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Walking along Hadrian's Wall

My sister and I would like to walk along a stretch of the wall for about 4 days. We plan to either use a self-tour service with luggage transfer or arrange lodging/luggage transfer ourselves to help the budget. I would love to hear from others who have done this and how they made arrangements. I'm also open to any hints or suggestions. We will be traveling at the end of June 2017. Thanks in advance for your input.

Posted by
2540 posts
these websites should get you lots of info.
I have only ever walked parts of the wall on day trips from Edinburgh mainly the area from Housesteads to Once Brewed. you will need good walking boots and good waterproofs that are windproof too as many areas of the wall are very exposed with very little shelter from the wind and the rain or hopefully the sun.
june is a good time to go , generally much warmer weather and long days

Posted by
13218 posts

We did two days of walking Hadrian's Wall last May, from a base in the village of Haltwhistle, accessible by train. We used the local AD 122 bus to get to and from the path. This was a very inexpensive way to do this.

There are lots of companies that will arrange this for you, such as Contours, or this one:

We have also used the above-mentioned Celtic Trails for self-guided walking and were happy with them.

For a guided trip ( not what you asked about, but others reading here may be interested), we like this company:

We did a walking holiday in the Lake District with HF Holidays and really like their approach. For Hadrian's Wall they base in Haltwhistle for this 6-night holiday. They have a shorter on for £395 but it is more of a historical/cultural tour with less walking.

I have a book and some maps I would be happy to give to you---they need a new home. Send me a PM if interested.

Posted by
1005 posts

All great ideas posted so far. My favorite section is between Steel Rigg and Housesteads, so be sure to include that section in your planning. At one point you can actually walk on top of the wall (and pretend you are a Roman soldier). Most of the time you'll be walking along the wall. The tour operators and AD122 bus are good options. Another option is Peter Carney, who gives walking tours and also provides transportation from either Carlisle or Newcastle to the wall. He can also pick you up at your hotel or B&B.

It's England, so be prepared for wet weather. It might be a good idea to add a cushion of an extra day, so you can adjust if the weather's bad. There are three great museums in the area, so you have good choices for rainy day activities. Have fun.

Posted by
1255 posts

We drove ourselves along the Wall. We called ahead and stayed overnight in a farmhouse that was next to the Wall. It was September so it was dark at 6pm. Our Landlady had to go to a Harvest Festival where she was going to serve Cakes. She left some for us and some hot tea and said she'd be back in a couple of we had the place to ourselves. Then the house phone rang...we thought it might be our hostess, so we answered it. It was another traveler looking for a night's rest. We explained that we were also visitors but she was probably welcome. So she appeared shortly and was from New Zealand and was shopping for wool and yarns for her own shop back home. So a very memorable night for us all. In the morning after a yummy breakfast we drove to the major Roman Fort sites which were all quite interesting. My favorite is the Roman Toilets all lined up like in a locker room. The Wall itself is not in one connecting piece as it has many tumbled down parts, but you can see how it must have been. Another unexpected thrill on a quiet part of the Wall was seemingly being buzzed by a fighter jet. It seems that the military jets use the Wall as a turn around... the sonic boom was exciting!

Posted by
2949 posts

Just to say, you'll love it! It's breathtaking. Dress for the weather, of course.

Posted by
5532 posts

Thanks to everyone for their replies and to Lois for generously passing her guidebook on to me. The people on this forum are wonderful!

Posted by
3714 posts

I did a private tour with Peter Carney in May. He was most knowledgeable and accomodating and helped me decide what would be best for my day. I think he could give you sound advice and that you could work something out with him to do something close to what you want to do.

I'm sure you've found tons of info online about the path. Take the weather advice to heart and keep in mind that this is not a nice paved path. Depending on where you are and the weather, it's 85 muddy, rocky, slippery, steep, off-kilter, you name it, miles. There are no rails for support.

Those conditions may not be a problem for you, but at 70 with bad knees, they were for me. That's why working with Peter was so good for me.

I stayed at the Ashcroft B&B Guest House in Haltwhistle. Peter picked me up there and brought me home after a long day that included some of the major parts of the wall, the museums and Durham Cathedral. His flexibility might work well for you.

Posted by
13218 posts

We stayed at Ashcroft House in Haltwhistle as well. it is a very nice B and B and our room was huge!

The first day we walked from there to the path ( about a mile?) and turned right to head east. This is a very scenic section with somenwell-preserved wall. There is one very steep hill that made us glad we were walking that direction. It was fine going up, but could have been dicey for me going downhill, even with poles. We walked to the Steel Rigg area and then caught the bus back from Once-Brewed.

Day two we checked out of Ashcroft House and asked them to hold our luggage while we went back to explore the wall. We caught the bus to Housesteads Roman Fort and spent several hours there---very worthwhile. It was very cold and windy that day, so we were glad to be able to duck indoors and buy a hot drink at the visitor center there. Then we caught the bus back to Haltwhistle, picked up our bags, and caught the 14:00 train to Newcastle andon to London.

The AD122 bus is very friendly and punctual---but make sure you know how to read the schedule and where to stand for the direction you with to travel.

Carol--I will put the book and map in the mail today---our post office was not open on Saturday.