Hadrian’s Wall Walk takes you through two English counties famous for their local produce and gastronomy, so you will not be stuck for somewhere to eat and drink. In this guide, we will give you an overview of things to look out for and some guidance on where to eat when you are on the route.
The first half of the Hadrian’s Wall Path is in Northumberland, famous for a few must-munch delicacies. Northumberland knows how to do meat! Its farms are famed for traditionally reared sheep and cows and with the combination of what they eat and how they are treated, this is some of the most delicious meat you will find. Also, with over 100 miles of coast, the seafood in Northumberland is pretty special too. The Craster Kipper, a smoked fish, is incredible and if you see it offered for breakfast, jump at the chance.
Away from savouries, there are the famous singin’ hingies. These are flatter, tastier scones, which are incredibly moreish. To accompany these, you could sample some Earl Grey tea, famously first blended in Northumberland.
Then you head into Cumbria, famous for a whole host of local specialities. The Cumberland Sausage is well known throughout the UK, and there is nowhere better to eat it than in its homeland. In general, the quality of the meat in Cumbria is fantastic (apologies vegetarians), but the one to look out for is Salt Marsh Lamb, in season throughout the summer. The sheep graze on herbs at the edge of the sea, giving their meat a unique, delicate flavour. You will see it advertised in many establishments and it is definitely worth a try.
Away from meat, sweet treats are Cumbria’s claim to fame. Kendal Mint Cake is one to pack in your rucksack for a day on the trail. Relied upon by walkers and climbers for a century (it is 100 years old in 2018) this high energy, minty treat is worth a try. It is basically sugar and mint, so be careful you don’t have too much, or you might find yourself running up those Fells. Sticky Toffee Pudding originated in Cumbria, so you will find many dazzling examples of this sweet, toffee desert in many pubs and restaurants.
A hearty, home cooked breakfast is included with your trip, so you dont have to worry about that particular meal. For lunches, the best thing to do is check your information pack each day to see if there are any stops available to pick up lunch. If not, there is generally a tearoom, bakery or shop in town where you can pick up supplies, or if you ask your accommodation provider the night before, they will be more than happy to put together a packed lunch for you. With evening meals, it is always a good bet to ask your hosts for a recommendation for dinner, but we also have a few tips for where to eat along the way.
Being a big city, there are a ton of places to eat in Newcastle, but here are a couple of our favourites. Firstly, for amazing Italian, particularly pizza, Cal’s Own in Jesmond is a winner. Using the best ingredients available and their wood-fired oven, the pizza is amazing. For a pub feel, we would recommend The Bridge Tavern, which serves a wide array of interesting and thoughtful bar food, along with its own microbrewery. For something a bit more unusual, but equally wonderful, head along to Peace & Loaf. The imagination on display is staggering, but this is not just quirky looking food, the flavours back it up and you are guaranteed an outstanding gastronomic experience.
Until you reach Carlisle, you will find yourself ensconced in the rural life of Northern England. This means that every town you stop in will have a local pub, selling evening meals and tearooms, which occasionally open in the evenings, but are mainly for afternoon tea and lunch. There are some outstanding examples like the Twice Brewed Inn in Once Brewed, but rest assured, you will find somewhere to fill your belly after a day on the trail.
Carlisle has enough restaurants to spoil you for choice and there is nowhere that any of the Macs Adventure team has eaten that we wouldn’t recommend, however, a few favourites have crept in. David’s Restaurant is a well-priced example of using local ingredients and showcasing the very best of them. The Viceroy is a fantastic Bangladeshi restaurant in the heart of Carlisle. Multiple award-winning and consistently wonderful. We have also enjoyed The Golden Fleece, a pub & restaurant where you can feel at home supping a pint of local ale, or dining on some of the creative dishes from the kitchen.
Whatever you end up eating on the route, we are sure that the delightful food of Northumberland and Cumbria will be another memorable part of your trip along Hadrian’s Wall Walk.