10 Things You Should Know Before Hiking Hadrian’s Wall Path

Posted: 26th of April 2022

What is Hadrian’s Wall Path?

In this blog you will find practical information for the Hadrian’s Wall Path hike. If you would like to know more about itineraries for the hike and what I got up to during my 6 days, check out my vlog My Tales & Itinerary – Hadrian’s Wall Path (in 6 days).


After 10 years in the making Hadrian’s Wall Path opened in 2003 and follows 84-miles of Northern Europe’s largest surviving Roman monument. The wall was built by order of Emperor Hadrian AD122 to mark the northern limits of Hadrian’s empire which stretched over 3000 miles across Europe and the Mediterranean.



1. Accommodation – Where to Sleep?

There are a good number of campsites and hotels / B&Bs along the trail so you can choose to either camp or take the more comfortable option and stay in accommodation. I had the best of both worlds with a hybrid of both, to see where I stayed overnight, costs and list of alternative accommodation go to Hadrian’s Wall Path – 6 Day Itinerary .


It is also possible to wild camp, although the first day and last day are close to urban areas so you will need to check (i.e. google maps) for a practical place to camp. If you are wild camping remember not leave anything other than flattened grass.


2. Do Take Some Cash and Change

Many BnB’s and campsites don’t accept card so make sure bring enough cash. You will also pass several ‘snack shacks’ which have honestly boxes for payment, bring some change to pay for anything you take. A cold refrigerated drink or an ice cream on a hot day can make a big difference in your energy levels.


3. How to Manage Your Food & Water Supplies

Most days there are plenty of places to get food and water along the way, the only day which I did not pass somewhere to grab food was between Steel Rigg and Chollerford. If you are like me and prefer to have the flexibility to eat when you want, take the minimum food you will need to get by for the full hike and then top up on supplies as and when you pass places to do so. I’m a fan of dry packs and snack (snickers, peanut M&Ms etc) and my plan was to eat bars for breakfast, dry packs for lunch and eat a pub meal each evening. If you would like to see what food and other bits I packed for my hike see my vlog My Lightweight Hiking Gear for Multi Day Hike – Hadrian’s Wall Path. 

I did take a water filter, but I only had to use it once, I managed to top up my water bottles via taps along the route. I always feel more confident carrying a water filter but for Hadrian’s wall it is not a necessity.


4. Which Direction to Walk? West to East vs East to West

The trail can be walked in both directions, the classic and most popular is East to West. In this direction you will walk away from the hustle and bustle in Newcastle and finish on the coast in the tranquil Bowness on Solway. This direction also follows the course of the sun giving you the sunset views. You will however be walking against Atlantic winds which is why I personally choose to walk West to East. Also, the transport links from Bowness are pretty poor. After 6 days of hiking I wanted to make the route home as simple as possible. There are pros and cons of both directions, and it is really down to personal preference and logistics.    


5. When is The Best Time of Year to Hike Hadrian’s Wall Path?

Most B&Bs and snack shacks open from the Easter weekend in April and close at the end of October. Between these dates we also have more predictable weather and longer days.


Find a dry week in Spring and it’s a treat, wildflowers are growing, lambs are skipping and the grass is lush green. Another advantage is that there will be fewer hikers and it will be easier to book accommodation.


Summer is the busy period, especially during the school holidays. If you crave the company of other hikers summertime is the best season for you, there is more chance of dry weather and the days are much longer. Do remember to pre-book accommodation, especially if you are staying in B&Bs.


Many tourists have returned home, and the path is much quieter. The weather is usually fairly good although it can get a bit wilder heading into October.


Unless you are hardcore and want solitude, I wouldn’t hike the route during the Winter months between November and March. Most places are closed and the days are very short.


6. What Equipment Should You Take With You? 

See below an equipment check list. How much food and clothing you take will depend on the temperature and whether you are comfortable wearing the same socks and t-shirts more than once. If you would like to see what was in my backpack and brands of my equipment check out my vlog My Lightweight Hiking Gear for Multi Day Hike – Hadrian’s Wall Path..

  • Backpack
  • Flipflops (for relief on the feet at the end of the day)
  • Waterproof Poncho
  • Food & Gas Stove (if required)
  • Socks & Underwear
  • T-shirts, Trousers / Shorts
  • Coat / Jacket
  • Thermals & Woolly Hat (especially if you are camping)
  • Hiking Boots / Trainers
  • Something to sleep in
  • Deodorant, Shampoo / Shower Gel, Toothbrush and Tooth Paste
  • Sun Cream, Sunglasses & Cap
  • Map / Guidebook
  • Water Bottles
  • Blister Plasters
  • Paracetamol

If you are camping……

  • Tent, Sleeping mat, Sleeping bag, Pillow, Head Torch

7. Hadrian’s Wall Path Historical Highlights

Housesteads Fort is the best-preserved fort on the wall and has amazing views due to its elevation position. There is also a museum including a mini cinema which costs £10 for an adult ticket.


Hadrian's Wall Path Hike
Housesteads Fort
Hadrian's Wall Path Hike
Sycamore Gap Tree

Sycamore Gap Tree or Robin Hood Tree is a tree located in a dramatic dip in the landscape. It received its latter name after featuring in the Robin Hood film Prince of Thieves. It also won tree of the year award in 2016.


8. How to Get to Hadrian’s Wall Path

East to West – The best way to get to Wallsend is to get a train into Newcastle and take a 10-minute Metro to Wallsend from Newcastle Station. The start is a 5-minute walk from the Wallsend Metro Station.

West to East – The best way to get to Bowness on Solway is to get a train into Carlisle and a 45-minute bus (no. 93) from Carlisle to Bowness. The bus runs 5x a day. Alternatively, you can take a 30 minute taxi from Carlisle to Bowness which will cost about £40.



9. Taking a Dog

Hadrian’s Wall Trail is the least dog friendly hike I have completed in the UK. Much of the path passes through cow and sheep fields and there is a lot of road walking so your dog will be on his/her lead for the majority of the walk.

The number of B&Bs that accept dogs is surprisingly low and even the odd pub refuses to allow dogs to enter.



10. How Long It Takes

Most people take 6-7 days to complete the walk but if you are fit and like a challenge you can finish the walk in 5 days or even less. However, this becomes more of a sport than a leisurely hike and you will be sacrificing time to see the forts and other attractions.


Enjoy and Good Luck!!

Emma xxx


If you have any questions please use the comment box below and I will get back to you within a day or two.



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