Hadrian’s Wall: Day Walks from Newcastle

The vibrant twin cities of Newcastle and Gateshead standing proudly on either side of the Tyne offer some of the liveliest nightlife outside of London and yet excellent connectivity means you can be walking beside Hadrian’s Wall in less than an hour from the city centre. This five-day itinerary offers the best of both worlds: explore Roman Forts and Temples by day, sample Newcastle’s unique cultural attractions by night.

Explore the highlights of historic Hadrian’s Wall by day before returning to the city to sample Newcastle and Gateshead’s lively nightlife. Stay in a sophisticated city center hotel overlooking the iconic Tyne Bridge and dive into the cultural quarter around the spectacular architecture of the Sage and the imposing edifice of the BALTIC Center for Contemporary Arts, then explore the city’s hundreds of bars and restaurants. This flexible five-day itinerary takes in the highlights of both town and country, with a choice of walks direct from the heart of the city or among the breath-taking countryside of the border country alongside Hadrian’s Wall. Walk beside the best-preserved and most extensive sections of the wall beyond the city limits or explore the remains of Roman castles within the city walls. Take a fascinating walk through history along the banks of the Tyne to the huge coastal fortification of Tynemouth Priory overlooking the mouth of this mighty river, then celebrate with Michelin-starred cuisine in this friendly and welcoming Capital of the Great North.

Itinerary Overview

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Distance

54km

Days

5

Grade

Moderate

Theme

History

Landscape Type

High Moorlands & Hills / Connecting Villages & Towns / City

Hadrian’s Wall: Day Walks from Newcastle

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Itinerary

This flexible city-based itinerary includes as much or as little walking as you wish. Explore the Roman remains dotted around the city before heading out into the rugged border country between Newcastle and Carlisle, where you can walk up on lofty ridges beside some of the best-preserved sections of the wall.

Day 1 - Newcastle

On arrival, familiarize yourself with this great port city by following the River Tyne east to its estuary at Tynemouth. Discover Roman forts and remnants along the way before winding up at the huge fortification of Tynemouth Priory. Cross the River by ferry to South Shields to visit the Roman fort of Arbeia. Return to your hotel on the Metro. 12.9km / 8 miles

Day 2 - Heddon-on-the-Wall and Corbridge

Catch the bus from Newcastle to Heddon-on-the-Wall and walk along Hadrian’s Wall Path to the historic old coaching inn of the Errington Arms. Enjoy lunch here before taking a short bus ride south to Corbridge to explore the Roman Town – the most northerly garrison in the Roman Empire. Return to the city by bus.   16km / 10 miles

Day 3 - Chesters Fort and the Temple of Mithras

Hop on the bus west to Chesters Fort at Chollerford, where the wall crosses the River North Tyne via what would have been a spectacular bridge. Chesters is the most complete Roman Cavalry Fort in Britain and the museum offers a fascinating insight into life on the wall. Continue west along the wall for 2.5 miles to the Temple of Mithras next to the fort at Brocolitia.  7km/4.3 miles

Day 4 - Vindolanda and Housesteads Forts

Today’s itinerary incorporates a history-rich walk between the large forts on this well-preserved mid-section of the wall. Starting at the informative visitor center at The Sill – which offers comprehensive insight into the broader landscape along the wall – this strenuous circular hike visits the forts of Housesteads and Vindolanda.  12.1km/7.5miles

Day 5 - Steel Rigg and Sycamore Gap

Today’s shorter circular walk explores the most scenically spectacular stretch of Hadrian’s Wall. Starting beneath the 345m highpoint at Winshields, our route takes in the famous cleft of Sycamore Gap before climbing steeply upon onto the steep rocky slope of Highshield Crags – an excellent example of how the wall follows the natural defensive barriers of this rugged landscape.  5.7km/3.5 miles

Accommodation

For the classic Newcastle-Gateshead city break experience, book one of the elegant hotels overlooking the river (Malmaison, Hotel du Vin, Jury’s Inn) – just a short hop from the iconic cityscape of the Millennium and Tyne Bridges, the Sage and the BALTIC – with captivating views over an unforgettable quayside skyline as the first lights of dusk begin to twinkle in the swirling currents of the Tyne.

Travel

Air / Rail

 

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

Ferries

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 based in the lively city of Newcastle. Metro services, the number 10, and the Tynedale Express services connect to the seasonal AD122 service from Newcastle and the 185 service extends the network out as far as Birdoswald. Further details at: http://hadrianswallcountry.co.uk/travel/bus

Advice

Most of the city sections can be walked all-year round without any special walking gear and there are some shorter history walks for those who prefer to stay within the city limits. Up on the wall, walking boots and waterproof clothing are mandatory and remember that the connecting buses don’t operate during the winter months. Best time of year to visit is May/June.

Food & Drink

Newcastle boasts a host of sophisticated bars and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. The rooftop bar and restaurant at the BALTIC Center is a popular venue for the city smart set, as is the Michelin-starred House of Tides and the Broad Chare. Out on the Wall, the historic Twice Brewed Inn has its own brewery on site and serves good wholesome food for walkers who have worked up a hearty appetite.

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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