The Perfect 7-Day Itinerary for Walking Hadrian’s Wall Path

The Perfect 7-Day Itinerary for Walking Hadrian’s Wall Path

The Hadrian’s Wall path is an 84-mile hike running along the England/Scotland border and stretching from coast to coast. If you’ve seen our guide for walking Hadrian’s Wall, you know that there are pros and cons to walking east to west and vice versa. For our Hadrian’s Wall itinerary, we opted to walk east to west (read the guide to find out why) and complete the hike in seven days.

Seven days is the perfect time frame for the Hadrian’s Wall walk. You will push yourself while still leaving room to slow down and enjoy the scenery and sites along the way. Read on for what we think is the perfect 7-day Hadrian’s Wall itinerary!



Day 1 : Wallsend to Heddon 15.7 Miles | 25.2 Km


Newcastle Hadrian's Wall path
Lots of urban hiking through Newcastle on Day 1.


The first day of your Hadrian’s Wall walk will begin in Newcastle. Make your way to Wallsend to officially begin the trail. If you’re staying in central Newcastle, you can take a train, taxi, or bus to Wallsend. We opted for the train, which is efficient and affordable. It took us roughly 10 minutes to reach Wallsend Station, and from there we walked another few minutes to Segedunum Roman Fort. This is a great starting point because you’ll learn a little history of the Roman occupation of Britain. You’ll also get your first glimpse of a (smallish) chunk of Hadrian’s Wall!

Before you leave Segedunum Roman Fort, be sure to stop and get your Hadrian’s Wall Passport stamped for the first time—if you’re going east to west, that is! Ask the staff and they’ll provide you with a stamp. It’s official, you’re walking Hadrian’s Wall! 😉


Hadrian's Wall heddon
The trail begins to get more scenic as you near Heddon-on-the-Wall!


After you’ve spent some time wandering around perusing the museum, it’s time to get on the trail. The day’s walk will be mostly urban and take you back through central Newcastle and to the other end of the city. Being surrounded by traffic and pavement can be tiring, but not to worry, the day’s hike ends at Heddon-on-the-Wall. This is a beautiful little town at the top of a rise (the climb is murder at the end of a day of walking, but worth it).

Pro Tip: Be sure to either pack lunch, or stop for lunch when you’re passing through central Newcastle. We kept putting off eating, thinking there’d be more pubs along the way, which meant we didn’t get to eat anything until we reached Heddon-on-the-Wall.


Where to eat

The Swan in Heddon-on-the-Wall. Great pub fare, cold drinks, and friendly staff. You can even order takeaway!


Where we stayed

Gaurav and I booked a room at Wormald House in Wylam. Because Wylam was a few miles away from Heddon-on-the-Wall, we called ahead to request a pickup. Jayne and Ian own the BnB and were absolutely brilliant, giving us rides to and fro without a problem! They also provided us with a hearty vegetarian breakfast and packed lunches the next day.

If you do decide to book with Jayne and Ian at Wormald House (and we recommend you do!), take some time to detour to look at railway pioneer George Stephenson’s birthplace. George Stephenson is considered the ‘Father of Railways’ and his childhood home happens to be in Wylam. It was an easy walk from Wormald House and a fun detour for two train fans like us!



Day 2 : Heddon to Chollerford 16 Miles | 25.5 Km


First section Hadrian's Wall itinerary
In Heddon-on-the-Wall you’ll see your first long unbroken section of Hadrian’s Wall!


Before hitting the trail for Day 2 of your Hadrian’s Wall itinerary, be sure to stop in Heddon-on-the-Wall and admire the first long section of the wall you’ll see on the hike. It’s incredible to stand next to something that is over 1900 years old! This is also the longest stretch of the wall which was built to the original “broad gauge” width of 10 feet.

Today’s walk will take you through fields and give you your first real taste of beautiful Northumberland. Some of it does follow along a major road, but you’ll be surrounded by greenery, which makes it much more enjoyable. If you’re walking in the spring or summer, you will start to encounter livestock. In the UK, it’s quite common for local farmers to open their land up to hikers. Just be mindful and respectful of sheep, horses, and cows and give them wide berth—especially if they’re with their young.


