Best of Hadrian's Wall

Guided Trail

Code: XHLDW

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Activity types:

  • Hills & moorland
  • History

Level

  • Easy
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £775.00 - 6 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

Walk the best preserved sections of Hadrian’s wall, beginning in the market town of Brampton, and continuing to historic Corbridge. Visit world famous forts and museums: Vindolanda, Birdoswald, Housesteads, & Chesters. Admire the architectural splendor of Aydon castle, Thirlwall castle and Lanercost Priory. Spot the famous Robin Hood’s Tree at Sycamore Gap. Travel through the centuries walking along Hadrian’s Wall, the best-known frontier in the Roman Empire. 

 

Accommodation

Exterior of the Centre of Britain hotel

Centre of Britain Hotel, Haltwhistle - 6nts

This is a centre-based holiday located in the town of Haltwhistle.

The Centre of Britain Hotel is Haltwhistle’s most historic building. The oldest part of the hotel was a Border Reivers' Pele Tower, dating from the 15th century. Later it became a Manor House, excise office and a coaching inn. Rooms include: Tea and coffee making facilities, TV and radio, hairdryer, safe, direct dial telephone. Drying and washing facilities are available.

 The hotel manager, Christine’s welcome, enthusiasm and knowledge of the local area will heighten your enjoyment of this holiday. The hotel usually organises a Roman Banquet, where a Roman soldier is invited along to talk to you about life in the Roman army.

Check in at the hotel is available from 1500 hours and you will meet your trail leader prior to your evening meal. 

On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.

Holiday itinerary

Planned Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Day

Check in at the hotel is available from 1500 hours and you will meet your trail leader prior to your evening meal for a welcome meeting. 

Day 2: Brampton to Gilsand

Our starting point is the historic market town of Brampton, the headquarters of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745. Leaving the town we follow a footpath through open fields, which leads us towards the evocative setting of Lanercost Priory, built in 1166 with red sandstone taken from Hadrian's Wall. Soon after leaving the priory we have our first meeting with the Wall from where we can look back over our route so far. We follow the course of Hadrian's Wall, passing various Turrets and Signal Towers before we reach the 2,000-year old Birdoswald Roman Fort, once home to over 1,000 soldiers. The visitor centre here provides a good introduction to the history of Hadrian's Wall. Descending to the River Irthing, we have the opportunity to explore the Roman remains at Willowford, one of the most photographed sections of the Wall, before arriving in the historic village of Gilsland. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,300 feet (400m) of ascent

Day 3: Gilsland to Once Brewed 

From Gilsland our route becomes more dramatic, as a craggy landscape rises ahead. We briefly cross the intersection with the Pennine Way before we reach the impressive ruins of Thirlwall Castle. The castle was built in the 14th century by John Thirlwall to protect his family from the violent cross border raids between England and Scotland. On leaving the castle the walking becomes more rugged as we cross a splendid section of wild and invigorating countryside, which includes Cawfield Crags and Milecastle 41. The location of the Milecastle commands superb views over a wide expanse of countryside. As well as a superb stretch of walking, this section of the Wall is particularly impressive - an unbeatable combination. Crossing Windshields Crags we reach the trig point at 345 metres, the highest point on the entire Wall. 10 miles (16km) with 1,500 feet (450m) of ascent

Day 4: Once Brewed Circuit

Today’s circular walk gives us the opportunity to visit Housesteads, the most complete Roman fort in Britain, and Vindolanda, a Roman town with its own fort. Leaving Once Brewed we climb along Steel Rigg, a stunning section of the walk with many rises and falls. We have magnificent views over Crag Lough, and as we look behind we can see the Wall snaking into the distance, following the high ground to take advantage of the natural defences of this dramatic landscape. A little further on we can see the famous sycamore tree used in film 'Robin Hood Prince of Thieves', starring Kevin Costner.  7½ miles (12km) with 1,000 feet (300m) of ascent. We have ample opportunity to explore the impressive site of Housesteads Roman Fort, the extent of which spans five acres. At Vindolanda, we can also explore the relaxing gardens.

