Hadrian’s Wall was built in AD122. It took 6 years to build and it spans the width of Northern England. There are over 30 forts across the 73 mile wall. It is rumoured to have been built to keep out the Scots but it may have actually have been a customs post or to form the border.
If you would like to go for a walk or bike it there are many companies that can help you organise your trip. This website has a lot of information to help you in your planning.
For more information about Hadrian’s Wall, go here.
Jane and I walked Hadrian's Wall in 4 days (84 miles). It was difficult as we followed the wall and were constantly going up and down hill but the training we put in was worth it!
I would recommend stretching the walk out to 5 days or more if you are not a distance walker. Also going West to East was better as the wind was on our back. Many of the forts and other attractions are managed by English Heritage so its worth bringing your card. If you can't commit to the full distance, Carlisle to Newcastle is manageable and you will see most of the wall here. Remember to pack light!
Also there are 7 stations to get your passport stamped along the way, which is only available between May and October.
Jane and I took a drive up after work on Friday and stayed at a Days Inn 3 hours away from Cambridge to get us as close to the wall that we could get the evening before.
The next morning, we drove to Carlisle and parked outside of the Sands Centre but there is long term parking near the rail station which is closer to the bus station. We took the bus to the beginning at Bowness-on-Solway.
On this walk you rarely see any of the wall but you will be following the line of where it was. The wall is not visible because they used earth to build up their defense. It is a very scenic walk but was quite muddy as it was raining for us.
Be prepared to go over and through many stiles, I think this made it much longer walk. The walk is clearly identified which is nice but it would be good to have a book or map to reference, just in case you get lost. We did come across some people that had lost their way a bit. Also all the books vary in distances so its hard to really know how far you are going.
That day we walked to Irthington and stayed at the Vallum Barn. It was a great place to be staying after long walk. The beds were comfy and Lyn and William Haugh were really nice (I was shocked to see a sandollar in the bathroom but William was in the RAF and stationed in Canada). We ate at the local village pub, Salutation Inn (016977-2310), which we had to prebook because it is so popular. The next morning we had a full English breakfast to get us ready for the day ahead!
We left Irthington and walked to get back on the path. This was our shorter day because of how the B&B's fell.
Day 2 was when we started seeing the wall pop up in stages and for a long time we were walking along it.
It is amazing the amount of walkers you see along your way and you tend to meet up several times and seem to form a bond :) We were lucky we were walking with the wind because one lady said it took her 11 hours to walk 8 miles because of the wind.
We were also lucky because there was a special event at the English Heritage site Birdoswald Roman Fort. The Ermine Street Guard Roman reenactment group were there and showed us their how the Romans lived and how they fought. It was so windy that they had to take their tent down which was a sight to see!
That night we stayed at the HolmHead Guest House which was built over the wall. Many house and buildings in this area used the rocks form the wall which is the reason why it is not still standing in all of its glory. The people at this B&B were very nice as well!
We ate at the local village pub, The Green Head Hotel and enjoyed many glasses of wine and almost got ran over by a bike but really enjoyed ourselves!
This was our longest day from Greenhead to Wall (outside of Chollerford).
We walked along the wall and not the National Trail so there were many tricky up and down bits but it was the most scenic as at times we were on the top of the hills.
We also saw the English Heritage Housesteads Roman Fort which was about a little over halfway but amazing to see what still remained and that it once covered 5 acres!
Then the sun came out and the rest of the day was great!
We stayed in the Hadrian Wall Hotel. This was a nice change as it was a pub and hotel so less walking. The food was okay (don't ask Jane about her soup incident) but breakfast was good.
We walked from Wall to Wallsend. The wall started to taper off once we were getting into the city. We started to follow the old railway along the water which was good. Luckily for us the sun was out. This seemed like the hardest part of the whole walk as once you are in town, you stop getting updates of how far you are from the end. But we did it!
Do not book with the Dorset Arms Hotel in Wallsend! They mixed up our booking and we had to find another place to stay. We ended up staying in Whites Hotel in Newcastle. Luckily it was nicer and cheaper than them! Not what you want after a 30 mile walk! Newcastle is known to have one of the best nightlife in England but we were not up for anything but we ate at a lovely restaurant called Scalini, which was a great relief after our ordeal with the hotel!
Pictures on our walk
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