Robin Hood inn Hadrian's Wall
Stop in at the Robin Hood pub for a drink and light lunch!

Where to stop

About 5 miles into the walk you’ll come across the Robin Hood Inn. This old pub/inn is a great place to stop and whet your whistle, or have a light lunch. This is also the location where you’ll get your second Hadrian’s Wall Passport stamp. The stamp is located inside a box next to the Robin Hood Inn’s main door.

Where we stayed

We booked at Hallbarns Bed and Breakfast which is four miles from Chollerford. This meant another pick-up call. The farmhouse setting is idyllic and our host Tracee went out of her way to provide us with a last-minute vegetarian dinner. However, we did arrive at Chollerford later than expected, which seemed to upset our hosts a bit. And, since there weren’t any pubs or restaurants in the area, we had to pre-book a dinner at Hallbarns which was £22.50/person—beverages not included. This seemed a little steep for us, although the dinner was delicious.



Day 3 : Chollerford to Once Brewed 12.8 Miles | 20.5 Km


chollersford Hadrian's Wall


Day 3 of your Hadrian’s Wall itinerary is going to be one of the tougher days on the trail, but before you start putting miles behind you make a stop at Chesters Roman Fort and Museum on the outskirts of Chollerford. Seriously, don’t miss this as it’s one of the most complete and impressive Roman fort ruins in England. You’ll want to spend around 45 minutes wandering the ruins and pop in to check out the museum of items uncovered during excavations of the site.


chesters roman fort hadrians wall
Chesters Roman Fort is one of the most complete set of ruins in England!


Pro Tip: Chesters Roman Fort is open from 10AM – 5PM. So this is either the first thing you do in the day or the last thing you do the previous day, assuming you come in early. Keep that in mind when you’re planning. Also – this is the site for your third Hadrian’s Wall stamp. Your passport can be stamped at the museum entrance during normal opening hours OR it can be stamped at wall next to the car park entrance.

Once you’ve gotten your history fix, point your boots in the direction of Once Brewed. Today you’ll get to experience some of the most stunning views of the entire hike as you begin to steadily climb up. You’ll also see long portions of the wall rising and falling along the ridge and be able to walk alongside it. Every mile or so, you’ll come upon watchtower ruins. The Romans built these along the wall to keep an eye out on the more wild northern frontier.

You’ll also come along Housesteads Roman Fort just before starting your ascent to Steel Rigg overseeing Crag Lough. Housesteads Roman Fort is where you can get your fourth passport stamp and it’s well worth a visit. It also boasts one of the oldest toilets that are preserved in a Roman fort.

After your detour of Housesteads , towards the end of your day’s walk, you’ll make a steep ascent to Steel Rigg and see a loch glittering at the bottom of a drop on your right. The pathway will lead you through immense trees before you begin to descend along narrow stones to find the most photographed tree in Northumberland!


Where to stop

Although it’s near the end of your walk today, stop and take a moment to appreciate Northumberland’s famous sycamore tree. It sits cradled in Sycamore Gap, keeping watch over the beautiful north.


sycamore gap Hadrian's Wall
Northumberland’s most photographed tree!

Where to eat

If you’re spending the night in Once Brewed, there’s just one food option available: Twice Brewed Brewery. Call a few days beforehand to make a booking as there’s no guarantee you can just walk in and get a seat. The food is great and they have an impressive selection of beers that are brewed locally! Be sure to try the Sycamore Gap pale ale—a nod to Northumberland’s most photographed tree.

Where we stayed

We stayed at Valum Lodge in Once Brewed, conveniently just 100 meters down the road from Twice Brewed Brewery. This was one of our favorite stays during our trip—probably because each room comes equipped with a foot bath/soak! Our host was absolutely lovely and made us feel right at home, and that pressure shower was divine after such a tough day on the trail.



