> Hillwalk Tours Blog > Featured Posts > Ultimate Guide to Hiking Hadrian’s Wall Path
POSTED BY February 24, 2023
Hadrian's Wall Path Signpost
Hadrian’s Wall Path Signpost / Credit: Gerda Solleveld

Route Overview

Where is Hadrian’s Wall Path?

The Hadrian’s Wall Path is a 135km (84 miles) long distance trail situated in the north of England near the present-day border of England and Scotland. The trail runs from Wallsend on the east coast of England to Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast of the country. The famous trail, which boasts the best-preserved Roman frontier from the ancient civilization, offers walkers the opportunity to go back in time to the Roman Empire. What sets it apart is its bidirectional nature, allowing hikers to explore the captivating route from either end, heading towards Newcastle in the east or Bowness-on-Solway in the west.

Why should you walk the Hadrian’s Wall Path?

Hiking the Hadrian’s Wall Path is a very unique experience in that the entire trail runs close to the original route of Hadrian’s Wall, a structure built by the great Roman Emperor, Hadrian. He began building the wall on the northern border of their empire in 122AD due to the threat of Northern Barbarians. It took six years to complete a barrier 73 miles long, across the land from the Solway Firth to Wallsend on the River Tyne. Not only is it the largest Roman archaeological feature in Britain, but it is also considered the best preserved Roman frontier in the world. In 1987, Hadrian’s Wall became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 2003, it became England’s 15th National Trail and it’s considered one of the most popular National Trails out of the sixteen that England has to offer, and there are numerous reasons for this. There’s history every step of the way as you are presented with many examples of Roman settlements and forts and the added bonus of cosy pubs, bustling market towns and breathtaking views. The majority of the trail traverses through remote countryside and small villages but there are sections that pass through the cities and suburbs of Newcastle and Carlisle. The section between Chollerford and Lanercost/Newtown is the highest and ‘wildest’ part of the path; it is also where the Wall is most visible, and includes several important Roman forts (Chesters, Housesteads, Vindolanda, Roman Army Museum, Birdoswald).

Hiking the Hadrian's Wall Path
A walker hiking along Hadrian’s Wall

When is the best time to walk the Hadrian’s Wall Path?

When booking a hiking holiday, every season has its own charm, but indeed some months are better for hiking than others. It is always important to make yourself aware of the best times to walk any long-distance trails as weather conditions and busyness can greatly impact your overall hiking experience.

The National Trails administration recommends hikers to walk Hadrian’s Wall Path between the beginning of May and the end of October. However, most of the accommodations and luggage transfer services along the route operate from the start of March until the end of October.

During this period, the soil is drier and the thousands of hiking boots leave fewer traces of wear and tear. Of course, there are also longer daylight hours and favourable weather conditions during these months.

In addition to the issues with most service providers along the route being closed during the winter months, the fewer hours of daylight at this time of year also make these months an unfavorable choice for hiking the trail.

How long does it take to hike the Hadrian’s Wall Path?

The 135km (84 miles) Hadrian’s Wall Path usually takes between 6 and 9 days to complete the entire long distance English trail depending on fitness levels and interests in visiting the ruins. Out of the 16 National Trails, this trail is considered by many to be the easiest long distance hiking trail in England.

At Hillwalk Tours, we offer Gentle, Moderate and Challenging tour grading levels depending on the balance of physical challenge and comfort level that you require. Within these levels, you can choose between 4 to 11-day hiking tours to complete the full trail or part of it. All you have to decide is how many kilometres / miles you would like to walk per day and we’ll take care of the rest!

Hadrian's Wall, England.
Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s Wall Path Passport & Stamping Stations

A Hadrian’s Wall Path ‘passport’ is a great way of recording your achievements of completing the trail, allowing you to get it stamped at certain points throughout the trail. If you have completed the full trail and collected seven stamps by the end of your hike, you can acquire a certificate of completion. The proceeds from this go to the maintenance of the historical monuments along the trail.

These passports can be purchased on several websites online and are available from May to October every year.

Hillwalk Tours supports the preservation of the Hadrian’s Wall Path and provides official passports to anyone who has booked a self-guided hike.

Table of Contents / Quick Links

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Tour Route

Types of Trails

Choosing the right hiking tour for you can be, at times, tricky. It is always important to consider your own physical capability and comfort levels.

For example, at Hillwalk Tours, we have grouped each trail route we offer into three categories depending on personal preference and fitness levels. These are – gentle, moderate, and challenging. Each of these categories, depending on the destination, will include anything from 4 to 13-day itineraries, with customers given the option to add rest days where they see fit.

Our gentle hikes are perfectly suited for those who would consider themselves as a part-time hiker who enjoys taking photos and meeting locals while taking in the spectacular scenery. Our moderate hikes will suit people who are used to regular exercise and appreciate the opportunity of covering plenty of ground each day without going beyond their limits. Finally, our challenging hikes are for hikers who look to set off early in the morning and not stop until they have reached their destination.

