and sense of history, from the bloody border feuds of the Border Reivers to being home to Europe’s largest surviving Roman monument, Hadrian’s Wall. Built in AD122 under the orders of Emperor Hadrian.

Hadrian’s Wall was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is the most protected landscape anywhere in the United Kingdom and ranks alongside the pyramids in Egypt and the Taj Mahal in India.

On this holiday you take in the best section Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail, 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 Chesters Fort as well as numerous Roman turrets and milecastles.

This holiday follows the trail from Carlisle to Chollerford and enables you to see the beautiful countryside and experience the culture as well as learn about the history of this remote part of the UK.

You then leave the Hadrian’s Wall trail and join St Oswald’s Way.

St Oswald was king of Northumbria in the early 7th century and played a major part in bringing Christianity to his people.

During this walk starting at Heavenfield to Rothbury you will pass through some picturesque farmland and forest before gradually climbing up and pass over the heather clad Simonside Hills. From here you get some stunning views over to the coast.


Day 1 – Arrive Alnmouth station or Rothbury
Day 2 - Carlisle to Lanercost – 14 miles (23 kilometres)
Day 3 - Lanercost to Steel Rigg - 14 miles (23 kilometres)
Day 4 - Steel Rigg to Chollerford - 12 miles (19 kilometres)
Day 5 - Chollerford to Kirkwhelpington – 19 miles (30 Kilometres)
Day 6 – Kirkwhelpington – Rothbury - 15 miles (24 kilometres)
Day 7 – Departure day


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Day 1 Arrive Alnmouth station or Rothbury - Overnight stay

If you arrive by train we can arrange to pick you up from Alnmouth station and take you to Rothbury, for your first nights accommodation (s)ee supplement above.   If you arrive by car you can go directly to Rothbury and leave your car there for the duration of your holiday, and staying in Rothbury for your first night.

Day 2 Carlisle to Lanercost - 14 miles (23 kilometres)

This morning, we will transfer you to the start of your journey along Hadrian’s Wall National Trail.

A relatively easy day, this section of the wall is made from sod, rather than stone, but it’s never the less still impressive.

We end todays 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 to recharge our batteries and anticipate the next day’s walking.

Day 3 Lanercost to Steel Rigg - 14 miles (23 kilometres)

The first section of this day takes you next to the wall, passed Birdoswald Fort and up over the famous Winshields Crags to Steel Rigg. 
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 defences of any Wall fort, this was an important base for some 1,000 Roman soldiers, succeeding an earlier fort of turf and timber. 
As the ground starts to rise, the impressive nature of the wall starts to grow and you pass mile castle after mile castle and you experience true Hadrian Wall Country.
Upon reaching Steel Rigg its just a short walk to your accommodation. 

Day 4 Steel Rigg to Chollerford - 12 miles (19 kilometres)

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, so memories will jump out at you all day.

On this day we pass Housesteads which is 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 breathtaking views. It was one of 12 permanent forts added to the new frontier by Hadrian in about AD 124. 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.

Your route takes you to Chollerford. You will be staying the vicinity of Chollerford that night.

Day 5 Chollerford to Kirkwhelpington - 19 miles (30 Kilometres)

Today you will follow the Hadrian’s wall path until you reach the famous Roman frontier to the historic site of Heavenfield, the start of St. Oswald’s Way.

The Hadrian’s Wall and St Oswald’s Way follow the same route for a couple of miles before you head North on St Oswald’s Way.

On this section of St. Oswald’s Way you will pass through interesting small settlements such as Great Whittington, Hallington and Great Bavington.

You will head Northwards through picturesque rolling farmland until you reach the attractive village of Kirkwhelpington.

Day 6 Kirkwhelpington – Rothbury - 15 miles (24 kilometres)

Heading off across farmland you will walk through Harwood Forest, a large plantation managed by the Forestry Commission before crossing the heather-clad moors of the Simonside Hills.

Before entering the Northumberland National Park you will pass the remains of an Iron age hill fort and rock carvings at Lordenshaws.

