Hadrian's Wall Short Break - West to East5 Days & 4 Nights 4.8 Read 72 reviews
- Discover the highlights of Hadrian's Wall on this short break tour
- Enjoy warm welcomes at your cosy accommodations each night
- Northern Europe's largest surviving Roman monument
- Wild and beautiful landscapes of the border country
- View forts and turrets en route on this UNESCO World Heritage Site
Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!
Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.
This trip is suitable for:
As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 12 Years
Ideal if you have an interest in:
- Short Break
- National Parks
Activity Level & Terrain
Our short break tour is graded moderate. It is most suited for those walkers with previous long-distance experience. The route is a mixture of paths, tracks and minor roads. Some of the paths can become very muddy and boggy and negotiating this terrain can be slow-going at times. Please read the Hadrian's Wall Code of Respect in your guidebook, which gives guidelines as to how to care for the natural environment of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Hadrian's Wall is well-waymarked and easy to follow. Navigation is straightforward as you can use the Macs Adventure Smartphone App which has maps, GPS tracks and daily route information. Simply download the GPS tracks for offline use and follow the route on your phone with the assurance that navigation on this tour will be made simple and you cannot get lost. You will find more information on downloading the app in your Macs Adventure Account.
Overnight in B&B’s, small hotels and guesthouses, specifically chosen to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers and traditional hospitality.
On our full Hadrian's Walking tours, the first day’s walk to Heddon (or beyond) is one of the longer walks so many of our walkers choose to arrive early in Newcastle, drop their bags at their accommodation in Newcastle and then enjoy the 5 mile (2.5 hour) walk to Tyne Bridge that afternoon, returning by metro to Wallsend and starting again from Tyne Bridge in the following morning. If you would like to do this please let us know when you book.
Please note that Bowness has limited accommodation and transport links so many walkers choose to finish the last days walk in Bowness and then catch the bus back to Carlisle that afternoon, ready for the journey home the next day. Just let us know at the time of booking if you would prefer this option.
We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed in the tour itinerary. Occasionally, because of limited availability, we may have to accommodate you into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. If those listed are unavailable the alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard than those described.
IMPORTANT THING TO NOTE REGARDING OVERNIGHTING IN BRAMPTON - Due to very few accommodations in Lanercost/Haytongate, you will likely be staying in Brampton overnight instead. Brampton is approximately a 3-mile (5km) walk away from the Hadrian's wall trail path turn-off at Haytongate and 2.5 miles (4km) from Lanercost. You can either walk this section (adding the 3 miles / 5km to your walking day) using our supplemented walking route given in or alternatively, if your legs are feeling a bit tired or you'd rather not walk this extra section, you can instead call a local taxi company to take you to Brampton instead (number given in your tour documentation). Local cab companies generally do runs via Lanercost priory for around £10-15 depending on the time of day/year. The Priory is worth a visit in itself and also has a tearoom where you can get refreshments as you wait. The following morning, you will again have to decide if you wish to book a local taxi back to the Lanercost priory or walk via our supplemented route (again potentially adding 3 miles / 5km to your walk).
Solo Walkers & Single Rooms
This tour is available to solo walkers, although a supplement is payable. If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate your request, although it is not generally possible to secure more than three single rooms in a party. A single supplement is also payable.
- Overnights in B&B’s, small hotels and guesthouses
- Baggage transfers
- Access to maps, GPX tracks and daily route information with the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
- All your trip documents provided digitally through your online Macs “My Account”
- 24/7 telephone support from our UK office
- Travel insurance (required)
- Travel to Gilsland
- Travel from Corbridge
- Lunches & Dinners
- Drinks and snacks
- Personal equipment
- Extra night(s)
When To Go
You can begin this long-distance walk anytime between March and October. Between these dates, the weather can be vastly different, from rain to wind to glorious days of sunshine. Please come prepared for walking in rain or shine.
Weather and Climate
By nature, the North of England is prone to varying types of weather throughout the year. Always be prepared for changeable conditions when walking in England. Waterproofs are essential. We recommend visiting https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/ (the UK’s official source for weather warnings) before setting off each day. Do not attempt to walk any sections if any serious weather warnings are in place.
Getting to the Start
Our short break west to east itinerary starts in Gilsland. There are various options to get to Gilsland that mainly will involve you getting a train to Carlisle/Newcastle/Corbridge and then a connecting train to Haltwhistle, From Haltwhistle you can catch a bus or taxi to Gilsland (this information is noted in your information pack). Please note: Sundays and bank holidays, train services are less frequent and the bus from Haltwhistle to Gilsland does not operate.
For the most up-to-date information on train timetables, we recommend checking www.trainline.com for your proposed travel dates/times.
