Following the line of Hadrian’s Wall from coast to coast, the National Trail is an 84-mile pathway that passes through a landscape walkers love for its diversity; bracing moorland gives way to cheerful fields, copses open out onto sky-filled vistas and all that green eventually gives way to dynamic city streets. For most of its 84 miles, the route crosses natural grass; only when you hit the most easterly urban section will you be walking on tarmac. Although most of the terrain is relatively easy, the 23-mile central section between Chollerford and Birdoswald is hilly with a series of short, sharp climbs and descents following in quick succession. Finding your way along the National Trail is easy; you can rely both on the familiar acorn symbol, as well as marking arrows.
For some, completing the trail in its entirety is the objective. It takes approximately a week to walk from one end of the frontier to the other, depending on how long you’d like to spend visiting the Roman forts and settlements along the way. Those who do intend to walk end-to-end can join the Passport scheme, which runs between May and October each year. Simply buy your passport, have it stamped at seven specific spots along the route and claim your enamel badge and achievers’ certificate. However, there also are plenty of shorter routes and circular walks that take in stretches of the Trail so walkers of all abilities are catered for.
The Hadrian’s Wall National Trail’s upkeep and protection is overseen by Northumberland National Park Authority, English Heritage, Cumbria and Northumberland County Councils, Newcastle City Council and Natural England. Before setting out to walk the Trail read the Code of Conduct, which sets out how you can help preserve and protect this heritage site for future generations.