Heading now Northwards over remote but appealing you will arrive back to Rothbury in Coquet Valley for your overnight stay.

Day 7 Departure day -


(A) Bed and Breakfast accommodation (twin or double share basis).
(B) Maps and instructions specific to your trip, including emergency telephone numbers.
(C) Luggage transfers between accommodation.
(D) Transfer to Carlisle from Rothbury at the beginning of your trip (including luggage transfer).
(E) Emergency back-up service from Shepherds Walks Holidays mobile telephone number.


(A) Any additional transfers not mentioned in the dossiers
(B) Personal clothing and equipment.
(C) Insurance
(D) Lunch and Evening meals.
(E) Single room option (if required, see single supplement).
(F) Pick up and drop off at airports.
(G) Other entrance fees into attractions and public transport costs not mentioned above.


The Shepherds Walks Representative will:

A) Be available should you have any problems during your trip
B) Arrange the transportation of your luggage.
C) Provide transfers as necessary to your car / station if specified in your booking or itinerary.


We are here to offer you the best holiday you could ever imagine and we aim to do this through the personal service that we offer.

Make your holiday run smoothly – We are here for you. Our sole objective is for us to help you. We are here at any stage of your holiday and even in the planning stages. We tailor things to your requirements, not those of the masses.

We don’t cut corners - We want to see you again and want you to speak highly of Shepherds Walks Holidays. This is why we are literally willing to go that extra mile. The information you receive at every stage will be clear and leave you asking no questions.

We have personally walked all the trips we offer - We know exactly what you are going to embark on and can advise you on any aspects of your holiday over and well above what many of our competitors can.

Press choose to walk with us – Shepherds Walks Holidays are asked to deliver a very high percentage of the trips for journalists in the region. When the Tourist Boards are approached by a journalist wanting to visit the area who do they ask to provide their holiday or take them out walking? Shepherds Walks.

We have had press trips on all our routes and the articles speak for themselves.

Protected Holiday - All our holidays are protected through the operation of a Trust Account.

We are close at hand if you need us – We are a local business and if you need us at any time during your holiday just ask. If you are on a self guided trip we often will catch up with you, even over a drink one evening, just to make sure everything is going well. It’s better to iron out any little problems during your holiday, rather than hearing about them when you are back at home.

We enjoy great relationships with your accommodation providers and they will help us to help you

As we are literally on the doorstep we know the best places to stay. Often we will have block booked the best accommodation the previous year. We want our customers to stay in the best possible accommodation. As we know the proprietors personally and we liaise with them regularly they will go that extra mile to help us to help you whilst out on your route.

That is why Shepherds Walks has won awards and has helped people relax and totally enjoy their visit to this wonderful part of the country. We are willing to go that extra mile!

Do you move our bags for us on our walking holiday?

Yes, we move your bags for you everyday. You just leave your main bag at your accommodation and we will move it for you, so it will be at your next nights accommodation waiting for you.

You just carry your day pack.

Your baggage allowance for the trip is one main piece of luggage which should be preferably either a backpack/rucksack or sports bag, and one small daypack. Try to travel as light as possible. 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 and items you will need on your walk during the day. As a general rule, we would recommend that your main piece of luggage shouldn't weigh more than 15 - 20 kilos.

We are thinking of a self guided trip, what happens if we need to speak with you during our holiday.

Before your holiday starts we will give you a 24 hour helpline number for us here at Shepherds Walks Holidays. If there is anything we can help you with during your holiday just give us a call and we can sort it out for you.

We would rather sort any problems out during a trip and then you can get on and enjoy yourself rather than finding out there has been a problem at the end when it is to late.

Don't forget we are here to give you the best holiday experience we can.

Can I add an rest day into my walking holiday?

Yes you can at any point, just get in touch and we can discuss the best options for this trip.

What type of accommodation will we be staying in - self guided trip

The accommodation on the tours are in Inns, family-run hotels, and Bed and Breakfasts. We endeavour to provide en-suite accommodation.

Taste of Hadrian’s Wall and St Oswald’s Way photo's

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