Walking Tour of Hadrian's Wall & Northumberland

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At a Glance

Step back in time and discover a corner of England steeped in rich history with this fully guided walking tour of Northumberland.

Walk in the footsteps of Vikings, visit Britain’s most haunted medieval castle and explore world-famous Roman ruins. From the unmistakeable Hadrian’s Wall and the Anglo-Saxon stronghold of Bamburgh to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, the cradle of Christianity, Northumberland’s heritage has to be seen up close to believed.

With an experienced local guide, fantastic cuisine, and hand-picked hotels and B&Bs, let Active England show you the majesty of historic Northumberland.

Your Itinerary

Arriving into Newcastle railway station at 12.00pm, our local guide will transfer you to the cosy village of Chillingham. Famously home to Britain’s most haunted medieval castle, we spend the afternoon touring the state rooms and castle grounds, as well as visiting the resident wild white cattle. An icon of British natural history and one of the rarest animals in the world, these magnificent creatures have inhabited Chillingham Park for the past 700 years. As the day draws to a close, we head to our hotel for our first dinner together.

Our itinerary takes us this morning to Holy Island, located on the Lindisfarne nature reserve. The ancient site of England’s first Christian settlements, our guide will lead you onto the stunning local beaches, showcasing the very best of Northumberland’s glorious coastline. If the tide allows, we’ll even take the opportunity to step on the ancient walkway used by barefoot pilgrims during the 8th century. In the afternoon, we move on to Bamburgh. One of the most important Anglo-Saxon strongholds in Northumbria, this castle is celebrated as one of the most spectacular in the area, and is a must-see location for fans of the cult Viking series, The Last Kingdom.

Turning inland, we make our way to the most northern point of the Cheviot Hills, a range of rolling uplands straddling the border between Northumberland and Scotland. Here we climb to the top of Yeavering Bell, hiking along trails to reach the Iron Age hillfort that rests on the summit. After stopping for a picnic lunch at the top, enjoying beautiful views over the lower Tweed Valley, we walk through the tranquil College Valley. With a bit of luck, we might even be greeted along the way by the wild Cheviot goats living on the hillside near Hethpool Mill.

We set out today at dawn, with a sunrise walk along the River Till toward one of Northumberland’s best kept secrets, the beautiful Ford and Etal Estates. Here we enjoy a leisurely tearoom breakfast, before continuing to Hay Farm. Home to the largest herd of rare breed Clydesdale horses, we take some time to explore before heading south towards our second hotel for dinner and drinks.

We start our day heading to the world-famous Hadrian’s Wall. Stretching 73 miles from coast to coast, we take some time to marvel at what is undoubtedly one of England’s most dramatic landmarks. We also visit the sadly felled Sycamore Gap tree, before pausing for lunch in the National Landscape Discovery Centre, The Sill. In the afternoon, we stroll down to Vindolanda, one of England’s most significant Roman archaeological sites. We’ll finish the day with a group meal to celebrate our last night together.

After a leisurely breakfast, your guide will transfer you to Newcastle. Here we say farewell and provide any help you might need with your onward travel.


Handpicked Accommodation

Alnwick - 3* Option

Alnwick - 3* Option

Tankerville Arms
Nestled in a tranquil village in Northumberland, this 19th century coaching inn offers plenty of little luxuries to create that home-from-home feeling. The restaurant offers British cuisine and concentrates on local produce, plus real ales from local breweries.

Alnwick - 4* Option

Alnwick - 4* Option

Eshott Hall
A luxury country house hotel nestled in a quiet village, in the heart of rural Northumberland and surrounded by its own private estate of ancient woodland, rolling lawns and a walled kitchen garden. The archetypal grand manor house with a friendly atmosphere and fine dining.

Hexham - 3* and 4* Options

Hexham - 3* and 4* Options

Beaumont Hotel
The Beaumont is an independent Victorian townhouse hotel in the centre of Hexham, with stunning views of the 6th century Abbey. Dine on local seasonal produce in our restaurant or enjoy a drink at the bar with the open kitchen and the Victorian Sele park as a back drop.

What our guides say...

Vikings, castles, Roman ruins and more!

  • All accommodation as indicated on the itinerary
  • All breakfasts and x2 dinners (excluding dinner drinks)
  • Walking poles
  • GPS routes, provided via RideWithGPS (app available for Apple or Android)
  • All special events, iconic points of interests, expert guests and entrance fees
  • All transportation from rendezvous to farewell locations
  • All baggage transportation
  • All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service
  • Services of a professional local guide

We have handpicked the best family run, independent and country hotels, pubs and guest houses. Cosy and with informal dining, these country hotels are friendly and relaxed, with great menus with locally sourced food and ales. Our handpicked accommodation is 3* with the option to upgrade to 4* for an additional cost.

This tour is rated moderate, meaning it’s appropriate for guests who enjoy a good walk and can handle an incline or two. We cover varied terrain, enjoying some rolling hills and a few steeper walks which are slightly more demanding. Your holiday, however, will be tailored by your guide to suit your individual preferences. Daily distances range from 4-10 miles. Rewarding views are guaranteed!

We’ll provide walking poles if required.

Pick-up location: Newcastle railway station. Our walking holidays are designed to be completely relaxing, with the start of our tours sitting within easy reach of London, Bristol or the Midlands. This tour begins from Newcastle, a direct 3-hour train journey out of London, so that you can begin your holiday stress-free.
End-of-tour location: Newcastle railway station

Where is Northumberland?
Northumberland is a county in North East England, and lies on the England-Scotland border. It is home to one of the most picturesque and untouched stretches of coastline in the United Kingdom along with rolling hills and gentle mountains.

What is the best way to get to the North?
The best way to travel up North is by train, approximately a 4 hour direct journey from London Paddington to Northumberland (Newcastle Train Station).

You can also fly into Manchester and transfer to the start of the tour from there.

Alternatively we can arrange a private transfer for you from London – the drive is approximately 5 hours.

How hilly is the North?
The North of England is hillier than many of the other regions of England, offering a variety of routes which makes the regions great walking country and suitable for those who are moderately fit and active. There are many hills, fells and moors but the incredible views from the top more than make up from the ascents! However, you will be able to miss out some of the steeper inclines – or add in some hillier walks for those looking to stretch their legs. There are routes for everyone and we can tailor your tour to your specific preferences.

Make this trip private

Our private tours offer complete freedom to customize your trip. Base your tour on one of our scheduled departures, or tailor a bespoke experience to match your every expectation. We love combining our knowledge of England with our expertise in planning and delivering the best adventure trips.

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Carbon Footprint

What’s the Number?
Nearly everything has a carbon footprint. Together with ecollective, we’ve measured the carbon impact of not only every tour we operate but our entire business. We’ve taken into account greenhouse gas emissions across the business including office, travel, website, vehicles, accommodation, activities, food, suppliers…

What does the number mean?
We’re going to improve this by measuring and reducing our footprint each year. That means working with our suppliers to make changes that have a more positive impact on us and the planet. What does this look like in reality?

  • Redesign trips to reduce our carbon impact
  • Working closely with all our suppliers across England to join us on our decarbonisation journey
  • Switching up our vehicle fleet to electric
  • Investing in projects that permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere for any emissions that remain.

We’ve got a long way to go but we’re on our way to net-zero
We’re committed to reducing our impact on the planet and working towards a sustainable future. We’ve taken ownership of our carbon footprint and are on a mission to reduce our emissions year on year.

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