Day 4 : Once Brewed to Gilsland 9.4 Miles | 15.1 Km


Hadrian's Wall view


On day 5 the trail will continue to rise and fall, but it will be easier going than the previous day. Today you’ll climb to the highest point of Hadrian’s Wall and get some stunning views of the expansive valley below—probably the best view you’ll have on the trail! Very soon after, you’ll descend and the trail will flatten out and begin to move away from the wall, leading you through livestock fields. Sadly, you won’t be seeing long stretches of Hadrian’s Wall again after today.

Gilsland is also a village which straddles Northumberland and Cumbria and you will enter into Cumbria during your walk today, after crossing over the river. Look out for the sign welcoming you to Cumbria!


Samson inn Hadrian's Wall
The Sampson Inn in Gilsland is the perfect stop after a long day on the trail!

Where to eat

The Sampson Inn in Gilsland is an excellent place to pop into for dinner. Big portions, good food, and excellent local beers on tap. Even better, the locals hang out here, so you know it’s good.

Where we stayed

We booked accommodation at Brookside Villa (which is literally by a brook, hence the name). The Bed and Breakfast was excellent. Clean, comfy, and very friendly hosts. Would book here again in a heartbeat!


Day 5 : Gilsland to Brampton 8.9 Miles | 14.6 Km


lanercost priory Hadrian's Wall
Exploring Lanercost Priory!


While today will be easier in terms of mileage and distance, you should expect to be on the trail around six hours. That’s because there is a lot to see along the way!

What to see

birdoswald roman fort Hadrian's Wall
Learn more about the history of Hadrian’s Wall at Birdoswald Roman Fort!

Birdoswald Roman Fort

This is your first stop a couple hours into your hike. These impressive ruins were once one of the most important forts in Britannia. It’s here that you will truly gain an understanding of the scope of Hadrian’s Wall and how impressive a feat it was. The Birdoswald Roman Fort museum is a lot of fun and offers plenty of fascinating facts about Roman history and Hadrian’s Wall.

(Fun random fact: Emperor Hadrian wore his beard long and curly—unlike his clean shaven predecessors—and this style became the fashion at the time!)

Birdoswald Roman Fort is also where you’ll get your fifth stamp on your Hadrian’s Wall passport. The stamp box is located outside, near the entrance to the fort. And for making the journey in the near future, the Sands Center in Carlisle (day 6) is currently undergoing renovation, so there’s a stamp for Sands Center here too.


lunch at lanercrost priory
Great lunch views at Lanercost Priory!

Lanercost Priory

After a few more hours on the trail, you’ll come across the wonderful Lanercost Priory. This ancient 12th century priory is important because it was built using stones from Hadrian’s Wall (which explains why you see so little of the wall at this point in the walk!). The priory walls are still standing, though the timber roof rotted away long ago. Grab a bench outside and eat your lunch while admiring the view!

The priory has a rather interesting royal connection. King Edward I lived on the premises for almost six months in late 1306, while on his way north to invade the Scots. In the 1800s, the Howard family bought the priory and used it as a home. There are still several large tombs dedicated to different Howard family members inside the old priory.

Where we stayed

A few miles further on the trail carried us to Brampton where we stayed the night at The Howards Arms. This was one of our more interesting lodging experiences because The Howards Arms is an old pub/inn as opposed to your standard modern bed and breakfast. Because of this, the rooms were a bit smaller, but had a lot of character! The Howard Arms’ claim to fame is that Charles Dickens stayed there during a book tour back in 1866. Each room bears the name of a Charles Dickens character (we stayed in the Bill Sykes room) and there are framed books and photographs of the famous author on every wall downstairs in the pub.



Day 6 : Brampton to Carlisle 16.3 Miles | 26.1 Km


Carlisle Hadrian's Wall walk


Today is your longest day yet on the Hadrian’s Wall Path, but don’t be daunted. You’ll be walking through flat fields and residential areas. Keep an eye out for Honesty Snack Shacks along the way. These can be small shacks or even plastic crates full of snacks and drinks for hikers. You pay for what you take, so make sure you’ve got some cash/coins on you for today’s hike.


honesty snack shack Hadrian's Wall
Keep an eye out for honesty snack shacks along the trail!


