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

at a glance


Day 1 Arrive Alnmouth station, Newcastle Airport 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 to Rothbury - 15 miles (24 kilometres)
Day 7 Departure day -
  • Grade: Grade 2

Standard Package Includes:

  • Total Distance - 74 miles / 119km
  • Holiday start date between 1st April and 30th September
  • Harvey Maps
  • 6 Nights B & B En-suite Room Basis
  • Luggage Transfers
  • Transfer to the start of your walk
  • Emergency Telephone Support
  • Holiday Information Pack

 

Holiday Options

  • Solo Walker supplement - £490(price includes single room supplement) please call to book
  • Single room supplement - £300
  • Transfer from Alnmouth station to Rothbury - £60
  • Transfer from Newcastle Airport to Rothbury - £110, return £110
  • Additional Night - £125 Room Rate
  • Take your dog - £80
  • Take a bag for a dog - £80
  • GPS rental - £60

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.

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.

Itinerary

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

This is a dog friendly holiday! 

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Day 1 Arrive Alnmouth station, Newcastle Airport or Rothbury - Overnight stay

Your arrival day into the region and the home of Shepherds Walks Holidays!

Arrive by car and go directly to Rothbury where you are able to leave your car for the duration of your holiday, for free, and stay in Rothbury for your first night.

Arrive by train or air, we can collect you and take you to Rothbury, for your first nights’ accommodation (See supplements).

The choice is yours!

 


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 nevertheless 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 in the vicinity of Chollerford tonight.


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.

You will have a short transfer to your accommodation this evening.


Day 6 Kirkwhelpington to 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 -

Why not spend today relaxing in the quiet village of Rothbury or visiting the National Trust property of Cragside, which is located nearby. And don’t forget to call in and say hello to us at our offices before you leave!

You can then make your own way home. Alternatively, we can arrange to transfer you back to Alnmouth train station or Newcastle airport (see supplement).

 


WHAT THE PRICE INCLUDES

 

(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.


WHAT THE PRICE EXCLUDES

 

(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.


STAFF

 

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 18 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 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.


What is the difference between a single supplement and a solo supplement?

The single supplement is only for those who require a single bedded room on a trip with other passengers in a group. This is because they are paying for a basic room rate. 
 
Our solo walker supplement is for the traveller who wants to travel alone and is to be added to the cost per person for each holiday. 

Sadly now all costs are based on 2 people sharing and so the solo walker has to burden this cost for both transfers and room rates. As this cost can be quite expensive, it may be worth looking to see if we offer a guided holiday, you could then opt for a single room, just paying the single supplement, making it a much cheaper option. 

 

So, the rule is: 

If you are travelling with other people and require your own bedroom, then select the single room supplement.

If you are booking your holiday on your own, then select the solo supplement.


What dates of the year can I book my holiday on?

Our holiday season runs from 1st April until the last day of September. You can book your holiday to start anytime during those dates. 

Holidays outside of those times are not possible as most accommodation providers will close during the winter months and the luggage transfer companies do not operate out of season.

Certain holidays, we may be able to accommodate out of season. Please contact us if you require an out of season holiday and we can help you with your request - 01669 621 044.


Taste of St Cuthbert's Way and the Coastal Path

Saturday 12th August 2023 Paul Armitage

A well-organised trip with efficient bag courier and in general good accommodation.

A very varied walk with hilly bits and coastal bits.

When there was a minor issue with the booking at Seahouses - quick action from SW personnel - resolved the issue and this was a good plus for SW.

We think SW should consider sourcing a place to park a car in Alnmouth albeit we agree that closeness to train station helps mitigate. At Belford - having known the taxi phone no on arrival would have simplified the pick up - we had to google the taxi number.

We were of the view that the accommodation in Embleton was not of the same standard as the rest of the walk - as contact was difficult and clearly some significant changes have happened at the pub.

We would suggest leaving Alnmouth earlier on the first morning and extending day 1 walk.

We booked all dinners in advance - this was important as some of the places we went to were not taking 'walk ins'.

We would note that the coastal path from Warren Mill to Bamburgh Castle GC has changed route and is quite different to both the OS map and the Guide maps - nonetheless, the signposts going West to East were still easy to follow. Overall - a really well researched route and a lovely 6 days of walking.


Taste of Cuthbert's Way and Coastal Path

Friday 23rd June 2023 Annette Chilton

I really liked the mix of rolling Cheviot hills and coastal paths.

The brochure gave lots of useful information and staff very friendly and helpful.

The accommodation was excellent, beautiful locations, apart from the last one. The bags were left in an open porch with no one to greet us.

The food was not fresh and poorly presented, not as described in the brochure.
The taxi services and transfers were punctual and helpful.

I recommend Shepherds holidays, and particularly this new route which takes in country and coast.

It is not too hard for new walkers and well signed.


Hadrians Wall and St Oswalds Way 17th July 2022

Saturday 30th July 2022 Geoff Hartley

This was our second long distance walk with Sherpherds walks and again both my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Everything was taken care of including the pick ups and drop offs at the agreed arranged time. The accommodations were all first class, with a special mention to Brookside Villa at Gilsland, for the personal touch of a cold bottle of water when picked up during the hottest day of the year. Also it was very reassuring to be informed by the host at Brookside that if there were any mishaps before reaching our next destination then do not hesitate to call. Superb time and experience and some live music at Rothbury to end our holiday , thanks to all at SW.


A perfect week's walking (aside from a blister or two)

Thursday 17th June 2021 Charlotte & Bill

We have used Shepherds Walks for walking holidays a few times now and have enjoyed each of them immensely. Each holiday had its own highlights and we have always received an excellent service from Shepherds Walks. The Taste of Two Trails edged it for us as the standout, on account of the variety of stunning upland / coastal scenery, quality of accommodation, and the extra touches included such as the courier arrangements, extra night&039;s stay at the end of the holiday, and transfers to and from the station. Luckily for us we had perfect walking weather: 20 degrees and incredible clear skies affording stunning views as we made our way from the Borders over to the coast. Thanks to Jackie and all the team at Shepherds Walks for working so hard to ensure everything went smoothly for us (especially with some Covid restrictions still in place) so that the only effort required on our part was to do the actual walking and enjoy a hearty meal with a pint or two at the end of the day. Although we did these trails in June, enjoying warm weather and wonderful light evenings, I would recommend it at any time. A final recommendation, time permitting, is to take a boat trip from Seahouses round the Farne islands to see the puffins and guillemots - a good excuse to rest your feet for a couple of hours after a day's walking as much as an opportunity to see the wildlife.


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

A well-organised trip with efficient bag courier and in general good accommodation.

A very varied walk with hilly bits and coastal bits.

When there was a minor issue with the booking at Seahouses - quick action from SW personnel - resolved the issue and this was a good plus for SW.

We think SW should consider sourcing a place to park a car in Alnmouth albeit we agree that closeness to train station helps mitigate. At Belford - having known the taxi phone no on arrival would have simplified the pick up - we had to google the taxi number.

We were of the view that the accommodation in Embleton was not of the same standard as the rest of the walk - as contact was difficult and clearly some significant changes have happened at the pub.

We would suggest leaving Alnmouth earlier on the first morning and extending day 1 walk.

We booked all dinners in advance - this was important as some of the places we went to were not taking 'walk ins'.

We would note that the coastal path from Warren Mill to Bamburgh Castle GC has changed route and is quite different to both the OS map and the Guide maps - nonetheless, the signposts going West to East were still easy to follow. Overall - a really well researched route and a lovely 6 days of walking.

12th Aug 2023 - Paul Armitage

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