Hadrians Wall Path National Trail is an unbroken 84 mile signposted walk stretching from coast to coast, from Bowness-on-Solway in the west to Wallsend in the east. It passes through some of the most beautiful parts of England - from rolling fields and rugged moorland to the vibrant cities of Newcastle and Carlisle.
This self guided walking holiday follows the Hadrians Wall walk and enables you to see the beautiful countryside and experience the culture as well as hear about the history of this remote part of the UK.
Walk the Hadrians Wall walk at your own pace with this great self guided trip, which will give you plenty time to enjoy the countryside you are passing through.
This truly is a fantastic walking holiday in one of the most beautiful areas in England. Challenging but extremely rewarding, the sense of achievement after completing the Hadrians Wall walk is second to none. But don't take our word for it, the Hadrians Wall Path National Trail has been voted 'Britains Greatest Walking Trail' in 2011 by Countryfile magazine. Need we say more?
Quality self-guided walking holidays along the full length of the Hadrian's Wall National Trail. Walk the complete Hadrian's Wall National Trail over 8 days.
Day 1 - Arrive Newcastle. Overnight Newcastle Day 2 - Bowness-on-Solway to Carlisle - 14m (23km) Day 3 - Carlisle to Lanercost - 14m (23km) Day 4 - Lanercost to Gilsland - 5m (8km) Day 5 - Gilsland to Steel Rigg - 9m (14km) Day 6 - Steel Rigg to Chollerford - 12m (19km) Day 7 - Chollerford to Heddon-on-the-Wall - 15m (24km) Day 8 - Heddon-on-the-Wall to Segadunum - 15m (24km)
Day : 1 - Arrive Newcastle
Newcastle is our chosen rendezvous city with its excellent road, rail and air links. You can make your own way to Newcastle where we will be staying for the first night either by car or train, or if you choose to fly into Newcastle Airport we can arrange to meet you and transfer you to your accommodation (see supplement above). If you are arriving by car it may be possible to leave your car at the accommodation for the duration of the trip. The hotel is a short taxi ride from Newcastle Central station.
Day : 2 - Bowness-on-Solway to Carlisle
14 miles (23 kilometres)
From Newcastle we will transfer you to Bowness-on-Solway, and the start of your walk along Hadrian’s Wall National Trail.
This is a lovely start to the walk, with fine views over Bowness-on-Solway which has been designated an area of outstanding natural beauty and has an abundance of bird life. To the south we look back on the high peaks of the Lake District.
The walk takes you straight back to the Hotel which is located near the Hadrian’s Wall Trail.
During the evening you are free to explore Carlisle and try some of the local cuisine.
Carlisle is famous for its Castle, a great medieval fortress that has watched over the City of Carlisle for over nine centuries. You can explore it's fascinating and ancient chambers, stairways and dungeons and find the legendary 'licking stones' here, parched Jacobite prisoners found enough moisture to stay alive, only to be brutally executed on Gallows Hill.
Day : 3 - Carlisle to Lanercost
14 miles (23 kilometres)
After saying farewell to your hosts in Carlisle you 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 tantalising prelude of what’s to come. Todays walk will end at Lanercost with its hauntingly beautiful Priory founded in 1165 by Augustinian canons.
Day : 4 - Lanercost to Gilsland
5 miles (8 kilometres)
After two long walking days, today is only a short distance allowing you to have a relaxing start to the day. Aftr a hearty breakfast you have a gentle days walk through some wonderful countryside. Today you actually walk along long sections of true wall and Birdoswald Fort is certainly worth a visit. 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 today is relatively short, why not think about catching the AD122 bus from Birdoswald Fort or Gilsland to visit Vindolanda for a few hours? Roman Vindolanda was an important Roman frontier fort and village that was occupied for over 300 years. There is a museum with interactive displays and artefacts excavated from the site including the famous Vindolanda Writing Tablets and there are live excavations throughout the summer months. You can then return to either Birdoswald Fort or Gilsland to continue your short walk to your accommodation.