Getting from the End
Our Short break west to east itinerary ends in Corbridge, which is easily accessible by train to Newcastle. Trains run approximately every half an hour and the journey can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on if they are direct or not. Please note, Sundays and bank holidays, train services are less frequent.
For the most up-to-date information on train timetables, we recommend checking www.trainline.com for your proposed travel dates/times.
Newcastle is a major transport hub in the northeast of England and has excellent rail, road and air links from both Scotland and the South of England. It also has an airport which serves many carriers. You can take flights to and from London and there is also a direct flight (at the time of writing this) from New York City on United Airlines).
Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation.
At Macs Adventure, we work in partnership with many luggage transfer providers who set a limit on how many bags/suitcases they will transfer per person, and also the weight of the bag/suitcase. Your booking includes transfer of 1 bag per person. It is very important that you read the luggage information specific to your tour before departure. If you do not adhere to these limits, there is a great possibility that you will be charged locally both for extra bags or if they are too heavy. This limitation can be a challenge, especially as airlines generally have limits that are higher. However, our luggage providers have reasons for these limits (usually due to the Health and Safety of their employees), which we must respect.
The distances listed are an approximation of daily walk lengths.
Diversions on the Hadrian’s Wall Path
No matter what year you are due to walk Hadrian’s Wall Path you are likely to find some minor diversions in place along the way – this can be for a mixture of reasons, from forestry work, path resurfacing, damage after a storm or just general trail maintenance. Normally this will be a logical path that skirts around the effected section, and you should be back on the official trail path in no time at all. If there are any major diversions in place, the Macs Adventure team will reach out to you to let you know. Please always respect any diversion in place and ensure you follow them for your own safety.
Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen etc. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walk boots, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a daypack.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
We suggest you book as soon as know your plans as Hadrians Wall is extremely popular especially over April/May and July/August.
We offer a range of itineraries so you can choose your preferred daily distance and hopefully you will find an itinerary that suits your level of fitness. If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle, we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardiovascular exercise for at least six months before your walk.
Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto the next overnight location. Just leave them in the reception area of your accommodation, and they will be collected while you are out walking and delivered for your arrival. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of 20kgs per person.
Option One: Two Trains | Travel Time: 1hr approx.
The Green Line runs directly from Newcastle Airport into the Centre of Newcastle. You would get off at Monument station and transfer to the yellow line at the same station. You would then ride the Yellow Line for approximately 10 minutes until you reach the Wallsend station. From the station walk to the Segedunum Roman Fort and Museum, the official start of the Hadrian’s Wall Walk.
Option Two: Trian and Bus | Travel Time: 1hr approx.
Firstly, take the Green Line from Newcastle Airport towards the Centre of Newcastle alighting at Monument station. Walk to Monument Market Street and catch the Blue Arrow 11 Bus towards Whitley Bay. Alight at High Street East and walk to the Segedunum Roman Fort and Museum, the official start of the Hadrian’s Wall Walk.
There are variations on these journeys, for example, another bus (Cobalt Clipper 309) will also take you to the Wallsend area. However, these two are more direct routes.
If you want to take advantage of the AD122, the Hadrian’s Wall bus to see other sights, or perhaps have a non-walking day, please check out the information on the Hadrian’s Wall website. It is possible to download a timetable which you may then carry with you.
If you arrive in Newcastle early, you may like to walk the first 5 miles today, reducing your walking for the second day. Arrive at the Segedunum Roman Fort, where the walk officially begins. Perhaps spend some time in the museum before heading out along the trail. On reaching the Millennium Bridge, you will have walked almost 5 miles and can either chose to continue or take the nearby bus and train links to your hotel. The next morning you can start here and enjoy a shorter day.
The honest truth is that there is no right or wrong way to walk the Hadrian's Wall, it's really a personal preference but it can often be a bit of a contentious subject to those who have walked it in the past! At Macs we tend to recommend walking it east to west (if you had to put us on the spot!) but we do offer the tour walking in both "west to east" and "east to west" directions. The commonly known "benefits" of walking in a particular way are as follows:
East to West (Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway)
- The Romans built the wall from east to west, starting at the North Sea and going to the Irish Sea, so many walkers do it this way as it gives the sense of you are following the same path that the Roman soldiers did when they constructed it
- There are some great museums - Great Hancock and Segedunum Fort - in Newcastle that give a wonderful context to the history and culture of the walk before you start (as opposed to finish).
- Easier connections to Newcastle from Airports/train stations at the start (so if you have a long flight for example, you don't need to make your way to Bowness-on-Solway in the evening or potentially spend an extra night in Newcastle). it's also argued that it's nicer to walk out of a big industrial city into the fresh air of the countryside as opposed to finishing in it.
