Walkers visit Hadrian’s Wall Country from all over the globe. Each year, they return for the unique combination of centuries-old history and a landscape that is by turns idyllic and dramatic; rolling, green and sheltered or defiantly exposed to the open skies.
Those visiting the areas surrounding the Cumbrian stretch of Hadrian’s Wall are wise to make time to follow the extraordinarily beautiful coastal routes, as well as the moorland pathways that ultimately lead the way to the main thrust of the frontier. Most of the longest, middle section of Hadrian’s Wall is part of Northumberland National Park. Here, you’ll find many very interesting and rewarding walks. For example, the Greenlee Lough walk. This 7.5 mile trek joins both a section of the Pennine Way and the Hadrian’s Wall Trail, as well as leading you through the Geenlee Lough National Nature Reserve, where wildfowl and waders are to be spotted in the bog and grasslands. There are also plenty of shorter, easy routes, like the Thirlwell Castle Walk, which starts in Greenhead, covers under 2 miles and features only light inclines, making it a good choice for young families. The circular Steel Rigg and Sycamore Gap walk is another family friendly route in Northumberland National Park. At 4 miles, it offers some of the Wall’s most spectacular views and the terrain is pleasingly varied.
The eastern section of Hadrian’s Wall proffers up a heady mix of country, coast and city to the enthusiastic walker. Those visiting Sedgedunum in Wallsend may choose to follow the River Tyne upstream to Newburn. This 12 mile walk meanders through Newcastle’s elegant quayside, then passes riverside signs of the city’s proud industrial past, before softening out into more rural settings. If you’re based further up the Tyne Valley, in Hexham or Corbridge, there are a vast number of walks to choose from; whether your objective is to fully experience each Roman site as you explore or to really escape into much-needed tranquility, the walks here really deliver.
The Western Section of the wall provides some fantastic walking routes just off the main trail, offering the relatively flat terrain of the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Further information and a selection of routes can be found here at Solway Walks. Make a short trip inland to Cockermouth or Keswick and you can gain easy access to some of the best walking in the Lake District National Park.