Stretching east-west from Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway, within the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Hadrian’s Wall remains one of the most remarkable accomplishments of engineering by an empire well-known for its impressive building feats. No wonder Hadrian’s Wall has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The National Trail that follows this ancient boundary measures 135km; this relaxed route focuses on the central and western sections of the path – areas rich in incident and intrigue.
It’s here, where Hadrian’s Wall crosses the wilds of northern Cumbria, that you’ll discover the formidable barrier’s longest surviving stretch of at Birdoswald; where you’ll enter vibrant Carlisle, a borderlands city with a turbulent past (and, now, great bistros and bars too); and where you can trace the wall and the river right to the coast, where 2,000 years of history slide serenely into the salt marshes and the sea. There are excellent walks to follow, splendid sites to be seen and, at the end of each day’s explorations, always cosy inns in which to rest.
The icons below highlight the distance, difficulty and theme of this itinerary.
Walks from 2km to 15km
Rolling Countryside / Connecting Villages & Towns / City Exploring / By Water
History / Food & Drink / Coastal
Walking / Water Fun / Heritage / Hands On
Here’s everything you need to help you plan your very own walking and exploring break in Cumbria’s Hadrian’s Wall Country. Click on the blue arrow tabs below for more information. To save this itinerary to view later, use the Save to My Rucksack button at the top of the page.
Plot a four (or more) day adventure along the western section of Hadrian’s Wall. Spend two nights in the pretty market town of Brampton and two nights in lively Carlisle, both good bases for exploring, whether you’re travelling by car or public transport
The itinerary recommends two nights in Brampton and two nights in Carlisle. There is also the option to extend your trip with a night in Haltwhistle at the start or Bowness-on-Solway at the end. Here are some suggestions depending on whether you are travelling by car or public transport.
Many of the pubs and hotels listed under the Accommodation section also offer food, from pub classics to fine dining. Additionally, seek out some of the region’s characterful cafes.
There’s so much adventure potential in Cumbria’s Hadrian’s Wall Country. Walking possibilities are almost endless, while more offbeat fun is available too.
Hadrian’s Wall Path, Birdoswald, various – Circular routes possible, exploring the longest remaining stretch of Hadrian’s Wall.
Ancient history is brought to life in an array of sites and museums across Cumbria’s Hadrian’s Wall Country.
The Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) stretches from the estuary of the rivers Esk and Eden to Maryport, on the west Cumbrian coast. It encompasses a range of historic ports and hamlets, nature reserves, rippling dunes and high levels of biodiversity. To the south lie Whitehaven, St Bees (the start of the Coast to Coast trail) and Ravenglass, the only coastal town in the Lake District National Park and uniquely positioned within two UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
For further coastal walks visit England’s Coast.
For further information on cycling visit Cycle England.
Travel possible by car, bus and train. Carlisle has good public transport connections
Northern Rail services the region.
Suggested walks should take between one and four/five hours. Overall, they are graded fairly gentle to moderate.
We advise that you check opening times and booking restrictions before travelling.
Please check out these links for latest advice when in the countryside
Click here to access the interactive map
The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.