8 things to do on Hadrian’s Wall this Bank holiday and Half-Term

Clash of the Romans

8 things to do on Hadrian’s Wall this Bank holiday and Half-Term

There is always something to do and to see on Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site, we have fantastic coasts, walks and cycle-routes, and a string of excellent attractions.

Here are just a few ideas from along Hadrian's Wall of things to do this bank holiday and half term. 

1. Experience an Immersive Soundwalk at Northumberland National Park

Collision and Conflict banner.jpg

Collision and Conflict banner.jpg
Collision and Conflict Artistic Soundscape Walk

Northumberland National Park is working in partnership to support the North East arts sector by commissioning three emerging local artists to produce pieces for a new immersive geolocated soundwalk through the Northumbrian landscape along Hadrian’s Wall. Collision & Conflict uses ECHOES: an interactive GPS-triggered sound app; users follow a 2-2.5hrs circular sound walk starting at Walltown Country Park and along Hadrian’s Wall national trail. Listeners experience the landscape through their headphones and hear music, sound, storytelling, and spoken word, connected to specific locations on the route. Locations include Walltown Country Park, Thirlwall Castle, Green Croft Arts, Greenhead, and Carvoran Roman Fort. Green Croft Art’s Collision & Conflict sound walk runs until October 2021, for more information visit: https://www.greencroftonthewall.com/collision-and-conflict

2. Become a Walltown Warrior.

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Walltown Warrior NNPA.jpg
Walltown Warrior NNPA

Challenge your family, get close to nature and throw yourself over, under and through obstacles in the shadow of the spectacular Hadrian’s Wall. Walltown Warrior is a challenge event for all the family set in Northumberland National Park’s Walltown Country Park, a site with spectacular views, woodlands, wildflowers, ponds and dramatic crags. The perfect backdrop to take on our course designed by Challenge Northumberland. Have fun and make memories together crawling, climbing and sliding your way around a 3km course that is all about fun and having a go. Whether you are a competitive athlete or complete beginner, you’ll love obstacle’s such as Sandbags to the Crags and Toon Tunnels. Think It’s a Knock Out or Takeshi’s Castle but on Hadrian’s Wall.

  • Perfect for all fitness levels
  • Suitable for those aged 6 years and over
  • No pressure to be fast
  • Run with friends and family in a group (maximum of six) or as an individual
  • Free Car Parking

Walltown Warrior is taking place on the 3rd and 4th of June, book your place here;  https://www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/things-to-do/get-active-outdoors/walltown-warrior/


3. Visit a Live Archaeological Excavation at Vindolanda Roman Fort

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Vindolanda excavations.
Vindolanda excavations Volunteer

Explore life on the edge of empire. See Vindolanda’s famous Writing Tablets, live summertime archaeology, reconstructions and more, in the central heart of beautiful Hadrian's Wall Country.

The excavations are back for 2021. The archaeologists and small teams of volunteers will be out Monday - Friday (weather permitting), from the 29 March – 24th September.

See history as it is uncovered!

This year’s excavations will be held in the South West quadrant of the 3rd Century fort. You will be able to watch as the archaeologists reveal the many layers of Vindolanda and learn about the people who lived here, through the objects and buildings they have left behind. You may ask questions (in fact its encouraged) but please remember to socially distance.

Find out more; https://www.vindolanda.com/tickets

4. Seize the Clay at a Roman Pottery Demonstration

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Roman Pottery at Vindolanda
Roman Pottery at Vindolanda

From the 1st – 3rd of June, join Potted History's Graham Taylor at Vindolanda. He'll be throwing some pots the Roman way and you can learn about the amazing Vindolanda pottery collection.


5. Become a Roman Soldier at Chesters Roman Fort

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Roman Soldier at Chesters Roman Fort
Roman Soldier at Chesters Roman Fort

This May half term our ever popular family event How to be a Roman soldier returns to Chesters Roman fort. Between 29 May - 6 June all brave kids can learn a few Roman marching moves in the drills session, hear stories about life in the Roman army, handle some Roman objects and try on armour.

Book your visit soon as capacities are limited: https://eht.social/3oKwfEs

6. Discover Driggsby, A Whale's Tale, at Tullie House

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Driggsby, Whales Tale Family Activity
Driggsby, Whales Tale

An exciting new immersive, interactive and inspiring exhibition from the imagination of over 150 children from schools on Cumbria’s west coast, telling the story of Driggsby the fin whale. Discover Driggsby’s underwater world, meet the amazing creatures she shares the oceans with and follow her journey through dark tunnels, to the Mermaid's house, on to the North Pole and beyond, from the 18th of May to the 5th of September.


7. Visit a Reconstructed Roman Commanding Officer's House at Arbeia.

Arbeia South Shields Gatehouse

Arbeia South Shields Roman Fort Gatehouse
Arbeia South Shields Gatehouse

Step into the fort and immerse yourself in the world of the Romans right in the heart of South Shields. Explore inside the full-scale reconstructed Roman buildings including the West Gate, Commanding Officer's house and a soldier's barrack block, and see one of the finest collections of finds from Roman Britain all found in and around Arbeia.

Through the course of history Arbeia has had several guises; from the Roman Emperor's HQ for a Scottish invasion, to a busy cosmopolitan port. It's hosted dramatic tales of murder, fire, and holds the key to ancient love stories. It was a huge supply base for the Roman army, home to 600 Roman troops and is said to be the birth place of the Northumbrian King Oswin. It's also a UNESCO World Heritage site with the finest full-scale Roman reconstructions in the country showcasing some of the most significant finds from that time.

Until the 30th of September see “Flesh on the Bones”, a mini exhibition that will look at the animal skulls and other bones excavated on the site, and consider what they reveal about life in the Roman fort. Bones can tell us much about what the people ate, how they lived and what the local environment was like, from shoulders of beef hung up to be smoked to frog bones from the ditches.


8. Get Special Access to the Roman Fort at Senhouse Roman Museum

Dramatically sited on cliffs overlooking the Irish Sea, Senhouse Roman Museum possesses an outstanding collection of artefacts, altars, and sculpture. Survey the fort and beyond from the reconstructed watchtower.

On Sunday 30th May, Tuesday 1st, Thursday 3rd, and Sunday 6th June, 2pm and 3.30pm, along with your admission to the museum, visitors can experience special access to the spectacular site of the Roman fort at Maryport with Volunteer-led guided tours.

The tours are limited to only 10 participants and must be booked in advance (see below for link). The site is on farmland and sheep may be present, so dress appropriately, with suitable footwear and clothing. Dogs are not allowed on the tours (except registered guide and assistance dogs).

Click here to book a guided tour of the fort

When visiting Hadrian's Wall 

For the most recently updated government advice on travel, check out the guidance here.
Please respect and protect when visiting Hadrian's Wall, and always stick to the countryside code and act responsibly.

You can do this by:

  • Leaving no trace of your visit and taking all litter home
  • Not using barbecues as they risk causing wildfires
  • Keeping dogs under control and on a lead when you are around livestock
  • Leaving gates as you find them and following instructions on signs
  • Keeping to footpaths, bridleways and byways and following signs where they suggest alternative routes



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