West to East (Bowness-on-Solway to Wallsend)
- The main reason for walking it west to east is that the prevailing winds in Northern England generally blow from the Atlantic (west to east), meaning you will have the wind at your back for most of the journey, which of course makes things a little easier.
- The trail is deemed a little easier also as the terrain is more downhill if you walk it west to east.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers do not accept pets.
You can use public transport, the Hadrians Wall bus or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a day pack and hats/gloves etc.
The Hadrians Wall Walk is offered anytime between March and October. The weather can be variable whenever you decide to go since the wall is in northern England and the weather is often unpredictable!
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive Gilsland and overnight
Arrive in Gilsland and overnight.
Brookside Villa offers clean, bright, and contemporary en-suite bedrooms with all the facilities you would expect.
Dacre House is opening June 2022 so all facilities will be brand new. Free parking available for up to 4 cars. Electric charge point to be installed this year. Darce House is situated on Hadrians Wall path, central village location and near to all facilities.
The property is a Grade 2 Listed Building and has been part of the historic landscape since it was built as a fortified "bastle" farmhouse in 1595, on an outstanding hilltop location overlooking Hadrian's Wall. Guest rooms are traditionally furnished with flat screen TV’s, WIFI, selection of tea, coffee and hot chocolate, complimentary barrel of biscuits and bath robes and slippers. All the en-suite/private bathrooms have contemporary lighting and modern bathroom fittings together with luxury towels, a treasure trove of branded toiletries, which include toothpaste and deodorants.
One of the most strenuous sections of the Hadrian's Wall Path as you will walk to the highest point of the trail - Winshields Crags. Although a little tougher you will be compensated by stunning views in every direction and be able to witness some of the best "intact" remains of the wall that are still around to this day.
Ascent: 335m / Descent: 240m
Situated within an acre of grounds in the Northumberland National Park, Vallum Lodge is a family run guest house offering excellent en-suite accommodation and personal service.
The Inn is set amongst some of the most breath-taking scenery in England and stands in the shadows of Steel Rigg, without doubt one of the most dramatic parts of Hadrian's Wall. Their guest rooms in the inn are fitted with a flat-screen TV. The private bathroom is equipped with a shower and free toiletries.
Bridge House has fabulous panoramic views of Milecastle 42, Cawfields and Hadrian’s Wall which encompasses its entire northern outlook. The house has two letting bedrooms; a double with an en-suite and a twin-bedded room also with en-suite. Both rooms have been newly refurbished to an excellent standard and have tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryers and televisions with Freeview and a DVD player.
This is one of the most spectacular sections of the wall, so keep your camera handy as you embark on a lovely journey through rugged countryside and a host of Roman ruins and forts. A particular highlight is Sycamore Gap (commonly known as the "Robin Hood" Tree) that featured in the 1991 film "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" starring Kevin Costner. Before departing Once Brewed we recommend checking out the Vindolanda Fort complex (if you haven't already) - it's sure to be one of the highlights of your trip.
Ascent: 255m / Descent: 420m
Hallbarns is a detached farmhouse, on a working farm, situated on the edge of Hadrian's wall.
Linden House is the perfect escape for walkers offering lovely accommodation with friendly hosts. The house is a large Grade II listed property, all rooms have en-suite facilities and have all the amenities you require for a lovely overnight stay. The views from your room across the valley are absolutely stunning and completely unspoilt.
This old-school tearoom and B&B is great for walkers. The country-casual rooms feature TVs, free WiFi, and tea and coffeemaking equipment. All are on the first floor and accessed by stairs. Full English or continental breakfast is provided in the old-world tearoom on the ground floor. There's also a garden with tables, chairs and umbrellas, as well as a gift shop.
This section sees you pass the excavations of an old Roman Town - here, you can wander through the streets between houses and buildings marvelling at how they have been preserved while underground. Locals here would have rested safely in the knowledge that Hadrian’s Wall kept out invaders from the north. It is also punctuated with interesting stops and places to visit, such as Corbridge Roman Town, Planetrees and Portgate.
Ascent: 225m / Descent: 240m
The Angel Inn has been a coaching inn dating back to 1752, many people have owned it until the current owners purchased it in 2011.
Norgate is a friendly and comfortable B&B nestled in the beautiful Northumbrian village of Corbridge. They offer shower en-suite rooms complete with complimentary toiletries, hairdryer and robe, tea and coffee making facilities and WiFi is available in all rooms. The breakfast room also doubles up as your hosts own art gallery with spectacular original landscape paintings of the area.
Peartree House offers excellent accommodation with very accommodating hosts. The B&B is a five-minute walk from the centre of the village with its restaurants, tea rooms and pubs. They offer two en-suite guest bedrooms which have all the amenities you require for a lovely overnight stay.
After breakfast your walking holiday will come to an end. See the travel info section for some useful details for your onward travel.
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