Best of Hadrian's Wall

Best of Hadrian's Wall

A walk between Heddon-on-the-Wall and Carlisle along the best preserved sections of Hadrian's Wall.

4 to 7 nights
55 miles
Moderate to Demanding / Strenuous

From £390 per person

Discover the available tours

About this route

From Heddon-on-the-Wall to Carlisle, this shorter walking holiday explores only the best-preserved sections of the wall, omitting the urban sections of Hadrian’s Wall Path that pass through Newcastle and Carlisle.

The Best of Hadrian’s Wall Path walk visits several of the largest Roman forts found along the Wall, as well as Thirlwall Castle and Lanercost Priory, built with stone plundered from the wall itself. This is an ideal holiday choice for those keen to explore a large section of this iconic trail in a short space of time.

This route can also be travelled in the opposite direction if preferred. Select the ‘Reverse tours’ option when choosing your itinerary.
© Contours Walking Holidays Best of Hadrian's Wall  map
Heddon-on-the-Wall to Carlisle
55 miles (88 km)
1st March to 31st October

Holiday highlights

Visiting historic sites full of tales of battle, including St Oswald’s Church, Thirlwall Castle, and Carlisle Castle.

Walking a route specifically focused on the very best examples of Roman history, including the forts in Chesters, Housesteads, Vindolanda and Birdsowald.

Rambling over the undulating hills between Sewingshields and Walltown Crags.

Available tours

CodeTourDurationDifficultyPrice per person
BHWP1 From Heddon-on-the-Wall(L) to Carlisle 4 nights, 3 days walking Demanding / Strenuous£390
BHWP2 From Heddon-on-the-Wall(L) to Carlisle 5 nights, 4 days walking Demanding£485
BHWP3 From Heddon-on-the-Wall(L) to Carlisle 6 nights, 5 days walking Moderate£585
BHWP4 From Heddon-on-the-Wall(L) to Carlisle 7 nights, 6 days walking Moderate£675

Best of Hadrian's Wall - East to West 4 nights, 3 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather

Travel to Heddon-on-the-Wall(L) where your first night's accommodation has been booked

Day 1

Heddon-on-the-Wall(L) to Chollerford. 15 miles (24km) / 1099 ft (335 m) ascent

Day 2

Chollerford to Gilsland. 20 miles (32km) / 2228 ft (679 m) ascent

Day 3

Gilsland to Carlisle. 19.5 miles (31km) / 928 ft (283 m) ascent


Depart from Carlisle after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
£40.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£35.00 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night

What's included?

  • 4 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

Consider an extra night at Chollerford if you would like to explore Chesters fort in depth. It is a wonderful fort with some outstanding remains including an ornate headquarters building, the commanding officers residence, barrack buildings and military bath-house. The site also has a unique museum that contains some of the finest Roman artefacts to be found anywhere in Britain.

Many people take an extra night in Carlisle and visit the award winning Tullie House Museum, the 12th century cathedral, the half-timbered guildhall that houses a local history museum and the vast medieval castle, with its ancient chambers, stairways and the dungeons that contain the infamous 'licking stones'. Here, parched Jacobite prisoners found enough moisture to stay alive, only to be brutally executed on Gallows Hill.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 54.5 miles (87.5 km)
Duration: 4 nights, 3 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 15 miles (24 km)
Maximum daily distance: 20 miles (32 km)
Code: BHWP1 Grade: Demanding / Strenuous
Season: 1st March - 31st October
Start of holiday: Heddon-on-the-Wall(L)
End of holiday: Carlisle

Route Profile

Best of Hadrian's Wall - East to West Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air - The most convenient major city and international airports are Newcastle, Durham-Tees Valley, Leeds Bradford and Glasgow Prestwick.

By Rail - The nearest rail station to the start of the trail (Heddon-on-the-Wall) is at Wylam (about 3 miles away). There is a rail station at the end of the trail (Carlisle).

By Bus - Various bus services run to Heddon-on-the-Wall and from Carlisle. A bus service runs from Wylam to Heddon-on-the-Wall Monday to Saturday only, so you would need to take a taxi on a Sunday.

From London - Trains run from London Kings Cross station (and occasionally London St Pancras International) to Newcastle. From there a bus/taxi will be required to Heddon-on-the-Wall.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail is to take a bus from Carlisle to Heddon-On-The-Wall Monday to Saturday only * (on a Sunday, you would need to take a train to Corbridge followed by a bus to Heddon-on-the-Wall). * A train and bus combination may work out quicker at some times Monday to Saturday, but this is very much dependent upon the time of day, so please check with Traveline for the best option for you.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.

Routes on this trail

Hadrian's Wall Path
5 to 11 nights
84 miles
Easy / Moderate+
Dog friendly
From £485 per person
A walking holiday alongside the world-famous Hadrian's Wall from coast to coast.Find Out More
Hadrian's Wall Highlights
3 to 6 nights
39 miles
Easy / Moderate+
Dog friendly
From £300 per person
A walk from Corbridge to Brampton along the most fascinating part of Hadrian's Wall.Find Out More
Hadrian's Wall Short Break
3 to 4 nights
27 miles
Dog friendly
From £300 per person
A short walking break between Chollerford and Lanercost taking in the finest parts of Hadrian's Wall.Find Out More

Walking Hadrian's Wall Path with Contours Walking Holidays

Outdoor Journalist Damian Hall takes a walk from Wallsend in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west, traversing the breadth of the North of England along one of the most historical trails in the UK.
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Customer reviews from the Best of Hadrian's Wall

“A wonderful holiday with amazing historical sights and lovely accommodations. If you like history and museums with beautiful scenery, you will love this holiday.”
Mr Kuhns, USA
“Interesting scenery and learning opportunities along the way. Other travellers on the route were congenial.”
Ms Payne, Canada
“Well organised. Good accommodation, lots of information, all the pick-ups worked out well.”
Dr Nijhuis, Netherlands
“All the accommodation was first class… all the breakfasts superb and hospitality faultless throughout.”
Mr Harfield, UK
“This was a really excellent holiday. Everything worked very well and the choice of accommodation was very good. We were very satisfied with the service you provided and would be happy to receive the same level of service next time we travel with you.”
Mr Brownlee, UK
“We had a great time and absolutely loved the walk. Thank you so much for organising our holiday for us. Many thanks for all your assistance, and I will certainly be recommending you to any friends that want to follow our footsteps.”
Mrs Horwood, UK
“Amazing experience, very well organised.”
Mr Wilford, UK
“Some stunning scenery along with a good dollop of history. Great walk and the accommodations were first class. This was our 4th with Contours. We continue to be pleased with the services you provide.”
Mr Litsky, USA
“Up to expectation. Everything went according to plan. Well planned itinerary with daily kms depending on track difficulty.”
Mr Morgan, Australia