Day 5: Housesteads to Chollerford

Leaving Housesteads we follow an attractive stretch of footpath along the Wall where woods perch on the rocky slopes of Sewingshields Crag. We can admire the great views of the Wall zigzagging ahead of us, before we pass a white cairn and Sewingshields Turret. Here we descend to follow a long line of roadside Wall, passing the site of the fort Brocolitia and the remains of the Temple of Mithras en route. Entering the Northumberland National Park an excellent stretch of walking provides stunning views of open countryside. Towards the end of our day we reach Chester's Fort, which was originally the grounds of a country house, home to John Clayton the man responsible for the initiation and restoration of the wall around 1832. The museum here displays his finds at various sites along the Wall and is a memorial to his efforts. 10 miles (16km) with 500 feet (150m) of ascent

Day 6: Chollerford to Corbridge, via Aydon Castle

At Chollerford we cross a fine bridge, built in 1775 following the great flood of 1771, which demolished its predecessor. The Roman ditch is unmistakable and very deep on this stretch and we are surrounded by calls of the skylark, lapwing and curlew. Passing though a thick forest we emerge to a different world of arable farmland and enjoy pleasant walking through fields. The Wall stretches in a straight-line head of us, aligned along the Dere Street Roman Road from Corbridge. At the Onnum Roman Fort we bid our final farewells to the Wall and walk south to the peaceful village of Halton and its ruined castle. From here we continue to Aydon Castle, one of the finest surviving examples of a medieval manor house in England and the setting for the film 'Ivanhoe'. We have the opportunity to explore this delightful castle before following a bridleway to the finish of our Hadrian's Way holiday in Corbridge. 9½ miles (15km) with 600 feet (180m) of ascent

Day 7: Departure Day

The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors 

Local area

Lanercost Priory

The priory was built in 1166 from sandstone taken from Hadrian’s Wall. The Priory ruins are owned by English Heritage and there is a very good audio commentary that visitors can hire.

Birdoswald Roman Fort

During Roman times Birdoswald Roman Fort was home to over 1,000 soldiers. Nowadays archaeologists live and work here. There is an interactive visitor centre which provides a good introduction to the history of Hadrian’s Wall, and includes life-size models of Romans as well as scale models of the fort and the wall.

Thirlwall Castle

Built in the 14th century by John Thirlwall, to protect his family from the violent cross-border raids between England and Scotland, today only the ruin of the castle remains. Nevertheless this is still an impressive sight.

Roman Army Museum

The highlight of the Roman Army Museum is the superb Eagle’s Eye Film. The film allows visitors to view the wall from above, and these images are combined with excellent computer animations, which bring the site back to life. The museum also has numerous exhibits focusing on the life of a Roman soldier, with examples of uniforms and weapons.

Housesteads Roman Fort

Housesteads Roman Fort is an impressive site, spanning over five acres. Visitors can discover the remains of many buildings, including examples of underfloor heating and latrines. There is also an on-site museum.

Vindolanda Roman Fort

As well as the impressive remains of the Roman Fort at Vindolanda, you can also explore the relaxing gardens, and visit reconstructed homes of various Roman citizens, whilst listening to stories about their lives. There is an excellent museum with fascinating finds such as Roman textiles, locks and keys, horses, ceremonial facemasks and ladies wigs.

Chesters Walled Garden

Chesters Walled Garden covers over two acres and is home to one of the largest collections of herbs in Britain.

Chesters Roman Fort

Owned by English Heritage, Chesters is the site of a Roman cavalry fort, and visitors can explore the remains of the Roman baths on the banks of the River Tyne, as well as discovering excellent examples of Roman sculpture.

Aydon Castle

This 13th century castle is owned by English Heritage and is a beautiful example of an English fortified manor house. This was the setting for the film Ivanhoe.

Corbridge Roman Site

Corbridge Roman Site is owned by English Heritage. Visitors can discover excellent remains of military granaries and other finds from the site.

Travel

How to get to us by train

By train:

Our hotel is located only ½ a mile from Haltwhistle railway station. The hotel can collect you on request from the station, but please ensure that you give the hotel a call the day before your arrival to arrange this free service.

For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950.  For National Rail enquires from overseas call +44 (0)20 7278 5240. 