With regards to our Hadrian’s Wall Path tours, we offer gentle, moderate and challenging level hikes. Each of these hiking categories cover the following average hiking distance and time each day:

Gentle: 13-15km or 8-9 miles and between 3-5 hours per day

Moderate: 15-17km or 9-11 miles and between 4-6 hours per day

Challenging: 23km or 14 miles and between 5-7 hours per day

Hillwalk Tours Guide Notes

As the Hadrian’s Wall Path is such a popular trail in England, walkers will be able to find off-the-shelf guidebooks such as the Rucksack Readers guidebook, before setting off on the trail.

If you decide to walk the trail with Hillwalk Tours, you will receive a walking pack once you have fully booked your hiking holiday. This walking pack will include detailed Ordnance Survey (OS) maps and unique route notes and walking directions written and constantly updated by our route development team. By personally walking each trail and creating our own detailed route notes, it allows us to provide more itineraries, route options and alternatives than what you will typically find across generic guidebooks. It also includes GPS tracks meaning you will never have to worry about getting lost.

Starting and Finishing Point – East to West

The Hadrian’s Wall Path is often walked in both directions. But which is the best direction? Starting from Wallsend in Newcastle on the east coast and walking to Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast, many walkers feel that it is ‘more natural’ to walk out of a big city into the open country, and it also makes getting to the start of the walk easier due to the better transport connections to Newcastle.

Departing from Newcastle, near the North Sea, the trail follows mostly railway tracks and footpaths to Newburn. From here, it follows river-side tracks for a small while, before heading away from the river to Heddon-on-the Wall. The route then follows an old Military Road, built on top of the Wall, through pastoral landscape.

The scenery improves the further west you go and the turrets and milecastles are also numbered from east to west as that is the direction in which the Romans built the Wall. The route soon passes the old Roman Portgate, near Corbridge, and then leads on to Chollerford with its Roman Fort of Chesters. From here the trail soon rises to follow the tops of the Northumberland Crags with better-preserved Roman remains.

From Housesteads, it moves on to Once Brewed and then to the lovely village of Gilsland. The trail follows the Wall through a more level landscape via Newtown to the ancient city of Carlisle. Following the River Eden and then moving through the flat landscape along the Solway Firth the route soon reaches Bowness-on-Solway on the Irish Sea, and the end point of the trail.

Starting and Finishing Point – West to East

While the official guidebook describes the route of the Hadrian’s Wall Path from east to west, many hikers also choose to walk the trail from west to east i.e., starting from Bowness-on-Solway and hiking towards Newcastle.

Starting from Bowness-on-Solway, on the Irish Sea, the trail first makes its way through the flat coastal landscape along the Solway Firth before following the River Eden into the historic border city of Carlisle. From there, the route follows a pastoral landscape of fields and meadows that passes through several small villages. After Banks, more and more remains of Hadrian’s Wall and its forts, towers and castles become visible as the trail follows the line of the Wall east towards the Roman Fort at Birdoswald and the pretty village of Gilsland.

The trail soon rises to follow the tops of the Northumberland Crags with Roman remains at every turn. Near Once Brewed you come to the highest point of the trail and close by lies the archaeological site of Vindolanda. The route continues past the well-preserved Roman fort of Housesteads before descending again through the wide, open spaces of the Northumberland National Park. At Chollerford, with its Roman Fort of Chesters, the trail crosses the River Tyne and then continues past the old Roman Portgate, near Corbridge. The route then follows the old Military Road, built on top of the Wall, through a pastoral landscape towards Heddon-on-the-Wall where you find the last preserved stretch of Roman Wall along the route.

The trail now veers south to follow the River Tyne to Newburn and then through the city of Newcastle on former railway tracks and footpaths to the Roman Fort of Segedunum at Wallsend, near the North Sea.

Birdoswald Roman Fort
Birdoswald Roman Fort

Sample of Hadrian’s Wall Path Itineraries

The following are some examples of our Gentle, Moderate and Challenging itineraries for hiking the Hadrian’s Wall Path East to West and West to East.

Hadrian’s Wall Path East to West

Moderate 7-Day / 6-Night

Day 1: Arrival in Corbridge

Day 2: Corbridge – Chollerford ( 16km or 10 miles)

Day 3: Chollerford – Once Brewed ( 20km or 12.5 miles)

Day 4: Once Brewed – Gilsland ( 14km or 8.75 miles)

Day 5: Gilsland – Newtown ( 16km or 10 miles)

Day 6: Newtown – Carlisle ( 13km or 8 miles)

Day 7: Departure from Carlisle

Challenging 8-Day / 7-Night

Day 1: Arrival in Whitley Bay / Tynemouth (Newcastle)

Day 2: Wallsend – Heddon-on-the-Wall ( 24km or 15 miles)

Day 3: Heddon-on-the-Wall – Chollerford ( 26km or 16.25 miles)

Day 4: Chollerford – Once Brewed ( 20km or 12.5 miles)

Day 5: Once Brewed – Lanercost ( 24km or 15 miles)

Day 6: Lanercost – Carlisle ( 21km or 13 miles)

Day 7: Carlisle – Bowness-on-Solway ( 25km or 15.5 miles)

