Hadrian’s Wall Path: Tynemouth to Bowness on Solway

Explore the most extensive Roman remains in the world, walking from coast to coast across the dramatic landscapes of northern England. Visit roman forts, temples and lonely watchtowers with breath-taking views across the rugged border landscapes of Cumbria and Northumberland.

Opened in 2002, the Hadrian’s Wall Path offers 84 miles of varied walking across the rugged landscapes along the border of England and Scotland. This coast to coast trek spans some of the wildest uplands in England – linking the Irish Sea and the North Sea in an exhilarating six-day hike that explores the UNESCO World Heritage Site along the north-western boundary of the Roman Empire. There’s history at every step along with bustling market towns, country pubs and some breath-taking views.

This itinerary starts in the east at Wallsend, near Newcastle, traversing the rolling border countryside of Northumberland to the historic city of Carlisle then crossing the flat plains of the Solway Coast, where the Scottish hills are visible just across the Solway Firth. En route – especially along the wild central section – Roman remains are never far away. From the Forts at Chesters, Housesteads and Vindolanda, to the stunningly well-preserved sections of wall still standing atop the spectacular outcrops of the Whin Sill, it’s worth arranging some additional rest days to explore these fascinating sites at leisure.

Tour Overview

The icons below highlight the distance, difficulty and theme of this itinerary.

Distance

143km

Days

6 (8 including arrival & departure)

Grade

Moderate

Theme

History

Landscape Type

High Hills and Moorland

Hadrian’s Wall Path: Tynemouth to Bowness on Solway

Every step of the journey has been carefully planned to help you make the most of your walking adventure. Click on the blue tabs below for more information.

Tour Details

This itinerary is operated by Mickledore Walking Holidays, one of the leading specialists in self-guided walking holidays in the UK.

Mickledore have been providing self-guided walking holidays to UK and overseas clients alike, for over 20 years, with Hadrian’s Wall being one of their most popular routes.

The small, friendly team are walkers themselves. With a wealth of local knowledge, a passion for the outdoors and a focus on high levels of customer service, their aim is to bring you a holiday to remember and an appetite for the wonderful walking opportunities England has to offer.

To find out more about this itinerary and make an enquiry or a booking, click on the Enquire Now button at the top of the page. The Save to My Rucksack button allows you to save itineraries to view later, or to download them as a PDF.

Included

Overnight accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.

Personalised itinerary with details of each overnight accommodation, including maps to help you find your way.

A detailed guidebook.

A Harvey Maps waterproof 1:40000 map of the route.

Details of local services you may need during your holiday e.g. village shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants, cash points, taxis, public toilets.

Emergency telephone support, including out of office hours.

15 per cent discount at Cotswold Outdoors.

Mickledore can also arrange luggage transfer, packed lunches, parking and return transfers for an additional charge.

Itinerary

Starting in the vibrant port of Tynemouth, this varied itinerary completes an inspiring coast-to-coast journey across some of the most spectacular landscapes in England. You’ll follow the line of the Wall from the North Sea to the Irish Sea over the course of six exhilarating days.

Day 1 - Arrive Tynemouth

Enjoy a walk along the coast path to Whitley Bay or catch the Metro into Newcastle-Gateshead to sample the varied delights on offer in the cultural capital of the North East. By the famous Tyne Bridge take in the historic sites or modern bars along the historic quayside, then cross the water to the Baltic, where this Centre for Contemporary Arts provides a spectacular top-floor city panorama. Or take in a performance at The Sage; international centre for music. Return over the elegant footbridge, and head into the city to explore the shops, museums, cafes and restaurants.

Day 2 - Metro Rail to Wallsend then walk to Newburn

Take the Metro to Wallsend and start your walk after visiting Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths & Museum. The walk starts at Buddle Street, leaving the city behind and passing the location of mile castles and turrets along the first stage of the Hadrian’s Wall Path. Overnight at Newburn beside the River Tyne. 18km/11 miles

Day 3 - Newburn to Humshaugh

Leave the suburbs behind for the open countryside and fall into your stride on a long section of easy going walking with few gradients alongside the military road – not a Roman feature – but an 18th century supply line to help quell the Jacobite rebellion. In a few places, look up towards the road and you might spot the occasional Roman stone in the embankment. 31km / 19 miles

