Day 1: Arrive in Newcastle. Overnight Stay in Newcastle.
We'll meet up in Northern England in Newcastle upon Tyne. With its twin city, Gateshead, it was a major shipbuilding and manufacturing hub during the Industrial Revolution and is now a centre of business, arts and sciences. Spanning the Tyne, modern Gateshead Millennium Bridge, noted for its unique tilting aperture, is a symbol of the 2 cities. With its excellent road, rail and air connections, getting to and from Newcastle is easy. You can arrive in Newcastle at any time of the day and are on your own to see the city. The trains run from the airport, into the city of Newcastle every 15 minutes or so and the cost is minimal.
Day 2: – Bowness on Solway to Carlisle - 14 Miles
We'll take private ground transportation in the early morning and travel 80 miles or so to the starting point of our Hadrian's Wall walk, Bowness-on-Solway. We'll be walking with the wind at our backs from west to east and will eventually walk back into Newcastle at the end of our journey.
Today's walk is a lovely start to the adventure 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 and where Mary Queen of Scots was held for 17 years before her beheading.
Day 3: Carlisle to Lanercost – 14 miles
Today's walk is a very nice path through open countryside. It'll be mostly easy, with some moderate gradients. This section of the wall was also made from sod and rocks but you will see the first clear section of the original Wall, a wonderful 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 adventure.
Day 4: Lanercost to Once Brewed - 14 miles
Today you are in the mighty interior section of the trip, passing long complete sections of historic Wall remains and hiking along many ups and downs that test your fitness but also make the views glorious. You will pass Birdoswald Fort, one of the best preserved forts on the wall in one of the most picturesque settings on Hadrian's Wall Path. You will see many additional turrets and milecastles today as you rise up into the spine of England. This is one of the most exciting days of the hiking trip.
If you have time today, head to the Roman Army museum along the wall path, with interactive displays that enable visitors to understand what life was like for soldiers on this northern frontier. There is a 20 minute 3D movie called "Edge of Empire" in the theater that is recommended. .
Day 5: Once Brewed to Chollerford - 12 miles
Today after breakfast you continue on your journey along Hadrian's Wall and quickly come to what is one of the most famous and eye popping scenes of the Wall, Sycamore Gap and Crag Lough. This section of the wall has been used a number of times in films, including Kevin Kostner's "Robin Hood", and the dramatic vistas are stunning.
On this day we also pass Housesteads, which is the most popular and complete roman fort in Britain. Throughout the 300 years of its occupation, up to 1,000 infantry were garrisoned there.
Your route takes you out of the high country and eventually to Chollerford where you will be staying at a typical British inn with a view of the atmospheric Chollerford Bridge, built in 1785, it's a stone bridge that replaced an earlier medieval bridge.
Day 6: Chollerford to Heddon-on the-Wall - 15 miles
At the start of this day you rise up out of Chollerford, with some beautiful views north to the Cheviot Hills. It's going to be 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 highlight of today is moving through wide-open spaces, with an opportunity to stop at the Robin Hood Inn for lunch.
If you're doing good on time, a visit to St Oswald's Chruch (uphill to your left from the path) is well worth it. In about AD634, Oswald led an army against invading forces, his positioni beside the Roman Wall helped him to win a decisive victory. After the battle he became king of Northumbria and Christianity was restored to the region.
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 delicious meals for dinner.
Day 7: Heddon-on-the Wall to Wallsend – 15 miles
Today is your last day of walking -.you're almost finished! You will walk downhill from Heddon-on-the-Wall to the Tyne River valley and then follow the Tyne through pretty countryside. You then reach the outskirts of Newcastle upon Tyne, passing remains of the rich industrial heritage the city was built on. Once back in Newcastle, you can grab some lunch somwhere by the water.
The final stretch today is to Segedunum Roman Fort, which stands on the banks of the River Tyne. It 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. There is a train station very close to the museum and you can get back into the city in minutes.
Wow, way to go! You have just walked 85 miles across Northern England on The Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail. You have our permission to celebrate big time tonight in Newcastle!
Day 8: Departure Day - end of program
Breakfast is included at the hotel this morning. Feel free to explore more of Newcastle and then leave on your own schedule for your continued travels. The trains depart every 15 minutes or so from the main train station in Newcastle to the airport. It's about a 25 minute ride.