Day 8: Departure from Bowness-on-Solway

Moderate 9-Day / 8-Night

Day 1: Arrival in Whitley Bay / Tynemouth (Newcastle)

Day 2: Wallsend – Newburn ( 19km or 12 miles)

Day 3: Newburn – Portgate ( 22km or 13.75 miles)

Day 4: Corbridge – Chollerford (16km or 10 miles)

Day 5: Chollerford – Once Brewed ( 20km or 12.5 miles)

Day 6: Once Brewed – Gilsland ( 14km or 8.75 miles)

Day 7: Gilsland – Newtown ( 16km or 10 miles)

Day 8: Newtown – Carlisle ( 13km or 8 miles)

Day 9: Departure from Carlisle

Gentle 11-Day / 10-Night

Day 1: Arrival in Whitley Bay / Tynemouth (Newcastle)

Day 2: Wallsend – Newburn (19km or 12 miles)

Day 3: Newburn – Wallhouses (15km or 9.25 miles)

Day 4: Wallhouses – Chollerford (16km or 10 miles)

Day 5: Chollerford – Housesteads (15km or 9.25 miles)

Day 6: Housesteads – Greenhead ( 16km or 10 miles)

Day 7: Greenhead – Lanercost ( 13km or 8 miles)

Day 8: Lanercost – Carlisle ( 21km or 13 miles)

Day 9: Carlisle – Burgh-by-Sands ( 12.5km or 7.75 miles)

Day 10: Burgh-by-Sands – Bowness-on-Solway (12.5km or 7.75 miles)

Day 11: Departure from Bowness-on-Solway

Hadrian’s Wall Path West to East

Moderate 7-Day / 6-Night

Day 1: Arrival in Carlisle

Day 2: Carlisle – Lanercost (21km or 13 miles)

Day 3: Lanercost – Once Brewed (25km or 15.5 miles)

Day 4: Once Brewed – Chollerford (19km or 12 miles)

Day 5: Chollerford – Corbridge ( 16km or 10 miles)

Day 6: Portgate – Newburn ( 22km or 13.5 miles)

Day 7: Departure from Newburn

Challenging 8-Day / 7-Night

Day 1: Arrival in Bowness-on-Solway

Day 2: Bowness-on-Solway – Carlisle (25km or 15.5 miles)

Day 3: Carlisle – Gilsland (29km or 18 miles)

Day 4: Gilsland – Housesteads (19km or 12 miles)

Day 5: Housesteads – Corbridge (31km or 19.5 miles)

Day 6: Corbridge – Newburn (26km or 16 miles)

Day 7: Newburn – Wallsend (19km or 12 miles)

Day 8: Departure from Wallsend

Moderate 9-Day / 8-Night

Day 1: Arrival in Bowness-on-Solway

Day 2: Bowness-on-Solway – Carlisle (25km or 15.5 miles)

Day 3: Carlisle – Lanercost (21km or 13 miles)

Day 4: Lanercost – Once Brewed (25km or 15.5 miles)

Day 5: Once Brewed – Chollerford (19km or 12 miles)

Day 6: Chollerford – Corbridge (16km or 10 miles)

Day 7: Portgate – Newburn (22km or 13.5 miles)

Day 8: Newburn – Wallsend (19km or 12 miles)

Day 9: Departure from Wallsend

Gentle 11-Day / 10-Night

Day 1: Arrival in Bowness-on-Solway

Day 2: Bowness-on-Solway – Burgh-by-Sands (13km or 8 miles)

Day 3: Burgh-by-Sands – Carlisle (12km or 7.5 miles)

Day 4: Carlisle – Walton (17km or 10.5 miles)

Day 5: Walton – Greenhead (16km or 10 miles)

Day 6: Greenhead – Housesteads (16km or 10 miles)

Day 7: Housesteads – Chollerford (15km or 9.5 miles)

Day 8: Chollerford – Wallhouses (16km or 10 miles)

Day 9: Wallhouses – Newburn (16km or 10 miles)

Day 10: Newburn – Wallsend (19km or 12 miles)

Day 11: Departure from Wallsend

Currency and Expenses

The currency used throughout the Hadrian’s Wall Path and its surrounding areas is the British Pound (£).

The cost of food, drinks, and activities while hiking along the Hadrian’s Wall Path can vary depending on several factors, such as the location, time of year, and personal preferences.

Dining out in restaurants along the Hadrian’s Wall Path offers a diverse range of options, catering to different budgets. You can find affordable dining options as well as moderately expensive ones, depending on the type of cuisine and the restaurant’s ambiance. On average, a meal for one person in a mid-range restaurant may cost around £15 to £30, excluding drinks. If you choose more upscale dining experiences, prices can be higher. For beverages, such as a pint of beer or a glass of wine, expect to pay around £4 to £8, depending on the venue. Prices in popular tourist areas might be slightly higher, particularly during the peak seasons.

Hadrian’s Wall Path offers visitors various activities to enjoy, including hiking, exploring historical sites, and scenic drives. The prices for these activities can vary depending on the specific attractions and experiences you choose. It’s essential to consider that prices along the Hadrian’s Wall Path might be slightly higher during the peak tourist season, which typically falls between June and August, compared to the off-peak season. Planning your activities and budgeting accordingly can help you make the most of your journey along this historic trail.

