||Hotel, Small Inn, B&B
||5 - 12
Jun 13, 2019 - Jun 22, 2019
|Single Supp Cost
Hiking Trip Summary
Built to mark the edge of the Roman Empire in CE122, Hadrian’s Wall is one of the most iconic landmarks of Britain and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stretching from north Cumbria to the centre of Newcastle we walk through some of the wildest and most beautiful scenery in England and visit Roman forts, towns and museums along the way, which help bring to life the lot of the Roman soldier.
As we walk 90 miles, our journey follows the course of the Wall along most of its length, through fields and woodland to high craggy ridges, past lakes and across rivers. We will visit Housesteads, Birdoswald, Chesters and Segedunum forts as well as taking in key Roman settlements at Vindolanda, Coria and Arbeia.
Immerse yourself in history as we pass mediaeval monasteries and castles, Iron Age hillforts and reminders of the Industrial Revolution. Revel in the unspoilt countryside of the North Pennines and learn to spot the signs of long-forgotten human activity in the landscape.
Day 1: Arrive Manchester Airport, England - Transfer to Brampton
Rendezvous at Manchester, England airport. Group transport to our B&B in Brampton, a mediaeval market town built of the local red sandstone surrounded by gently rolling countryside. Welcome dinner.
Days 2: Circular walk to Lanercost Priory
We start our walk heading west to a Roman camp, pre-dating the wall, before crossing the River Irthing to meet Hadrian’s Wall at Newtown. We then follow the line of the wall to Hare Hill where we find a section of the wall still standing to almost its full height. From here we leave the wall and return to our B&B via Lanercost Priory. This Augustinian priory was founded in the 12th Century and was built with stones taken from Hadrian’s Wall.
Day 3: Brampton to Greenhead
We head back towards the wall, this time taking a ridge path with views north to yesterday’s route. The line of the wall takes us past the remains of turrets and milecastles to Birdoswald Fort perched high above the River Irthing, which we will explore before following the longest surviving stretch of the wall to Willowford Roman Bridge, Poltross Burn Milecastle and our accommodation at Greenhead.
Day 4: Greenhead to near Bardon Mill
Our way takes us to Carvoran Roman Army Museum, which gives a fascinating insight to the life of a Roman soldier on the Empire’s Frontier, before climbing onto the precipitous Whin Sill ridge for the most spectacular – and strenuous – sections of the wall. We pass Aesica Fort in the middle of a farmer’s field, with an original Roman altar in sight before a final climb to Whinshields Crag, the highest point along the wall. From here it is a short stroll to the welcoming inn for the night.
Day 5: Circular walk to Housestead and Vindolanda
With 2 outstanding sites to visit today, our walk is somewhat shorter, but still starts with a strenuous climb onto Peel Crags – home of the world-famous Sycamore Gap – and continues high above the Barbarian lands to the north, to reach Housesteads Fort, built on a dramatic site on the top of the escarpment. From here we head south, away from the wall, passing an Iron Age hill fort, a Roman signal station and a restored lime kiln. We follow the Stanegate to go visit Vindolanda, a fort which pre-dates the wall and was still in use after the wall was abandoned. It is one of the most important Roman sites in Britain because of the level of preservation of organic materials in the silts. The Vindolanda writing tablets – postcards from the past – are considered to be Britain’s greatest treasure. Hopefully, we will meet archaeologists at work and learn about their latest discoveries first-hand. From Vindolanda it is just 1.5 miles back to our inn.
Day 6: Near Bardon Mills to Wall
Today we start by taking in the “Barbarian’s View” north of the wall, to understand how impressive and forbidding it would seem to an outsider. We then rejoin the wall beyond Housesteads and continue on gentler terrain to the Temple of Mithras, a god beloved of the soldiers. A further 3 miles brings us to the cavalry fort at Chesters. The mansion at Chesters was the home of John Clayton, the saviour of Hadrian’s Wall. He discovered the fort in his front garden then bought up large sections of the wall to protect it from further stone-robbing. There is a delightful museum on the site showcasing his finds. Crossing the River North Tyne on an elegant Georgian bridge, we then inspect the Roman bridge abutment left high and dry by a change in the river’s course. From here it is just 2 miles to the hotel in the village of Wall.
Day 7: Wall to Corbridge
We initially head uphill, passing sections of wall, then take a small diversion to the church of St Oswald at Heavenfield. This is believed to be the site where King (later Saint) Oswald of Northumberland raised a Christian cross before defeating the pagan King Cadwallon of Wales in AD 633. Continuing on our way through fields and woodland, we reach the site of the Port Gate, where the Roman Road from York to Edinburgh, known as Dere Street, passed through the wall. It continued to be a very important trading route even after the wall was built and we head south along it to find our way to the Roman town of Coria, which stood at the crossroads with Stanegate, the Roman road between Newcastle and Carlisle. Originally a military fort, it developed into a civilian town and became a major supply base for the forts on the wall. Our hotel is nearby in the centre of Corbridge.
Day 8: Corbridge to Wylam
Our route back to the wall takes us past Aydon Castle, a 13th century fortified manor house which has appeared in historic films including Ivanhoe. As we head east, we reach the village of Heddon on the Wall – which has a substantial section of intact wall – but soon the suburban spread of Newcastle covers all traces of Roman occupation and we leave the line of the wall to head towards the River Tyne, which we follow to our Inn in Wylam. On the way we pass the birthplace of George Stephenson, the “father of railways”.
