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Our Walking Hadrian’s Wall tour introduces you to some of the most awe-inspiring and historic landscapes anywhere in Britain. Building on our experience with Exploring Hadrian’s Wall, and our long expertise in the area, in this tour we offer a different take on the region, aimed to give those who want to hike more of this extraordinarily beautiful countryside the chance to experience its raw beauty, while still visiting the historic sites with the expert guidance that is our hallmark.

Walking Hadrian’s Wall overlaps with its sister tour, but is no mere extension of it: each has sites unique to it, which tell the long history of the Wall region in their own way. Nor is it simply one of those end-to-end hikes of all the Wall that so many others do. We see no point in taking you to areas where you can see neither Wall nor Vallum and where the landscape is lacking. We’ll bring you the majesty of the scenery that the Wall threads through, follow its undulating and snaking trace and visit its forts, turrets and milecastles, explaining their history, monuments and archaeology as we go, bringing out the less-obvious features on the way. We’ll bring you the longer history of the area, too – the bastle houses hunched against whatever might come out of the darkness, the romantic ruin of embattled Lanercost priory and the wall-thieving sentinel, Thirlwall Castle.

Unlike other tours, we’ll also set the Roman Wall in its wider context and take the opportunity to roam some outstanding country north and south which helps explain the story. We follow a trail in the beautiful Alston valley to visit the earthwork remains of the fort at Whitley Castle, and we’ll ascend the outstanding hillfort at Burnswark, where new research is reasserting the idea that the two Roman forts underneath mark a bloody assault in the second century – while taking in its magnificent views. And, of course, we’ll not omit the superlative Roman site of Vindolanda, where unparalleled preservation gives us the deepest insight into the lives of the soldiers in garrison, and their families in the surrounding town.

We’re proud of this tour and its unique take on one of the most breath-taking regions in Britain and the Roman Empire. We know you’ll fall in love with every crag, rigg and nick, and take away memories of standing on its heights looking down at the millennia of tangled history below to inspire you long after.

Our tours receive an average rating of 5 out of 5 from 615 reviews, according to AITO reviews.

Day 1: Arrival at our inn-hotel, set in the Tudor abbot’s house of a mediaeval monastery at the heart of a pretty village of honey-coloured stone in a hidden valley. Welcome drinks and dinner at the hotel.
Day 2: We ease into our hiking amid dramatic landscapes south of the Wall, to see why this wild and hilly frontier posed a problem of control for the Romans. We begin in the Pennines at Alston, and head into a realm of raw and attractive hills, strewn with rocks and boulders and intercut with burns and sikes heading down towards the South Tyne, along which distant steam engines puff. At the edge of habitation, we reach the Roman fort of Whitley Castle, it’s unique shape and numerous ditches attested by well-preserved earthworks.

After lunch, we drive north to the amazing Roman Stanegate fort and settlement at Vindolanda. One of the best-preserved Roman sites anywhere, it has a wealth of organic remains – shoes, shopping bags, wooden doors, animal skulls used for target practice – and imposing stone remains still under excavation. There’s no better place to gain an understanding of those who lived on the Wall, or what their forts were like in life.
Day 3: We begin in the west, in green Cumbrian farmland at Walton. We gain our first tantalising sights of Wall ditch, Vallum and stones here and there as we gaze down from rolling heights at beautiful verdant countryside. Detouring down from the crest, we visit the beautifully romantic ruins of the mediaeval red priory at Lanercost, to see where so much of the Wall stone has gone. After hearing of its turbulent history and viewing the unexpected Roman and Arts & Crafts features, we’re ready for lunch.

Fortified, we make the climb back up to the Wall, set in fine and varied landscape past Haytongate and the vantage point of Craggle Hill. The Wall now emerges in earnest, with its lofty section (and a little puzzle) at Hare Hill and on to feast on our first turrets and signal towers and the long stretch of visible curtain that brings us in sight of tomorrow’s destination, Birdoswald fort.
Day 4: After the fort, we pick up where we finished yesterday, at Birdoswald fort. Situated in a site of startling beauty on a spur over the winding Irthing valley, it has a unique history in its Roman buildings, but even more so in the story of what happened in the Dark Age afterglow of occupation, and into the perilous times of the Reivers. After our visit, we one of the Wall’s most interesting stretches, from Birdoswald along to Harrow’s Scar milecastle, where we make the steep descent to cross the Irthing and view the remains of the Roman bridge at Willowford, in a torrent-scoured bend in the river before following the Wall, standing very tall here, back up to one of the finest milecastles at Poltross Burn.

Losing the stone wall for a while, we have impressive remains of the ditch and Vallum to take us through rolling green landscape as far as the mediaeval castle of Thirlwall, built from the Wall itself. Here the land again rises, and after a steady climb we take in views as far as the Pennines and Solway Firth before we come to our next stop, the fine collection of the Roman Army Museum hard by the next Roman fort at Carvoran.
Day 5: We now reach the Wall’s most dramatic stretch, taking to the rugged crags to hike its renowned centre section. We’ve finally made it to the Whin Sill! Our hike takes us past some of the most sublime views to be had on the monument’s length, at Walltown Crags. In the distance, we can see the wall rising and falling as it marches along the edge of the crags for miles ahead. The rest of this fine morning takes us along the awesome heights to the fort at Great Chesters, brilliantly-preserved, and down past a flurry of Roman marching camps to end the day with a glad look back at what we’ve achieved.