Hadrian’s Wall Path Accommodation and Services

Hotels and Guesthouses

Numerous hotels and guesthouses cater to travelers along Hadrian’s Wall Path, particularly in towns and villages such as Wallsend, Heddon-on-the-Wall, Chollerford, Once Brewed, Haltwhistle, and Bowness-on-Solway. These establishments offer comfortable rooms, dining facilities, and various amenities to ensure a pleasant stay for hikers.

Bed & Breakfasts

Along Hadrian’s Wall Path, bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) are a popular and inviting accommodation option. These cozy establishments provide comfortable rooms, a delicious breakfast to kickstart your day, and often have friendly hosts who can share local insights and tips for your journey.


For budget-conscious adventurers, there are hostels conveniently located along the route. These hostels typically offer dormitory-style accommodations and communal facilities like kitchens and lounges, creating opportunities to meet fellow hikers and exchange stories.

Camping and Glamping

For those who prefer camping, designated campsites are available along Hadrian’s Wall Path, such as Steel Rigg and Lanercost. These sites usually offer basic amenities such as toilets, showers, and sometimes cooking facilities for a comfortable camping experience.

While wild camping is not permitted along Hadrian’s Wall Path, there are plenty of established campgrounds and glamping options that provide a touch of luxury amidst the scenic surroundings. Glamping options range from beautifully furnished tents to charming cabins, offering a more upscale retreat after a day of exploring the historic trail.

Airbnb and Self-Catering

Experience a unique and personalized stay along Hadrian’s Wall Path with Airbnb accommodations. From quaint cottages to serene retreats, Airbnb offers a diverse range of lodging options for hikers. Some properties even allow visitors to stay in traditional English homes, providing an opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture and marvel at the beautiful landscapes.

Shops and Grocery Stores

As you journey through the towns and villages along Hadrian’s Wall Path, you’ll find convenient grocery stores and shops to stock up on food, water, and other supplies. It’s wise to plan ahead and carry snacks and water while hiking between settlements, as some sections of the trail may have limited access to amenities.


ATMs are available in several towns and villages along the Hadrian’s Wall Path, including Wallsend, Once Brewed, and Bowness-on-Solway. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the availability of ATMs may vary, especially in smaller villages or more remote areas. To ensure you have enough cash for your journey, plan ahead and withdraw sufficient funds in larger towns where ATMs are more readily accessible. Additionally, carrying some cash with you is recommended for places that may not accept cards or in case of any unforeseen circumstances. Some larger stores and establishments along the route may offer cashback services, but it’s a good idea to confirm the availability and any limitations with the specific store.

‘Honesty’ Cafes / Shops / Boxes

Hadrian’s Wall Path offers a unique experience for hikers with the presence of honesty cafes and shops along the route. Embracing the concept of trust, these establishments allow customers to serve themselves, select items, and leave the appropriate payment in a designated box or container, all without direct supervision from staff. During your hike along Hadrian’s Wall Path, you’ll encounter numerous honesty cafes and shops, both old and new, dotting the landscape. Notable locations, such as Carlisle and Gilsland, feature these charming establishments. Imagine stumbling upon honesty boxes filled with tempting treats, creating a delightful blend of history, nature, and community spirit.

Please note that it’s always a good idea to check for the most recent information and recommendations, as the availability and operation of such establishments can evolve over time.

Hadrian’s Wall Path Trail Etiquette

When hiking the Hadrian’s Wall Path, it is strongly encouraged to follow trail etiquette and adopt the principles promoted by the Leave No Trace organization. Demonstrating respect for the natural surroundings entails refraining from littering or leaving any waste behind. Additionally, it is of utmost importance that walkers must not damage or take any part of Hadrian’s Wall, as it is a precious historical monument that holds significant cultural value. Whether it’s food scraps, wrappers, or non-biodegradable items, hikers should carry out all their trash and dispose of it appropriately in designated bins or carry it until they reach suitable disposal facilities. By embracing the Leave No Trace principles and showing reverence for the historical legacy of Hadrian’s Wall, hikers play a vital role in preserving the pristine charm of the trail and ensuring its enjoyment for generations to come.

Hillwalk Tours Hadrian’s Wall Path Map

East to West

West to East

Hadrian’s Wall Path Terrain


The Hadrian’s Wall Path is well sign-posted throughout its entirety. You will regularly see the National Trail acorn symbol throughout the trail which will indicate your every next turn, making it difficult for you to get lost or take a wrong turn.

If you are ever in doubt, you can also check the Hillwalk Tours turn by turn directions and route notes including GPS coordinates provided in your walking pack. We also supply all you need to know about local information and history as you pass, along with trail alternatives and other activities.

Want to learn more about how to read a map? Check out this blog post.

National Trail White Acorn, Hadrian's Wall Path
National Trail Acorn, Hadrian’s Wall Path


The Hadrian’s Wall Path is considered as a moderate to easy long distance walk. It is considered by many as being the easiest of the 16 National long distance hiking trails in England.