Day 9: Wylam to Newcastle
In the morning we take the train to the centre of Newcastle – Pons Aelius to the Romans – and walk along the river bank to Segedunum Fort – Wallsend. Although our route is largely green and tranquil, this belies its history as the beating heart of the industrial revolution with staiths on both banks of the river for loading coal, lead and other ores onto waiting boats. Huge shipbuilding yards are now covered in smart apartment blocks and the Quayside has been transformed into a vibrant arts hub for the city. Although Segedunum is officially the end of Hadrian’s wall, we will visit a final fort at Arbeia, which guarded the entrance to the Tyne. Here we can visit the reconstructed gatehouse, barrack block and governor’s house to better understand how soldiers lived on the frontier 1900 years ago.
There will be time left to further explore the city before heading to our hotel on the Quayside. A visit to the Great North Museum, with its collection of original Roman artefacts is a great finale, or maybe you prefer to wander the elegant Georgian streets that lead to the Earl Grey monument (of tea fame). We will finish the trip with a celebratory dinner.
Day 10: Transfer to Manchester airport, arriving mid-morning.
If you wish to have your own room, there is a single supplement charge. Please let us know if you would like a single at the time of registration. If you are traveling alone and would like to share a room, we will match you with a roommate. If there is no one with whom you can share, we will not charge you extra for this “forced” single.
- Group transfers to and from the Manchester Airport
- All accommodations, with private baths when available
- All breakfast
- All dinners
- Daily luggage transfer
- All group transfers on buses and vans as described in the itinerary
- Entrance to sites listed in the itinerary
- Rewarding hiking
- Great memories
Air fare, lunches, optional/individual transfers between inns or individual excursions, items not on set dinner menus, beverages, insurance, tips to guides, items of a personal nature.
This hike has daily luggage transfer. You will only need to carry a small day pack with the clothing and accessories you will need for the day. As well as a day pack, we ask our trip members to bring only one medium-sized bag you can manage easily by yourself, keeping in mind that our hotels may have narrow hallways and no elevators.
While this trip includes luggage transfer, it is not vehicle supported. Participants should be in physical condition appropriate to the strenuousness of this hike. It is, however, possible to skip a day of hiking and take public transport or taxi to the next hotel. This extra cost is not included in the price of the trip.
A sample packing list is posted on our website, and we are happy to provide one on request. A detailed packing list, along with other pertinent information, will be provided upon registration.
ACCOMMODATIONS AND FACILITIES
Hotels: Most evenings will be spent in small villages or hamlets. For the most part, these are not typical tourist destinations and therefore have limited choices of accommodations. Our accommodations will run the gamut between small, simple bed and breakfasts to very comfortable country inns. All rooms will be double occupancy with private bathrooms when possible.
Meals: All our accommodations offer a “Full English Breakfast," typically consisting of cereal, eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms, coffee and tea, or choice thereof. A vegetarian option is always available.
Lunches will either be picnic style or at local tea rooms, cafes or pubs. Most days, either morning or afternoon, there will be an opportunity to shop for food and other supplies. Village markets provide a wide selection of local fare for picnic lunches. Typically, hotels will also provide packed picnic lunches on request.
Dinners typically consist of a choice of starters, main courses, and desserts, including vegetarian options.
It is easiest to fly to Manchester, England. However, there are frequent trains from London; just be sure to allow for extra travel time.
Manchester airport at 11:00 am on Day 1 for a group transfer to our accommodation in Brampton.
Group transfer to the Manchester airport, arriving about 11:00am.
WHO WOULD LIKE THIS TRIP?
Unlike our trips in the Alps, this trip involves more distance than it does elevation gain and loss, yet each day provides good solid hiking and ends at comfortable accommodations. Each day this route travels through different landscapes, from gentle rolling hills to rugged grit escarpments and post-industrial regeneration, heightening the sense of travelling by foot. The Roman history we encounter en route makes us stop and think about who walked here before us. If you’ve ever felt the urge to wear a scarlet cloak, sit on a Roman latrine, feel the history around you, and enjoy a pint at the pub at the end of a long day’s walk, you really should join us.
WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP DIFFERENT?
This is not just a hiking trip.
Whilst there are plenty of miles to be walked each day, we also make time to discover the history of the area, primarily the Roman legacy, but also the local cultures both pre and post Roman influence.
We deviate somewhat from the full route, omitting the section to the west of Brampton, which was only built of turf and timber and there are no visible remains, and the approach to Newcastle where the urbanisation has obliterated all signs of the Roman presence. We do however add interesting side trips from the wall – to Vindolanda, the “Barbarian view”, Coria and Arbeia, which help complete the story of the Roman frontier.
If you would like to register, would like to receive more information (including a detailed itinerary with elevation gains, loss and distance) and/or request a list of past participants please contact us.
Reserving a Trip
A deposit of $400 along with your completed registration forms will reserve a space on your requested trip. We accept
MasterCard, Visa, and American Express card as well as personal checks. To make a deposit, you may either follow one
of the “Reserve a Trip” links below, give us a call at 1-888-845-5781, or include your payment information in the
area provided when completing your registration forms.
The balance is due 60 days prior to departure for most of our trips. When applying less than 60 days prior to
departure, full payment is due. For final payments, we accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, as well as
As confirmation of receipt of your deposit and registrations, we will send you a comprehensive packet of information
pertaining to your trip, an invoice for final payment and additional information including release agreement form,
medical information form, travel information, and packing list. Upon receipt of final payment, you will receive trip
rendezvous information and a list of accommodations. Returning trip participants will receive a 5% discount on most
Receipt of all forms will finalize your registration.