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Hadrian's Wall - Coast to Coast Relaxed - Hiking - Itinerary

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Note: This itinerary is the same as our Hadrian's Wall Coast-to-Coast itinerary, except day Day Four on that itinerary is broken into two days (Days Four and Five) here.

Day 1: Arrive in Newcastle. Overnight Stay in Newcastle.

Newcastle is our chosen rendezvous point for our Hadrian's Wall walk. With its excellent road, rail and air connections, getting to and from Newcastle is easy. For those arriving by car, you will be able to leave your vehicle at your first night's accommodation in Newcastle (subject to availability). If the train is your preferred transport mode, we will be happy to collect you from the nearby station. Pickup from Newcastle Airport is an additional fee or you can take public transport. You can arrive in Newcastle at any time of the day and are on your own to see the city.

Day 2: – Bowness on Solway to Carlisle - 14 Miles

You will meet our local representative at your hotel in Newcastle upon Tyne and he will provide you with an overview of the upcoming hike as we transfer you to Bowness-on-Selway on the west coast, the start of your journey along Hadrian’s Wall.

Today's walk is a lovely start to the journey with fine views over Bowness-in-Solway, which has been designated an area of outstanding natural beauty and has an abundance of bird life, and with views to the south of the high peaks of the Lake District. The walk is on mostly flat terrain through open fields and along canals and rivers and finishes at your hotel in Carlisle. Because the Wall was built of earth in this section, there are few remains.

In the evening you are free to explore Carlisle and try some of the local cuisine. Carlisle is famous for its Castle, a great medieval fortress that has watched over the City of Carlisle for over nine centuries. You can explore fascinating and ancient chambers, stairways and dungeons and find the legendary 'licking stones'. Here, parched Jacobite prisoners found enough moisture to stay alive, only to be brutally executed on Gallows Hill.

Day 3: Carlisle to Lanercost – 14 miles

After saying your farewells to your hosts in Carlisle you set out on today's walk, a pleasant day's ramble through open countryside. This day is again on flat ground, although you are gradually rising as you leave the seacoast towards the center of England. This section of the wall was also made from sod and rocks but you will see the first clear indications of the original Wall, an exciting sight.

You will end today's walk at Lanercost with its hauntingly beautiful Priory founded in 1165 by Augustinian canons. You can enjoy a home-cooked meal at your B&B and then retire for the evening to prepare for tomorrow's activity.

Day 4: Lanercost to Gilsland - 5 miles

After two long walking days, today is only a short distance allowing you to rest and spend more time enjoying the incredible scenery and historic remains you will encounter. Today you walk along long sections of the original Wall and pass Birdoswald Fort, well worth a visit. Birdoswald Fort stands high above a bend in the River Irthing, in one of the most picturesque settings on Hadrian's Wall. Turrets and milecastles can be seen on this excellent stretch of the Wall. With probably the best preserved defenses of any Wall fort, this was an important base for some 1,000 Roman soldiers, succeeding an earlier fort of turf and timber.

As today is relatively short, you might also catch the AD122 bus from Birdoswald Fort or Gilsland to visit Vindolanda, an important Roman frontier fort and village that was occupied for over 300 years. There is a museum with interactive displays and artifacts excavated from the site including the famous Vindolanda Writing Tablets, which provide our most accurate look into what life was like for Romans during this era. There are live excavations throughout the summer months.

Day 5: Gilsland to Steel Rigg - 9 miles

Today in the morning you will pass the Roman Army Museum. Watch the superb and award-winning 20-minute 3D Edge of Empire film which takes you on an eagle eye view along the section of Hadrian’s Wall that you are about to walk along – stunning and a definite must see!

Continuing on, you will pass the 14th century Thirlwall Castle which was built out of stone plundered from the Wall. As you continue on through Walltown Quarry and Cawfields, the walking becomes a little more challenging with a number of sharp ascents as you gradually rise up to Winshields Crags and the highest point on the Wall. As the ground starts to rise, the impressive nature of the wall starts to grow and you pass mile castle after mile castle, experiencing true Hadrian Wall Country.

Your accommodations are just off the trail from Steel Rig in a nice B&B. You can walk down the road to an evening meal at the local pub in Twice Brewed.

Day 6: Steel Rigg to Chollerford - 12 miles

After a hearty breakfast you continue on your journey along Hadrian's Wall and quickly come to what is one of the most famous and enticing scenes of the Wall, Sycamore Gap and Crag Lough. This section of the wall has been used a number of times in films and the dramatic scenery is what you will likely remember from your journey.

On this day we also pass Housesteads, which is the most complete example of a Roman fort in Britain, and now the most popular site on the Wall. It stands high on the exposed Whin Sill escarpment, commanding breathtaking views. It was one of 12 permanent forts added to the new frontier by Hadrian in about AD 124. Known as "Vercovicium" ("the place of effective fighters"), it was garrisoned by a cohort of around 800 infantry (for most of its history Tungrians from Belgium), later reinforced by Germanic cavalry.

Your route takes you out of the high country and to Chollerford and you will be staying at a typical British inn tonight, with an opportunity to try one of the many British specialties for dinner, perhaps accompanied by a glass of ale.

Day 7: Chollerford to Heddon-on the-Wall - 15 miles

At the start of this day you rise up out of Chollerford, with some lovely views north to the Cheviot Hills. However, today is an easier day's walking than the previous two as you make your way from the high interior spine of England back down to the coast. You will still see remnants of the Wall but the joy of today is moving through wide-open spaces, with an opportunity to stop at the Robin Hood Inn for lunch.

You finish in the small town of Heddon-on-the-Wall at a local B&B, located just a short distance from two different "public houses" or pubs that focus on serving excellent meals for dinner.

Day 8: Heddon-on-the Wall to Segedunum Fort – 15 miles

The final day of walking is a day of contrast. You will walk downhill from Heddon-on-the-Wall to the Tyne River valley and then follow the Tyne through lovely countryside. You then reach the outskirts of Newcastle upon Tyne, passing remains of the rich industrial heritage the city was built on. As you continue through the center of the city, the waterfront has been redeveloped and you pass grand hotels, the Tyne Bridge, Sage Gateshead (a new music centre), the recently-opened Baltic (an arts centre), and many appetizing places to each lunch.

Segedunum Roman Fort, which stands on the banks of the River Tyne, was the end outpost of Hadrian's Wall and is also the finish of your walk. For almost 300 years Segedunum, which means 'strong fort', was home to 600 Roman soldiers. It now houses a museum and recreation of the original fort. We will pick you up from the Fort and take you to your Newcastle hotel.

Congratulations! You have completed The Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail and walked across England.

Day 9: Departure Day

Breakfast is included at the hotel. You are free to leave on your own schedule for your continued travels. Airport dropoff is available at an extra cost.

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