The walking on this trail is relatively easy along footpaths, cycle lanes, well-maintained paths and tracks through fields and on good paths along the top of the Northumberland Crags. Though sometimes muddy in places, there is very little rugged or very wet ground.

There are some minor climbs and a little undulating terrain in the central section but for much of its length the path is more or less flat. The total aggregate ascent is approximately 1,600m (5,250ft) over the entire route and the highest point is just 345 metres (1,132ft) above sea level.

Sights & Attractions

Wallsend & Segendunum Fort

Wallsend derives its name, as you may have guessed, from the location of the eastern end of Hadrian’s Wall. The town was also the host to Segendunum Fort, a symbol of Roman power as it served to protect the most eastern end of the Wall. The fort is now one of the most excavated forts along the Hadrian’s Wall, and provides important insights into what life was like back when it was in use. Between the 18th and 20th centuries, Wallsend was a bustling coal mining town and is also famous for its shipbuilding too.

Wallsend, east of Hadrian's Wall
Wallsend, east of Hadrian’s Wall

Millennium Bridge

The Gateshead Millenium Bridge across the River Tyne was opened in Newscatle in 2001. The ultra modern bridge differs from most traditional bridges such as drawbridge’s as it tilts sideways in order to allow boats to pass under.

Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
Gateshead Millennium Bridge

Winshield Crags

Winshield Crags marks the highest point along the Hadrian’s Wall standing 345m (1,132ft) above sea level. It offers walkers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside landscape. From this point, you will see Scotland when looking north giving you an idea of the views the Romans used to protect Britain from Barbarian attacks.

Winshield Crags
Winshield Crags

Northumberland National Park

The Northumberland National Park is the most northerly, remote, least visited, and least populated National Park throughout England and Wales. Of the 13 National Parks, the rugged beauty of the remote uplands of the Cheviot Hills and the rich heritage of the Hadrian’s Wall along the historical border valley’s of Scotland make it a must visit.

Views of Northumberland National Park from Hadrian's Wall
Views of Northumberland National Park from Hadrian’s Wall


Translated from Latin to English to ‘white lawns/fields’, Vindolanda presents Hadrian’s Wall Path walkers with the opportunity of visiting the most preserved and excavated Roman site. It holds great historical and archaeological importance as it gives us an insight into the lives of Romans and the other civilizations that occupied it. This popular attraction lies just south of Hadrian’s wall and is considered one of the routes most popular tourist attraction.

Vindolanda is an important example of a phenomenon where a self-governing village or “vicus” developed just outside a fort to the south of Hadrian’s Wall. It was populated by retired soldiers and local traders. The trust responsible for this extensive site states that just 27% has been investigated so far. Excavations continue on an annual basis. In 1992 a 2,000 year-old disembodied 6.3-inch (160 mm) long wooden phallus toy was excavated adding further layers of quizzical interest in Roman culture. You can visit Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum with its informative movie and 3D modelling. Booking ahead is advised.

Vindolanda, Hadrian's Wall Path.


Birdoswald Roman Fort, or Banna as it was known as during Roman times, is the location of the longest piece of the Hadrian’s Wall that is still standing today. Originally built using turf, the stone fort proved a powerful power base for Roman auxiliaries as it protected the western end of the Wall. There is a visitor centre here that features displays and reconstructions of the fort and exhibits what life was like in Roman Britain.

Hadrian's Wall near Birdoswald.
Remains of Hadrian’s Wall at Birdoswald

Carlisle Castle

This impressive 11th century medieval stone castle was built on the site of a large Roman fort (AD72) built of turf and timber. Originally, the Roman fort served as the perfect location for Roman settlements to serve the forts along Hadrian’s Wall. The castle has watched over the city of Carlisle for many centuries and boasts a lot of interesting history as a result of this. A visit to the castle is a lovely way to end your Hadrian’s Wall Path journey!

Many of the legionaries and personnel who lived on and made Hadrian’s Wall came from the far reaches of the Roman Empire. Records indicate the presence of Syrians and also the first record of an African community where “Aurelian Moors” were stationed at the fort of Aballava which is now the village of Burgh by Sands, 11 km west of Carlisle.

Carlisle Castle
Carlisle Castle

A Curious Grotesque

In the historic city of Carlisle, you will find the 12th century Carlisle Cathedral built originally in the Norman style. The past 900 years have seen numerous stylistic changes and additions, including a collection of gargoyles and grotesques on it’s walls. The most peculiar gargoyle is on its south wall.

george russell gargoyle
The Gargoyle of PC George Russel

On February 10th 1965 PC George Russell and his colleagues found themselves in a skirmish with a car thief. The thief produced a pistol and unfortunately shot Russell dead in the street. As a tribute, PC Russel has been immortalised in the form of a gargoyle on the wall of the Carlisle Cathedral.

The gargoyle is one of the most unusual police memorials and be the only gargoyle bobby in the world! Gargoyles are an ancient architectural tradition dating back to the Romanesque period.


The areas surrounding the Hadrian’s Wall contain luscious green fields, watering holes and what could be described as lots of nooks and crannies. As a result of this, the landscape becomes an ideal home for a variety of wildlife, including some rare species. An example of such species would be the large heath butterfly.

