A historic walk through the heart of the English countryside

A Roman reminder spanning coast to coast across the north of England, Hadrian’s Wall is a historic spectacle of emperor Hadrian’s reign in the once Roman province of Britannia. Now, this Wall, along with a number of ruins dotted along the way, provides the trail to follow for a seven-day exploration of pre-British history on two feet. Trekking from the western outpost of Carlisle to the eastern reaches at Heddon-on-the-Wall nearby Newcastle upon Tyne, spend a week following one of the richest examples of Roman history in the United Kingdom. Walking at a reasonable but not strenuous pace daily, stopping by quaint English villages and staying in comfortable twin-share accommodation, this guided Hadrian’s Wall walking adventure is the ideal way to discover well-preserved sections and the surrounding countryside.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Carlisle, United Kingdom
Finish
Heddon-on-the-Wall, United Kingdom
Destination
United Kingdom
Style
Original
Theme
Walking & Trekking
Code
BMXH
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 4, Max 8

Why you'll love this trip

  • Hadrian’s Wall walking trails are well developed and full of Roman history. With a local guide leading the way, you’ll gain a true insight into this piece of history often overlooked by travellers in England.

  • On two separate occasions, admire the stark beauty at Sycamore Gap. Known as the Robin Hood tree, enjoy an included picnic lunch nearby and retrace your steps the next day to see the scene in the morning light.

  • Take your time to discover important spots along the way, with an included visit to Birdoswald Roman Fort and a stop Fort at Housesteads, learning of the tales of the Wall.

  • Walking every day doesn’t mean you’re going to be ruined like the remains along the trail. With a well-designed itinerary, the prevailing winds behind you plus some time at leisure in Cholleford, you’ll be trekking with ease.

  • The English countryside has never looked so good. While the focus is Hadrian’s Wall on this itinerary, your eyes – and camera – will be occupied each step of the way by the lush landscapes of northern England.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This walking trip is a point-to-point walking itinerary. So, while this trip doesn't require a high level of fitness, it’s essential to be at least moderately fit if you want to partake in all activities. Please ensure you bring sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes.

  • Your luggage will be transported for you, but it would be wise to bring a daypack to carry your essentials.

  • Some days of walking include undulating sections and some uneven terrain, so consider bringing walking poles as an aid at these times if you wish.

  • The diversity of the seasons in England makes for incredible scenery, but the weather in this region can be cold. It’s best to wear layers at all times of the year in case conditions change during the day. Please be equally prepared to walk in sunshine and rain.

