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Amanda MacDonald November 6 2015

Having been fortunate enough to experience the West Highland Way in 2014, it was my turn again to research another walk – this time the Hadrian’s Wall Path. The trail officially opened in 2003 and has been increasingly popular ever since.

 

The adventure begins …

My trip began by taking the train from Edinburgh to Newcastle, then the Metro to Wallsend to observe the start of the trail. It is worth spending a bit of time at the observation tower and museum at Segedunum Roman Fort which is the starting point. A very interesting bird’s-eye view of the Fort from the tower is a great way to start this historical journey.

I didn’t walk the first stage so made my way to Heddon-on-the-Wall, where I spent the night at the lovely Ironsign Farm B&B – set in the most beautiful location surrounded by fields of space, and some interesting residents (Highland cows!).

 

First steps

The walking began today for me, as I set off from Heddon-on-the-Wall to Chollerford. The trail was pleasant and consisted of mostly field walking with lots of greenery and nature. However, a hail storm awaited me so I was glad to reach St Oswalds Tea Room to dry off.

Just before reaching Chollerford I detoured slightly off the path to have a look at Brunton Turret – one the best preserved along the Wall. Approaching Chollerford I crossed the most beautiful bridge with lovely views either side.

My accommodation for the night was The Dovecote, a lovely homely place located in the quaint Humshaugh, and situated near Chesters Roman Fort & Museum.

 

A wonderful day

The next day was definitely the highlight as far as the Wall goes – an adventurous day not to be forgotten! Some sections of the Wall near Housesteads Fort were incredible, and not forgetting the famous Sycamore Gap where part of ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ was filmed. This day was full of a variety of sights and terrain with rolling hills throughout the day.

This evening I spent the night at Saughy Rigg Farm, Once Brewed. A lovely little farm in a valley.

 

Onwards to Walton

Today began with a continuation of gentle climbing up towards the highest point of the path (345m) which offered fantastic views, wide-open spaces and the feeling of freedom and plenty of fresh air! This day felt particularly long but I wouldn’t be disappointed with my destination where I received a warm welcome from my hosts at Oakwood Park Hotel in Brampton.

Today, I passed various points of interest including Birdoswald Roman Fort, Thirlwall Castle and Gilsland (which is a potential stop for breaking up this stage of the walk).

 

Marching to Carlisle

My final day consisted of a leisurely, peaceful walk along the River Eden towards Carlisle. I went through many fields and had the pleasure of meeting lots of sheep and cows!

The approach into Carlisle was pleasant – having the River Eden on my right and Carlisle Castle in front of me as I approached the centre of town.

 

The end of my Journey!

This is where my experience ended as I headed home on the train from Carlisle to Edinburgh. The Hadrian’s Wall Path was an unforgettable experience which I would recommend to one and all – not just Roman history enthusiasts. It really is quite incredible that we are able to see and experience such a fascinating part of history while getting some healthy exercise at the same time!

The path is well way-marked and generally easy to follow. In my opinion, the Hadrian’s Wall Path is an experience not to be missed!

Amanda MacDonald

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