Day : 5 - Gilsland to Steel Rigg
9 miles (14 kilometres)
Leaving Gilsland we pass the 14C Thirlwall Castle which was 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!.
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!
As the ground starts to rise the views are quite simply breathtaking and the impressive nature of the wall starts to grow as you pass milecastle after milecastle and you experience true Hadrian's Wall Country.
You will end today’s walk at Steel Rigg where it’s just a short walk to our accommodation.
Day : 6 - 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. It 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 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 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.
Your route then takes you to Chollerford where a well earned drink is in order. Our accommodation for this evening will either be in the Chollerford area or we take a transfer back to the previous night’s accommodation.
Day : 7 - Chollerford to Heddon-on-the-Wall
15 miles (24 kilometres)
If necessary at the start of this day you will be transferred back to Chollerford to re-join the Trail.
This day's walking starts 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. 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 (24 kilometres)
After our last hearty breakfast we will have a short transfer back to Heddon-on-the-Wall to 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 and the last outpost of Hadrian’s Wall. For almost 300 years, Segedunum which means ‘strong fort’, was home to 600 Roman soldiers.
Congratulations are in order and you can look back with pride and say with hand on heart that you walked the wall!
You will then be transferred to your car in Newcastle, Newcastle Railway Station or Newcastle Airport (if requested). Alternatively we can add an extra night's stay for you in Newcastle upon Tyne, allowing you to make your own way home the following day.
21st Feb 2016 Karl K
I wanted to add my thanks for a truly outstanding job in coordinating our trek through northern England on the Hadrian's Wall Trail. Considering all the bits a pieces that had to be accounted for, everything went remarkably smoothly. Even the weather cooperated - for which you may take credit as well.
Hadrian's Wall-Self Guided : 7 days, October 2017
26th Nov 2017 A Dimbleby
An extremely well organised holiday benefiting from the experienced Shepherds Walks staff. The history and geology of the area are fascinating . We had a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable walk with a real sense of achievement on completion. Thank you.
Hadrians Wall with 2 dogs
15th May 2019 Daryl Freeman
My friend & I who are middle aged female health care professionals decided we wanted to walk the Wall with our 2 dogs. I know sorting accommodation suitable for the 4 of us was tricky but we all had a wonderful time. The scenery was amazing, the camaraderie from other walkers ( many of whom were considerably older than us) inspiring and it was a truly relaxing holiday. I am inspired to do more in the future. If I could change anything - it would be having more time to do some sightseeing - perhaps when I am retired and time is not an issue planning some non walking days would be a good idea?
WHAT THE PRICE INCLUDES
(A) Bed and Breakfast accommodation (twin or double share basis). (B) Harvey waterproof map and instructions specific to your trip, including emergency telephone numbers. (C) Luggage transfers between accommodation. (D) Meet and greet by Shepherds Walk representative at the beginning and end of trip. (E) Transfer to Bowness-on-Solway from Newcastle at the beginning of your trip (including luggage transfer). (F) End transfer from Segedunum back to Newcastle accommodation or train station as necessary. (G) 24 hour emergency back-up service.
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.
The Shepherds Walks Representative will :
A) Be available should you have any problems during your trip. B) Arrange the transportation of your luggage. C) Povide 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!
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.
Can I bring a dog with be on this trip?
Yes you can, this trip is dog friendly.
Where do we eat at lunchtime and in the evenings?
We give you a set of 'trip notes' for your holiday (that we have compiled) listing all the places to eat on route, places to buy food, banks, toilets and places to visit on route.
As we also do guided trips throughout the year we can keep this info up to date.
We appreciate food is an important part of your holiday so we have worked hard to make sure you eat well at lunchtime and every evening.
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.
Do you provide maps and a guidebook of the trail?
Yes we do, we provide the Harvey Map for this route and also more detailed maps to guide you to your accommodation each night. You also will receive detailed trip notes that we have compiled which has everything you need in it to really help you make a great walk into a holiday of a lifetime.
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.