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Hadrian's Wall - Newcastle or Carlisle?

We will be going from Edinburgh to York via train and I was considering stopping part way, renting a car or taking the #122 bus, and touring some of the wall. Some questions I'm trying to sort through...
1) Would it be more convenient to train to Newcastle or Carlisle?

2) What about taking the train to Carlisle and driving the wall to Newcastle? or vice versa?
3) Or should we just train into and out of the same location and if so, which location?
3) Is it easy to get a car at either location... and drop off at another location?
4) What are the "must-see" spots if we are only going to be there for 1/2 a day?

Thanks!

Posted by
2141 posts

Rent a car at Edinburgh and return at York. Easy to drive down through the Borders and Northumberland.

or rent a car at Edinburgh and return it at Newcastle after you've seen the Wall. This resolves any issues about meeting timings for bus AD122 and also what to do with luggage en route.

Posted by
1005 posts

Much of the physical wall doesn't really exist, so driving its entire length could be a disappointment. The most dramatic section is in the center, from Steel Rigg to Housesteads, close to the town of Haltwhistle. A car is the most convenient option for getting around, so if you were going to do it in half a day, I'd take the train to Newcastle, rent a car at the station, do the wall and museums (Vindolanda is my favorite), and then go back to Newcastle for a train to your next destination. It's also possible to hire a local guide to pick you up at the station and give you a tour of the wall--Peter Carney is recommended in Rick's book and I've heard great things about him, but there are others. Walking the wall is the best part of your visit, so be sure to save some time to do it right.

Posted by
2949 posts

I did it by train at the Newcastle end some years ago. Walking along the wall and taking photos was just an unforgettable experience! http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/housesteads-roman-fort-hadrians-wall/directions

The AD122 bus takes you to the Housesteads Roman Fort from the train station. As with any public transportation in rural areas, you have to watch the schedule and coordinate to make sure you don't miss your connections. See https://www.thetrainline.com/stations/haltwhistle