 Train at Haltwhistle station

Driving to us

By car:

It is possible to leave your car in the Centre of Britain Hotel car park for the duration of the holiday. The hotel is located in the centre of Haltwhistle, on the main street.

 

Travel by plane

By air:

There are a number of low-cost flights from around the UK, to Newcastle (from where you can travel on by metro and train to Haltwhistle). If you are flying from overseas there are international flights to Manchester Airport and Newcastle Airport.

 easyJet flight

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
7 Aug 2016, 6:40 p.m.

Service rating:

+

Product rating:

+

Service review:

Service improved and holiday up to usual HF high standards.

Product review:

A very enjoyable holiday, good hotel with spacious rooms and good food. A well organised leader, good mix of walking and historical site visits.
26 Jul 2016, 4:12 p.m.

Service rating:

+

Product rating:

+

Service review:

Service much improved.

Product review:

Although there were a couple of changes to the itinerary the whole week worked very well. We were fortunate to have a very knowledgeable member in our group, which greatly enhanced our enjoyment.
26 Jul 2016, 10:10 a.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

+

Service review:

I could not fault the hotel or the guide for their hardwork and dedication

Product review:

The trail holiday was good but not my cup of tea
26 Jul 2016, 5:05 a.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

++

Service review:

Really good, very efficient

Product review:

Most enjoyable, really well organised holiday.
21 Jun 2016, 7:14 a.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

++

Service review:

Easy booking. Very helpful when required

Product review:

Nice hotel. Excellent shuttle to and from walks. Informative and considerate leader. Great views, sites and museums.
17 May 2016, 7:36 a.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

++

Service review:

A truly excellent holiday. accommodation was first class and the route was perfect and well guided. It helped that the weather was fine throughout as well.

Product review:

The sections chosen were interesting both in terms of the wall and the forts and museums nearby which we visited. Vindolanda in particular was good value, especially as you could interact with archeologists as they were digging artefacts from the earth. We would certainly recommend this holiday.
7 Oct 2015, 8:57 a.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

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Service review:

Thoroughly professional. Great leaders. Well thought through. Interesting walks and visits.

Product review:

First rate holiday. Loads of history. Good company. Brilliant food, but ate too much! Fascinating walking. 'It did what it said on the tin.'
26 Sep 2015, 5:52 p.m.

Service rating:

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Product rating:

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Service review:

Good service as always.

Product review:

Really excellent holiday. The walks were great. The hotel was great. And the leader was great. I would happily recommend it to anyone.
22 Sep 2015, 2:48 p.m.

Service rating:

+

Product rating:

+

Service review:

I have nothing particular to say about the service. It was perfectly adequate without being distinctive

Product review:

I thought the holiday was well planned and well managed by the leader. The hotel worked hard to look after us although at times the food was high on quantity rather than quality. The last day was a disappointment compared to the previous days which were excellent
22 Sep 2015, 12:38 p.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

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Service review:

Excellent as always

Product review:

Hotel and staff fantastic Leader excellent and very knowledgeable which added to the walk making it very interesting and meaningful

Read more reviews from feefo

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
7 May 2017 XHLDW - The Best of Hadrians Wall 6 £775.00 Book Now
11 Jun 2017 XHLDW - The Best of Hadrians Wall 6 £775.00 Book Now
16 Jul 2017 XHLDW - The Best of Hadrians Wall 6 £775.00 Book Now
20 Aug 2017 XHLDW - The Best of Hadrians Wall 6 £775.00 Book Now
10 Sep 2017 XHLDW - The Best of Hadrians Wall 6 £775.00 Book Now
24 Sep 2017 XHLDW - The Best of Hadrians Wall 6 £775.00 Book Now
8 Oct 2017 XHLDW - The Best of Hadrians Wall 6 £775.00 Book Now

Price includes:

  • 6 nights' Full Board en-suite accommodation
  • The services of an experienced HF Holidays' Trails guide
  • All transport on walking days
  • Transfers to and from Haltwhistle station on request from Centre of Britain Hotel

Prices are per person

Information

  • Single room: £147 (complete holiday)

If at eight weeks prior to the start of the holiday a sharing partner is unavailable, a single room or room for single occupancy with associated supplement will be allocated to you instead. 

  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

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