Our plan on Day 6 was to stop about 8 miles into our hike at a pub called the Stag Inn for lunch. Big mistake, as it turns out it’s closed! We recommend packing your own lunch or carrying plenty of snacks as finding food on this portion of the trail is difficult. Thank goodness for the Honesty Snack Shacks! A refreshing ice lollie can really make all the difference on a hot day—especially as there aren’t any other places to buy food along the way.

What to see

Aim to get into Carlisle early so you have time to explore Carlisle Castle. This was one of the most contested sites along the border and has a long history of sieges and occupations. This history is fascinating and the castle itself is very well-maintained and worth seeing.


Where to eat

Carlisle is a relatively large town (population roughly 110,000), so you’ll be spoilt for choice as far as food options. We had great Italian food at Casa Romana and potent cocktails at Yellowjacket. The city itself is very pretty, so if your feet aren’t too sore from the day’s hike be sure to walk around!


Yellowjacket Carlisle Hadrian's Wall itinerary
Getting tipsy on potent post-hike cocktails at Yellowjacket!

Where we stayed

We stayed at Fern Lee Guesthouse. It was clean and the breakfast was good, but other than that we don’t have much to comment about it. The restrictive rules made it difficult to feel at home here, unfortunately.


Day 7 : Carlisle to Bowness-On-Solway 15.1 Miles | 24.3 Km


sunset at lowness on solway
Stunning sunset to end our Hadrian’s Wall walk.


It’s your final day of walking Hadrian’s Wall! You’ve almost made it! Today’s hike will be scenic and as you near the sea you may start to feel that easterly blowing wind. A large chunk of the hike passes through the infamous marshes. This section literally looks like you could be walking along the edge of the world, and in a way it is—for the Romans it was the most northwestern tip of their empire. We got lucky with warm weather, but this section can be particularly hard on cold, rainy, or windy days as you have no protection from the elements.


lowness on solway Hadrian's Wall
Almost there!


The end of the trail is exciting because you’ll be walking parallel to the sea. On clear, sunny days, you can see Scotland across the water. Stop to take a deep breath of that fresh sea air before continuing on to Bowness-on-Solway. Follow the signs through the village and up to the promenade overlooking the sea. The Banks Promenade is where you’ll get your final stamp for your passport. You’ve reached the end of your Hadrian’s Wall walk!

What to see

Be sure to stop in Burgh-by-Sands to visit St. Michael’s church. This small church was built using some of the stones from Hadrian’s Wall, but it also has a rather bizarre history. In July 1307, King Edward I (yes, the same King Edward I who lived at Lanercost Priory) died nearby while on his way north. Those with him frantically sought out the nearest church, which happened to be the humble St. Michael’s. For 10 days, the King’s body lay in state here until it could be transported south back to London.


kind Edward statue hadrians wall itinerary
Kind Edward I statue outside the Greyhound Inn in Burgh-by-Sands.


Just down the road from St. Michael’s, you’ll find a statue of Kind Edward I. It stands right in front of the Greyhound Inn—where we recommend stopping for lunch. Their sandwiches are delicious and it’s a good place to shore up some energy for the marshes which lay ahead.

Once you’ve arrived in Bowness-on-Solway, be sure to walk down to the beach to catch the sunset. It’s absolutely stunning, and a great way to end your journey.

Where to eat

There’s only one pub in Bowness-on-Solway, The Kings Arms. We recommended you book a table ahead of time as it can get busy with other hikers and locals in the evenings. Opposite the pub is also where you’ll catch the bus to Carlisle to take the train journey back home.

Where we stayed

We booked two nights at the Wallsend Bed and Breakfast. The accommodations are clean, comfortable, and overall excellent. Our host Ashley was also always on hand to make dinner reservations and recommend small local walks to do. We couldn’t have imagined a better end to our Hadrian’s Wall walk!


end of Hadrian's Wall path
We did it!


Hopefully you’ll find this Hadrian’s Wall itinerary helpful. Tell us in the comments below if you’re planning to hike Hadrian’s Wall.

And if you’re looking for other local trips around the UK, you might enjoy our 7-day road trip itinerary for Wales or our tips for traveling around the Lake District!


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