Itinerary

Welcome to the northwest English countryside! Today, you’ll meet your leader and fellow travellers at a local cafe in Carlisle at around 10 am – check the ‘Joining Point Instructions’ of your Essential Trip Information for more details. Carlisle itself is a wonderfully historic city, dating back over 2000 years. With its renowned castle or the Tully Museum to see, you might like to spend a night or two here before your trip to get a real feel of the place. After a quick welcome briefing, begin your walk out of town, following the River Eden on your way to the charming village of Crosby-on-Eden. Passing by Hadrian’s Wall through sweeping fields and old bridleways, you will end up in tonight’s overnight destination at Walton.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Today’s walking distance is 18.5 kilometres (11.5 miles). It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting this morning as we will be collecting insurance and emergency contact details at this time. After this meeting you will start walking to your next destination. If you think you may be late, it is highly recommended to book one extra night prior to the start of the trip. We’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Begin your walk this morning at a gentle pace and pass by Lanercost Priory – once England’s capital, but only for a matter of months. Continue to Birdoswald Roman Fort for an included visit. This fort was inhabited for over 2000 years, and here you will notice much of the Wall’s defining features on show. Overlooking the River Irthing Gorge, this section of Hadrian’s Wall is the longest spanning stretch and one of the most well preserved. What’s more, alongside the site’s Roman fort, turret and milecastle, there is an informative visitor centre that details stories of Roman frontiers in engaging exhibitions and displays. Well worth a visit. After spending some time here with your group, continue for another few kilometres to reach your overnight stay in Gilsland.
Included Activities
  • Carlisle - Birdoswald Roman Fort
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s walking distance is 13 kilometres (8 miles).
This morning, start the day with a gentle climb to the crags (rock faces), continuing your exploration of the best sections of Hadrian’s Wall. The first section will take you past Thirlwall Castle – 12th-century ruins that sit on the banks of the Tipalt River. Your walk continues to the renowned Sycamore Gap – one of the most well known sections of the trail. With a lone Sycamore tree sitting in a shallow and narrow dip in the countryside, it’s a perfect place to stop and admire the views. Enjoy an included lunch here and soak up the countryside surrounding you, perhaps with a few photos. Afterwards, climb down the track and head to your overnight stay location in the town of Once Brewed. A quaint town with an unusual title, be sure to ask your group leader and some locals the – often disputed – stories behind the name.
Included Activities
  • Crag Lough - Sycamore Gap picnic lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s walking distance is 16 kilometres (10 miles).
Begin your walk by climbing back up to the Crags of Northumberland, passing Sycamore Gap once again. It will look quite a bit different in the morning sun, so take a moment to gaze at this section’s beauty in another light. Continue along a very well preserved section of the wall, which snakes up and down along the crags. Regularly during the day, as you spot more sections of ruined turrets and castles, you’ll further realise how much history is strewn across these landscapes. Take some time out of walking to visit the Fort at Housesteads. Of great preserve and lying around midway along Hadrian’s Wall, Housesteads is the most complete example of a Roman fort in Britain. This afternoon, reach your overnight stay at Chollerford.
Included Activities
  • Bardon Mill - Housesteads Roman Fort
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s walking distance is 19 kilometres (12 miles).
With a more relaxed day of walking today, this morning you may like to take some time to explore Cholleford. The town itself is well known for Roman bridge and Roman forth, as well as a quintessential small-town English feel to it. Be sure to walk around the nearby Heavenfield Battle Site and St Oswald’s in Lee Church, both teeming with reminders of the famous victory of Oswald – the King of Northumbria – in AD734. Your walk today takes you through the countryside to the town of Port Gate. Here, take the time to relax and enjoy your overnight stay.
Included Activities
  • Cholleford - Leader-led town walk
  • Chollerford - St. Oswald’s in Lee Church photo stop
  • Chollerford - Heavenfield Battle Site
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s walking distance is 8 kilometres (5 miles).
Fairly even terrain and a mostly downhill trail greets you today as you make your way from Port Gate to Heddon-on-the-Wall. Your group will mainly follow the old Military Road and earthen defences set on either side of the Wall. Pass by the Roman Fort of Rudchester on your way. After a number of days walking along the trail, celebrate with your group with a well-deserved included group dinner.
Included Activities
  • Chollerford - Rudchester Roman Fort
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s walking distance is 16 kilometres (10 miles).
With no activities or walking included in today’s itinerary, you are free to leave at any time. The village of Heddon-on-the-Wall is only a short distance to the large city of Newcastle upon Tyne, with rail and air connections available here to take you throughout the United Kingdom and beyond.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

6 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

walking

Accommodation

Bed & Breakfast (6 nights)

Included activities

  • Carlisle - Birdoswald Roman Fort
  • Crag Lough - Sycamore Gap picnic lunch
  • Bardon Mill - Housesteads Roman Fort
  • Cholleford - Leader-led town walk
  • Chollerford - St. Oswald’s in Lee Church photo stop
  • Chollerford - Heavenfield Battle Site
  • Chollerford - Rudchester Roman Fort

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Walk Hadrian’s Wall Highlights trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

1. This trip starts with a group meeting at 10 am on day 1 in Carlisle at a local café (exact details will be provided when your booking is confirmed), and ends after breakfast on the final day. Please plan your arrival and departure accordingly. We are happy to book additional accommodation before or after the trip for you, subject to availability.
2. If you plan to arrive by car, please search for relevant car park options in Carlisle. Private and public transport from the end of the trip back to Carlisle are available.
3. Arriving by train is most environmentally friendly. Carlisle is well connected with Newcastle, Glasgow, Leeds and Edinburgh as well as London and Manchester. Consider this mode of transport to start your trip.
4. A single supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability, please speak to your booking agent.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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