We take the rest of the day to pause and see the Wall’s wider story, as we head north after lunch and drive just over the border into Scotland to see the extraordinary site at Burnswark and climb its unique remains. Here, a hillfort stands high and proud, visible for miles, while around it stand the remains of two sizeable Roman camps, their earthworks and deadly intent clear as we hike over them. The summit of this green earthwork Masada commands excellent views down to the coast and back towards England.
Day 6: We return, as the Romans did, to the Whin Sill and its most celebrated length, the justly-famed section from Steel Rigg. The Wall undulates over fierce and picturesque crags, past the famous Sycamore Gap, over the steely-grey waters of the lough and up the steep flank of Hotbanks to the great fort of Housesteads and its excellent museum, one of the highlights of the entire Wall. After a fortifying picnic just beyond, we carry on along the forbidding, awe-inspiring hard shelf of the Whin Sill to Sewingshields Crags, and then descend from this most memorable section down to finish the day with a visit to the magnificent little temple to Mithras at Carrawburgh.
Day 7: Our final day sees the countryside change character again, with rolling green fields on one side and the rougher country to the north. We begin at the unique site of Limestone Corner, a deep and ragged score in the landscape where the Romans were defeated by the terrain, with part cut blocks still standing in the deep ditch. After taking in a fine view to the north, with the Cheviot and Simonside hills visible far distant, we head down through green fields and woods to the exceptional fort at Chesters. We take in the wide variety our last displayed fort has to offer, including the best preserved bath-house on the Wall and a truly superlative museum before moving on over the North Tyne to the fine remains of the Roman bridge. By now, it’s time for a hearty lunch to ready us for our final section.

In the afternoon, we begin with the steep climb at Planetrees, and a famous section of Wall, and then up to the lovely Heavenfield Church, reputed site of a famous battle in Northumbrian history, but certainly the site of one of the finest views north of anywhere on the Wall. Carrying on west, we leave the stone wall behind, but are rewarded with outstanding lengths of Vallum and ditch set about with gorse. We cross the great Roman road of Dere Street and finally come to the end of our journey at Haltonchesters fort, still largely slumbering beneath grass, and the fine ancient church and castle nearby.
Day 8: Transfer to Newcastle airport or train station.

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Arrival and Departure Information

Arrival Airport – Newcastle International Airport

Departure Airport – Newcastle International Airport

Arrival Train Station – Newcastle Central Station

Departure Train Station – Newcastle Central Station

Our transfer vehicle will collect from Newcastle International Airport at 16.30, and Newcastle Central Station at 17.00, should you wish your arrival at your hotel to be organised by us. If you prefer to arrange your own arrival, check in time is set for 14.30.

Check out time is 10.30. We will arrange a transfer from your hotel to Newcastle Train Station and Newcastle Airport leaving from your hotel at 09.30.

Booking Flights
The cheapest way to book flights to join this tour in the United Kingdom is directly with the airline online.

If you prefer to book with a travel agent, we are happy to recommend specialists in a number of countries around the world, please contact our office for more details.

Travel Insurance
We consider adequate travel insurance to be essential. You should ensure that you take out a suitable policy, to make sure that your trip is properly covered. Please be advised some insurers may require you to take out a policy within 15-20 days of booking your holiday to receive all of their insurance benefits.

Visas
If you are not from an EEA country you must have a valid passport to enter the UK. It must be valid for the whole of your stay. You may also need a visa, depending on which country you are from. You can check if you need a visa by using the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

Further information about the Walking 

Unlike our standard land tours, there is a significant amount of hiking on our Walking Hadrian’s Wall tour. The hikes we do are for the most part long sections of the Wall and it is widely regarded as one of the best hiking trails in the UK and a superb way to explore and understand the Wall and its environs while experiencing stunning scenery, and the archaeological sites that populate the wall and further afield.

Please be aware that the terrain is often uneven, rocky, and rugged with loose stones underfoot or can be wet or muddy grass and therefore slippery. There are some long stretches of uphill and downhill hiking. It is certainly not a walk in the park and you do need to be fit, with a good sense of balance and be used to hiking off the beaten track.

Across the week, we cover distances up to approx. 18km/11 miles per day, split over the day with breaks, with each section up to approx. 3 hours. There are shorter days as well, due to the opening times of the sites we visit en route. It is not really the distance that you need to bear in mind, but the terrain. We take all the hikes at a good but not exhausting pace – we’re here to see some spectacular countryside as well as walk it. Although there are flat stretches where we follow the wall path, it can also be hilly, uneven and there is often rough and muddy ground. Burnswark is a good 2 hour climb over hillocky grass and earthwork mounds. Starting at sea level the summit is 287 metres. Where we cross farmland to Whitley Castle it can be very muddy if the weather has been poor. Rain is always possible, and the days can be very changeable.

It is, of course, perfectly possible for guests to skip a day’s walk if they so wish, and simply relax at the hotel.

Custom Tours
If you are thinking of extending your trip to the United Kingdom to include visits to London, South-Western England, Wales or further afield, please contact our office for advice and suggestions for bespoke travel plans.

Accreditations

Rated as Excellent on Aito Reviews with over 500 reviews