Feature Post – ‘Hike Hadrian’ by Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports

Housesteads Crags

Hike Hadrian

Wall-to-wall action along this historical landmark
Strap up your boots and get on the Hadrian’sWall Path, an 84-mile route crisscrossing breathtaking scenery across beautiful border country between the Tyne and the Solway Firth. Hadrian’s Wall is synonymous with the limits of the Roman Empire but despite its importance to the history of Great Britain, surprisingly few hikers seriously consider it.

Walkers at Cawfields
The National Trail’s passport season is your way of proving you’ve walked the walk. The season runs between May and October, and during that time, hikers can present their Summer Passport to each of the seven stamping stations to prove they’ve covered the distance. Stamps can be collected on return visits, so there’s no need to get blisters covering it all in one outing.
Some rules of thumb that might be helpful along the way: the historical significance of Hadrian’s Wall has been recognised by UNESCO, who list it as a World Heritage Site (the Frontiers Of The Roman Empire World Heritage Site, to give it its proper name, and in recognition that it forms part of the imaginary circumference of the Empire that stretches all the way to Morocco. That all means that everywhere you tread could be of archaeological and historical importance to future historians: so the wall itself should be off-limits, and wherever possible, walk side-by-side rather than single file.

The passport season between May and October benefits from drier land underfoot, although the school holidays mean more fellow walkers during the period between the last week of July to the beginning of September. Book accommodation in advance, or take advantage of the Hadrian’s Wall camp site, a wonderfully remote spot near Haltwhistle, Northumberland.

Don’t underestimate the potential severity of conditions for your walk.  The route affords very little shade, and the weather can be surprisingly exposed and unlike the stereotypical windy and rainy Northern fare during the spring and summer months.

View towards Cawfields from Thorny Doors
Some technical outdoor clothing is definitely recommended– base layers for fluctuations in temperature at different altitudes, insect repellant, extra water storage, spare laces, chocolate and other supplies, weather-appropriate headgear, towels, hats, First Aid kits and so on – should be sourced from a quality outdoor shop before you go, particularly if you’re hiking the whole length.
Research into public transport options, too, to give yourself a fallback plan. There’s a bus service called the AD122, but that doesn’t operate all year round. Take a chequebook or cash, as card facilities aren’t a given. And maybe invest in a spare mobile phone battery.
You can download maps and find more advice at www.nationaltrail.co.uk/hadrianswall/.
This post was written on behalf of Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports, who have 25 stores across the UK.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Eion says:

    Think we should attempt this one in the future mate;)


  2. terrybnd says:

    Funny you should mention that – I thought just the same.


  3. Anonymous says:

    I might be interested in tagging on. ; )



  4. Martin says:

    Some friends did it a few years back and said it was good.


  5. terrybnd says:

    Hi Martin, Thanks. Will give this some serious consideration. It's the time off required that would be the issue if anything.

    Though I suppose we could do parts of it for a couple of days or something like that.


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