The Hadrian’s Wall Path is also the ideal location for those who enjoy birdwatching. You will be able see a vast array of birds such as the house martin or meadow pipit. It is also quite common to see swallows on their return from spending the winter in Africa during the walking season.

On certain sections of the long distance trail, you will see sheep grazing on the surrounding grasslands.

Sheep along the Hadrian's Wall Path

History of the Hadrian’s Wall Path

The Hadrian’s Wall Path is a long distance walking trail that follows the most famous of all Roman frontiers, Hadrian’s Wall. It was the Roman Emperor Hadrian’s wish to keep “intact the empire” and so his visit to Britain in 122 heralded the beginning of construction. He was the most travelled of all Roman leaders spending more than half his reign outside Italy. It took over six years to be built and remained an important frontier for nearly 300 years. Three Roman legions and construction specialists totaling 15,000 men were used in its construction. Soldiers were garrisoned along the line of the wall in large forts, smaller milecastles and intervening turrets. The gates along the wall may also have been used as customs posts. At 117km (73 miles) long, it crossed northern Britain from Wald on River Tyne in the east to Bowness-On-Solway in the west.

Following on from the Romans, Hadrian’s Wall and its forts were used by many settlements such as Celtic tribesmen. Unfortunately, up until the late 18th and early 19th century, Hadrian’s Wall was used as a quarry for the stone to build churches, castles and houses. That was before the conservation movement put a stop to that.

To this day, Hadrian’s Wall is one of the most extensively excavated frontiers of the Roman Empire. All of the wall and the artefacts that are visible today are as a result of excavation. It has also allowed historians and others to delve into what life might have been like to live during these times.

Did you know?

Hadrian’s Wall is said to be George R.R Martin’s inspiration for ‘The Wall’ of ice in Game of Thrones. There are undeniable parallels with the two as the 73m wall rises and plunges across its landscapes and acted as an integral frontier throughout the series.

The People & Local Customs

The people in the regions along Hadrian’s Wall Path and throughout England are known for their polite and friendly nature. English culture values courtesy, and it is common to greet others with a smile or a polite nod, even among strangers. Engaging in casual conversations and being approachable are often seen as positive qualities.

Community Spirit

Hospitality is cherished in England, and visitors can expect a warm welcome from locals. English people take pride in their communities and are often eager to offer assistance or provide recommendations to make travelers feel at home.

The presence of honesty cafes and shops along Hadrian’s Wall is an enriching curiosity. These establishments allow hikers to self-serve, pick items, and leave payments in designated containers without staff supervision. Alongside the picturesque landscape, honesty shops blend history, nature and community spirit.

It’s worth noting that while these honesty cafes and shops contribute to the trail’s character, their current availability and operational status can change over time, so it’s advisable to check locally for the latest information on nearby honesty shops and cafes.

Traditional English music and dance are essential aspects of local customs, especially in some rural areas. While the prevalence of traditional music might vary depending on the specific location, there are often opportunities to experience live music events, folk dances, or even music sessions in local pubs. Participating in or enjoying these cultural expressions can be a delightful and memorable experience.

England has a rich history of storytelling and folklore. Local legends and myths are passed down through generations, adding a sense of enchantment to the places you visit. Engaging with the locals and listening to their stories can provide a deeper understanding of the region’s heritage and cultural significance.

As with any culture, it’s important to approach interactions with respect and an open mind. While the description above captures some common aspects of English culture, individual experiences may vary, and each community or region may have its unique customs and traditions. Embracing the local customs, being courteous, and showing genuine interest in the culture will undoubtedly enhance your journey and create meaningful connections with the English people you encounter along the way.

Hadrian’s Wall Path Pop Culture

Film and TV

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

The action adventure film based on the 12th century English folk hero, Robin Hood (Kevin Costner), filmed several scenes along the Hadrian’s Wall and the Northumberland National Park. The scene precedes a fight scene after Robin Hood helps a young boy hiding in the tree from the Sheriff’s men.

Another scene sees Costner and Morgan Freeman’s character walking along the ruins of Hadrian’s Wall while talking.

Robin Hood Hollywood Movie Poster, 1991.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

Roman Britain from the Air (2014)

This made-for-TV documentary offers viewers fantastic aerial shots of Hadrian’s Wall as Christine Bleakly and Dr. Michael Scott travel Britain by helicopter. The pair tell the story of what life was like for Roman and Britons over 2000 years.

Roman Britain from the Air.
Roman Britain from the Air (2014)

Blackadder Back & Forth (1999)

Hadrian’s Wall makes an appearance in this well-known English series starring Rowan Atkinson. In this New Years Eve special, Blackadder and Baldrick test out their new time machine and travel through history encountering famous characters and changing events in an alarming fashion.

Blackadder Back and Forth, 1999.
Blackadder Back and Forth (1999)


(Everything I Do) I Do It For You by Bryan Adams

The Northumberfield National Park features in the music video of this song which also featured in the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves movie soundtrack. The song broke a record of its time in 1991 having spent 16 consecutive weeks on the UK Singles Chart.

