Hadrian’s Wall Walk
This is a remarkable and dramatic walk through history. Hadrian’s Wall – Europe’s largest surviving Roman monument and the brainchild of Emperor Hadrian, who ordered its construction in AD122 to hold back the advancing Barbarians in northern England – much of which still exists. Traverses some of Britain’s most ruggedly beautiful landscape as you wind your way from coast to coast encountering a string of milecastles and forts, jaw-dropping vistas and details of life from 2,000 years ago.
Distance 121kms | Difficulty: Not So Gentle
Exploring the Border City
From the moment you arrive at your hotel on the outskirts of the border city, Carlisle, the mood for your trip will be set. Dalston Hall, your residence for the evening, epitomises sophisticated splendour in a castle-like venue surrounded by lush, landscaped gardens. Spend the evening sipping champagne in the stunning restaurant and bar, or head into Carlisle a few miles away to see it’s Norman Castle which dates to 1092, and the architecturally splendid Carlisle Cathedral.
When you awake we travel to Bowness on Solway, so you can begin your adventure along Hadrian’s Wall. The ancient wall rises from the sea here, as the most northerly frontier of the Roman Empire. Follow the route along quiet tracks with salt marshes and distant Scottish hills through Port Carlisle and Burgh by Sands. As you head into Carlisle following the winding River Eden, you finish today’s walk in the heart of the city, once known to Romans as Luguvalium.
Over the next day you will enjoy a relaxed walk along the banks of the River Eden weaving out of Carlisle. Stroll through verdant rural countryside, and small hamlets, before stopping at a fine inn for a traditional Cumbrian lunch. Along this stretch of river, a huge fort once resided, housing the largest body of cavalry anywhere in the empire.
There isn’t much of Hadrian’s wall remaining here, but the views and changing natural light will ensure the walk is visually stunning. At the end of the day, we transfer you to Farlam Hall, for the next two nights.
Romantic Lanercost Priory + Roman Forts
Once on route to Walton, your path travels through rural farmland to the romantic ruins of Lanercost Priory and Edward’s Tower, where Edward I once convalesced. Climb the turrets to enjoy beautiful views of the patchwork Cumbrian countryside. Close by is the Roman gem of Birdoswald estate, jam-packed with informative exhibits which hark back to a time when this area was dominated by Roman soldiers.
The next part of the walk is quite demanding, but also one of the most rewarding, you will head for Vindolanda, once a Roman auxiliary fort which guarded the Stanegate Roman road. The fort is renowned for the Vindolanda tablets – the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain, and some of the most important finds from the Roman Empirical era.
There are several other places of interest to discover on route, including Housesteads Fort, with its interesting museum and teashop – the perfect place to take a well-earned rest before re-joining the wall. Continuing along the Roman road, you past Tower Tye and Chester’s Museum which marks a key site on Hadrian’s Wall. At the end of the walk you will be transferred to your accommodation for the evening at Langley Castle.
When you reach Once Brewed for the start of your trail the next day, it’s only then you realise you are in Northumberland. The scenery changes and you are surrounded by beautiful rolling, unspoilt countryside for as far as the eye can see.
The best views are from from the highpoint of Whittington Fell at 268 metres, plus there’s a great pub – The Errington Arms nearby for lunch! Once fed and refreshed, continue to East Wallhouses, Robin Hood’s Inn, Vindovala Fort and Heddon on the Wall, before we transfer you to Matfen Hall Hotel for the evening.
Reaching Vibrant Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
On your final day, your route leads into the vibrant city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne with its fascinating industrial history. You end your day at Segendunum Roman Fort and museum, the final stop of your Hadrian’s Wall walking tour before transferring to Michelin starred Jesmond Dene House.
Spend your final day at leisure in Newcastle, exploring the industrial heritage of the Quayside, Tyne Bridge and a city centre filled with shops, bars and restaurants.
8 nights' accomodation in 3 + 4 star charming country house hotels + 1 night in restored castle, cooked breakfast, luggage transfer between hotels, emergency call-out service, route directions + maps of the area, transfers where specified in itinerary
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