My wife and I are traveling to scotland next year. We love rick's suggestions for the northern areas. My only goal is to visit Hadrians wall and Gilnocke tower which is south of everywhere rick suggests. I am looking for any help with tips and areas to stay south of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
I am sure you are aware that Hadrians wall really isn't in Scotland at all, but in Northern England. We visited there last year and had an absolutely wonderful time. We stayed at Ashcroft Guest House in Haltwhistle which was a lovely bed and breakfast. Good rooms, great breakfast, good location. http://www.ashcroftguesthouse.co.uk/
We flew into Newcastle, but you can access this fairly easily from either Glasgow or Edinburgh with a few hour drive. We continued on to Scotland after Hadrian's Wall and found that the two combined fairly easily.
The very best decision we made (after reading about this on the forum) was to hire Peter Carney to be our guide for the first day on the wall. He gave us a great orientation and brought us to some key spots on the wall as well such as Vindolanda. We then spent three more days walking parts of the wall. That experience was made so much better by having the excellent orientation that we had. Some of the best money spent on the trip! Here is the link to his site:
really isn't in Scotland at all,
There's no "really" about it, Hadrian's Wall is in England.
We walked the length of the Hadrian's Wall Path this past June (10 days), stopping at museums and sites in several places along the way. As you may know, much of the wall has been dismantled over time, and most of the surviving (or reconstructed) parts are in the middle.
We actually began our trip in Glasgow for a few days, then took the train to Carlisle, England, which has the most impressive museum dedicated to Roman life in Britain (which includes Hadrian's wall), the Tullie House. We took a taxi west from Carlisle to begin our trek, passing back through town again 2 days later.
In the middle, near the tiny community of Once Brewed, Vindolanda is the most impressive fort site near Hadrian's Wall, although it was located about a mile and a half south of the wall itself. A massive, modern, glass building was under construction that's going to be a big visitor center in Once Brewed, which may make the experience different for future visitors -- it wasn't open yet when we were there. Also nearby is Housestead's Fort, with a dramatic location right on the wall itself, but it's not as impressive as Vindolanda,
Another Wall location to consider is at Chester's Roman Fort, farther east. Both Chester's and Vindolanda offer free guided tours, which add greatly to the experience.
We used 2 Hadrian's Wall hiking guidebooks, and each provided B&B listings along the route. Most were very nice, and a couple were at least a bed out of the rain at the end of a long day. I can provide more specifics, if you want.
On the west end, in the Newcastle-upon-Tyne metropolitan area, are the Segedunum fort and museum at Wallsend (the end of the wall itself), but also the excellent Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields. The longest, easily accessible section of surviving Wall in the east is at Heddon-on-the-Wall, a short driving distance (or a decent walk) west of Newcastle.
In May of 2016 I did something similar to what Carol did. I stayed at the Ashcroft Guest House and took a tour with Peter Carney. Peter picked me up at the Ashcroft in the morning and returned me there at the end of the day.
I was on the tour by myself and it was all in his car. I didn't do much walking except between the car and the sites and at the sites themselves. I picked where I wanted to go and Peter threw in some things he thought I shouldn't miss. We finished the excursion at Durham with the Cathedral.
It was a long day and I wish we'd had more time at Durham, but I'll go back one day.
I spent 2 nights at the Ashcroft so I could have the whole day between for Hadrian's Wall. I arrived in Haltwhistle by train from Bletchley. I took the train from Haltwhistle to Edinburgh via Carlisle to continue my trip.
I see that Gilnockie Tower is sort of on that route from Haltwhistle to Edinburgh via Carlisle. In fact, by car it's only about 45 minutes from Haltwhistle. Peter was very accomodating to me. It's possible you might work something out with him to take you there like he took me to Durham. The link I made to the Tower gives me an idea of why you want to go there. Beautiful clan plaid.
Thank you all for the information. I just may contact some of you in the future. I am aware of the location of the wall (melsmith1962). This is my part of the trip. Most of our trip is Scotland. Where would be the best place to fly into. We have 14 days to explore. We are thinking about Rick Steves tour In May and adding my portion of the trip later. Any thoughts.
Hadrian's Wall, and its associated forts are well worth the visit. Put yourself in the position of an Italian squaddie in 150 CE there...
And entirely in England. The best source for the wall is English Heritage.
Now I'm getting a little confused. Is the 14 days to explore after the RS Best of Scotland 10-day tour? That makes a big circle starting and ending in Edinburgh.
Edited to add: The only open tour is 2-11 May. All the others have waitlists.
Fly to Glasgow or Edinburgh, then head south. They're a lot closer than flying to London and heading waaaaaay north, although the train between London and Edinburgh stops at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and you could get out there.
Unless you somehow had some justification for flying in to, say, Manchester or even Newcastle itself.
We flew into Newcastle, connection through Heathrow, and it was surprisingly easy and convenient. Tram from the airport makes getting into town easy. We flew out from Edinborough at the end of the trip.