Day 4 - Humshaugh to Twice Brewed

The Wall landscape begins to change now. Higher, wilder, unimproved pasture, expansive views, the Roman Vallum and north ditch are unmissable. Wander the barrack blocks and hospital at Housesteads Roman Fort, set high on its dramatic escarpment. Pass Steel Rigg and the iconic Sycamore Gap. Stop off at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre and Twice Brewed Inn. 21km / 13 miles

Day 5 - Twice Brewed to Lanercost

The great Whin Sill reaches its highest point at Winshields Crags, only 1131 feet (345 metres) above sea level yet the aspect is upland Britain at its best. Half way along the Trail, at Walltown Crags, you can see southern Scotland on a clear day, the north Pennines, and your ultimate destination: Bowness-on-Solway. Stop off at the Roman Army Museum at Greenhead or Birdoswald Roman Fort at Gilsland.  Enjoy the last piece of upstanding Wall at Hare Hill. 24km / 15 miles

Day 6 - Lanercost to Carlisle

Visit Lanercost Priory before leaving for Carlisle. You’ll be looking out for the ditch and the buried wall along your way. The gradients are gentler, and the climate becomes milder. Take in Carlisle Castle and explore this historic Roman garrison city – for a long time the last bastion of England and fortress against the Scots to the north. 23km / 14 miles

Day 7 - Carlisle to Bowness on Solway

The walking is easy today, so enjoy the expansive vistas into Scotland. The River Eden and Solway estuary marshes offer peace and solitude and a time to reflect on your journey as you near your destination: Bowness-on-Solway. 12th Century St Michael’s church sits on what is thought to be the foundations of a Roman fort. The structure, like many of the village houses, includes stones taken from the Roman Wall. 26km / 16 miles

Day 8 - Depart Bowness on Solway

After breakfast depart from Bowness on Solway for your return  or onward journey

Accommodation

Mickledore books overnight bed & breakfast accommodation in selected hotels, farmhouses, village inns, guest houses and family B&Bs. Full English or Continental breakfast included.

Mickledore always aim to book characterful accommodation close to the trail, run by welcoming hosts who understand walkers’ needs. Wherever possible, rooms are all ensuite; although in some of the more remote locations, where accommodation is limited, we occasionally reserve rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of the itinerary.

Mickledore can arrange single rooms on this walk but are not usually able to book more than two for any one group. Single room bookings will incur a supplement.

Travel

Air/Rail

Fly into Newcastle Airport or take a direct rail service to Newcastle from Leeds (90mins) or London (3hrs 30 mins).

Ferry

To Hull with P&O Ferries then M62/A1 to Newcastle or direct to Newcastle from Amsterdam with DFDS.

Bus

The AD122 Bus Service runs along the course of the wall between Easter and September – opening up a huge range of day walking opportunities for visitors basing themselves in the lively city of Newcastle. Metro services and the number 10 and the Tynedale Express services connections to the AD122 from Newcastle and the 185 service extends the network out as far as Birdoswald.  Further details at: http://hadrianswallcountry.co.uk/travel/bus

Car Parking

Car parking can be arranged in Tynemouth for the duration of the holiday, with convenient return transfer to your car by public transport or taxi.

Advice

This is a demanding walk over testing terrain with some long distances between accommodation – particularly in the central sections – so a reasonable level of fitness is required. Walking boots and waterproofs are de rigueur. In high season there are connecting buses which provide the opportunity to shorten some sections of the walk and there are plenty of taxi firms just a phone call away should you need one – a list of numbers will be included in your holiday pack.

Best time of year to visit is May to September.

Some of the forts and museums take a few hours to explore properly, so incorporating an additional ‘rest day’ is recommended, particularly at Twice Brewed, where you can visit Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum, and Carlisle with its historic castle and cathedral as well as the Tullie House Museum, where you’ll find lots of Roman artefacts.

Food & Drink

Evening meals are not included in the package, although recommendations are included in the detailed itinerary. Many of the accommodation providers serve excellent food, but other options are usually available within a short walk of your hotel/B&B. Allow about £20 per night. Carlisle and especially Newcastle offer an excellent choice of dining venues.

Maps, Guidebooks and Merchandise

The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.

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