Official Music Video / YouTube


The Wall: Rome’s Greatest Frontier by Alistair Moffat (2017)

In this epic history book of Hadrian’s Wall, Moffat draws upon historical and literary sources and archaeological research to give the reader a unique and fascinating insight to the Ancient World.

The Wall: Rome's Greatest Frontier by Alistair Moffat, 2017.
The Wall: Rome’s Greatest Frontier by Alistair Moffat, 2017.

Across the Roman Wall by Theresa Breslin (2005)

Although this fictitious novel is located at Hadrian’s Wall, it does not go into the historical detail. Instead, it gives readers a glimpse of what life was like for the ordinary citizens of late Roman Britain. The story is based around two characters, Marinetta and Lucius, and the trials and tribulations they face under Roman rule.

Across the Roman Wall / Theresa Breslin 2005
Across the Roman Wall by Theresa Breslin, 2005.

Food and Drink

Steak and Kidney Pie

Arguably England’s most popular comfort food, this traditional pastry crust filled with chunks of succulent steak, kidney and gravy is a must try when visiting England. Don’t be surprised to see various other types of pies with different fillings!

steak and kidney pie

Yorkshire Puddings

Although originating in Yorkshire, this light and airy bread is considered a staple in English cuisine. Often served as an accompaniment with roast dinners, Yorkshire Puddings are made from a batter of eggs, flour, and milk or water.

yorkshire pudding

Fish and Chips

Although debated by some, the English believe they invented this famous UK takeout food. It is typically made with white fish covered in batter which is then fried and served with freshly cut chips. Mushy peas are also commonly ate with this dish. Traditionally, fish and chips were served in newspaper but this is less common as a result of the decline in the newspaper industry and for hygiene reasons.

fish and chips
Fish and Chips

Roast Dinner

This dinner typically consists of roasted meat, roasted potatoes, vegetables accompanied with Yorkshire Puddings, gravy and stuffing. Although it can be eaten on any day of the week, it is traditionally eaten on a Sunday.

english roast dinner

Full English Breakfast

Depending on what part of England you are visiting, a full English breakfast typically consists of bacon, sausages, egg, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, hash browns and toast. Found in accommodations, restaurants, and cafes up and down the country, it is the ideal breakfast to set you up for a great day of exploring one of our English trails.

Full English Breakfast
Full English Breakfast

Lancashire Hot Pot

This stew-like casserole originated in Lancashire and consists of lamb or mutton and onion topped with sliced potatoes slowly baked on low heat. It differs from Irish stew in that it uses thinly sliced potatoes instead of mashed potato and is cooked in a pot rather than an oven.

lancashire hot pot 2


This popular English dessert is perfect for all of the sweet-tooth’s out there. The usual ingredients are a sponge base soaked in sherry, fresh or tinned fruit in jelly, custard and whipped cream. It is commonly served in a glass dish so that each layer is on show.

english sherry trifle


Not only do the English love their Ales, they are a beer brewing country now for thousand of years! Their ales, top fermented cask beer, are usually left to finish maturing in the cellar of the pub itself rather than at the traditional brewery. The naturally carbonated beer styles include brown ale, pale ale, bitter and mild. A great way to quench your thirst along the Hadrian’s Wall Path.

English Ale

Is the Hadrian’s Wall Path Vegan Friendly?

The vegan diet has become more and more popular throughout Europe in recent years, and you will find that there are plenty of vegan options available in most eateries. Each of the accommodation we work with at Hillwalk Tours have given us their guarantee that vegan breakfasts will be catered for once they have been informed. That being said, some of the more rural locations of the trail may have limited options so we advise bringing certain items such as plant-based milk, nut butters or protein powders if you so choose.

In addition, the following apps show restaurants which offer vegetarian and/or vegan opions:

Nearby Trails

There are various other English trails available to you once you have completed Hadrian’s Wall Path. Here are the other Hillwalk Tours English hiking tours we offer:

Hadrian’s Wall Path Tips and FAQs

Probably one of the most common questions asked when hiking the Hadrian’s Wall Path or any trail for that matter is – what will I pack?

Once you have fully booked your Hillwalk Tours hiking holiday, you will receive a detailed ‘recommended equipment’ list inside your Walking Pack. For those who are still unsure of what to bring, here are some of the things we advise you bring with you along the Dingle Way:

– Waterproof Clothing
– Fleece and other warm clothing
– Base Layer
– Light, comfortable Trousers
– Wicking Socks
– Suitable Hiking Boots
– Backpack/Rucksack
– Hat and Gloves
– First Aid Kit and Foil Blanket
– Whistle and Torch
– Insect Repellent
– Mobile Phone
– Plug Adapter/Converter

For more on what to pack – check out these packing musts.

As most of the accommodation we work with in this area don’t accept pets of any kind, it is not possible to bring any pets, such as your dog, on a Hillwalk Tours hiking holiday.

As it is such a popular National Trail, you will never be alone as such while walking Hadrian’s Wall Path. You will always meet people along the way with the only exception of course being in the depths of winter.

