Is it very hilly ?
In places yes - see our helpful Gradient Profile. There are also interpretation panels along the way which provide more detail about the Path together with topical and historical information.
Is the whole of Hadrians Wall intact for the whole distance and does the national trail follow it religiously?
Hadrian's Wall is not intact for the whole distance, the remaining parts which are still visible are mainly in the central section. Well-preserved stretches of Wall can be found near Birdoswald, Walltown Crags, Cawfields, Housesteads Roman Fort, Sewingshields, Chesters Roman Fort, Brunton Turret, Heddon-on-the-Wall.
The Trail follows the line of the Wall as much as possible except in Tyneside, which follows the river instead of going through the centre of Newcastle.
Outdoor toiletry - If I need to 'go' when out on the Trail, am I allowed to dig a hole ?
No - It is illegal to dig a hole on a Scheduled Ancient Monument and practically the entire Trail outside of urban Newcastle and Carlisle lies within the Scheduled Monument area. Walkers will not know the limit of the Scheduled area, it can extend for hundreds of metres, therefore we do not advise digging a hole even if it seems far away from the Wall and accompanying earthworks (as may be mentioned in some guidebooks).
What we can advise to do, is to take human waste away in a plastic bag or nappy sack (as people would do with dog mess). There is a book called "How to S*** in the Woods" which gives guidance on how to eliminate human wastes in a natural area without a toilet. Extract: 'Solid waste products can contaminate ground water, streams and lakes and spread disease. Find a private location in the woods that is at least 20 feet off a trail and at least 200 feet (70 to 75 paces) from a stream, pond or other water to avoid contamination. Urinate into absorbent soil that will soak it up rather than have it run off. Scoop the poop. We require pet owners to do it, should we expect less from ourselves? Bring along a sturdy ziplock bag*. Use the bag to pack out your own waste. Nothing comes out of you that wasn't in you to begin with - you are in no danger from your own germs, but you can cause illness in others.'
* nappy sacks and plastic bags are also suitable.
Is the Trail suitable for walkers with dogs ?
We have not made any provision for dog gates alongside stiles. Hadrian's Wall now receives very large numbers of visitors, it also runs through countryside where visitors are likely to meet livestock every day that they are on the path. There have been a number of incidents of dogs running off the lead worrying both sheep as well as horses, also a couple of incidents where walkers with dogs have been harrassed themselves by cattle.
The decision was made a number of years ago not to promote the Trail as a route suitable for walkers with dogs. At the time a survey was undertaken of farmers along Hadrian's Wall and one of their principle concerns was that of people with dogs running off the lead and worrying their livestock. Of course walkers may legally bring their dogs with them, but the occasional irresponsible owner can cause serious problems for the management of the Trail. We hope you understand our position with this sensitive issue.