As a result of this, the trail is also deemed highly safe for female solo hikers.

There are numerous online resources and services hikers can avail of through the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team‘s website.

If you experience any difficulty or an emergency of any level, it is advised that you phone the relative emergency services on 999. It is also important to note that mobile/cell phones can call this number with or without mobile/cell phone reception.

For those who have fully booked their Hillwalk Tours hiking holiday on the Hadrian’s Wall Path, we provide 24/7 on-call support to all of our customers and you will also receive a detailed description on how to remain safe on your hike.

Yes, solo hikers are more than welcome to complete Hadrian’s Wall Path and the trail proves to be quite popular for solo hikers. However, due to the limited availability of single rooms along the trail, it is important to note that booking early is recommended, in addition to a single supplement charge also being applicable.

We believe that the beauty of the English countryside should be enjoyed by everyone. With this in mind, we designed our hiking tours to cater for practically all levels of fitness. Our range of ‘Gentle’, ‘Moderate’ and ‘Challenging’ hikes in all regions allows you to decide how far you wish to walk each day and the pace you set. So, whether you are a novice walker or an experienced hiker, we always have a tour to suit you.

Yes, you can broadly cycle Hadrian’s Wall Path on what is known as Hadrian’s Cycleway. However, it is important to note it does not follow the exact long distance walking trail, so there is the chance you might miss out on the spectacular historic scenery on show. Also, as it is designed as a long distance walking route, you will frequently come across terrain and gates specifically for walkers. It might be best to leave the bike at home this time!

Generally, our tours take place between the months of March to October to hopefully allow for good, dry weather and longer days of daylight while you carry out your tour. This will hopefully ensure that you enjoy your hiking experience with us to the fullest. You can also check out the individual tour page for the Hadrian’s Wall Path trail on our website.

Our 7-Day tours include 6 nights of accommodation – specifically the first 6 nights on your hiking tour. Your tour finishes on the seventh day when you check out of your last accommodation.

To ensure you’re fully equipped and informed throughout your trail we provide a very informative ‘Walking Pack’ that you take with you on your trail. This pack has every detail you will need to successfully finish your trail without any disruption. We advise that you carefully look through this pack before embarking on your journey so that you have some sort of idea of where you’re going and what you will entail throughout the journey. Included in this pack is as follows;

– Route notes (prepared by a member the Hillwalk Tours team who has walked every step of your tour)
– Detailed hiking map(s)
– Waterproof map-case
– A sneak-peak at where you will be staying
– Our tips on the most interesting attractions to visit along the trail
– A look at fascinating local history
– A guide to the best places to eat and drink
– Mountain safety information, emergency contact details & the country code

Hadrian’s Wall Path Image Gallery

Hillwalk Tours

About Us

Hillwalk Tours is an award-winning walking tour operator which specialise in self-guided walking holidays in Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales and along the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Our goal is to create happy experiences for all of our customers, suppliers & staff.

Fill out the form below with any questions you may have and we will get back to you promptly.

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Leave No Trace

We like to walk in nature and since you are reading this – we believe you do too! It is important to ensure that our impact on the environment is limited so that hikers can enjoy the same view after us. The rule applies: when you leave, make sure that nature looks the same as when you arrived or simply put “leave no trace.” As more and more people take to the great outdoors, our collective mark on the environment increases.

What does this mean in reality? Of course, do not leave any rubbish or waste behind. Do not collect stones, flowers, or other “souvenirs”. Don’t carve your name on a tree or break branches… I think you get the drift. It is imperative for walkers to play their part in making sure litter, damage to vegetation and all forms of pollution are limited.

Noise can also be a form of pollution. Whoever walks through a forest talking and laughing loudly, for example, ruins the peace and quiet of other walkers, who can no longer hear the birds. The same goes for cell phones that suddenly start ringing. Keep the volume down and respect your surroundings. Ultimately, the point is to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy walking through nature. So that applies to you, but also to those who tread the path after you.

Hillwalk Tours proudly supports sustainable tourism and loves the countryside as it is – wild, peaceful and clean. We are proud to support the “Leave No Trace” initiative that aims to preserve the natural beauty of each nations countryside where we offer hiking holidays. We try to create happy experiences for our accommodation too, and the restaurants, shops and taxi companies that serve our walkers. These are often small businesses located in isolated areas that have been left behind by urban migration and a lack of investment in rural regions. Their warm hospitality and friendly welcomes epitomise the magic of a Hillwalk Tour and we’re dedicated to helping keep these rural communities alive.

The Benefits of Hiking

In recent years, walking and hiking outdoors has been widely reported to have numerous physical and mental health benefits. The following are examples of some of these benefits:

Improve strength and fitness

  • Weight loss
  • Muscle gain
  • Improve metabolism
  • Improve digestion
  • Better quality sleep
  • Increase in Vitamin D
  • Improve discipline
  • Sense of achievement
  • Living in the present moment

Hiking Equipment List

For a more in-depth list of recommended hiking equipment list, click here.

Make A Booking

Are you ready for your Hadrian’s Wall Path adventure? Get started by simply filling out the booking form below!