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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 £360 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)
2nd January to 24th December

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£360
BHWP2 From Heddon-on-the-Wall(L) to Carlisle 5 nights, 4 days walking Demanding£445
BHWP3 From Heddon-on-the-Wall(L) to Carlisle 6 nights, 5 days walking Moderate£535
BHWP4 From Heddon-on-the-Wall(L) to Carlisle 7 nights, 6 days walking Moderate£625

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
£35.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£28.00 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: 2nd January - 24th December
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 Mondays to Saturdays 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.

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
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Easy / Moderate+
Dog friendly
From £445 per person
A walking holiday alongside the world-famous Hadrian's Wall from coast to coast.Find Out More
Hadrian's Wall Highlights
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39 miles
Easy / Moderate+
Dog friendly
From £280 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
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Dog friendly
From £280 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

“Overall it was wonderful and I can't wait to do another one!”
Mrs Lasche, USA
“Thoroughly enjoyable and well organised.”
Mr Brindle, UK
“Amazing experience, very well organised.”
Mr Wilford, UK
“The trip was excellently organised, pick up punctual and the luggage even sometimes carried up to our rooms. Maps and all other material proved to be very accurate and useful. Thanks again for a very well organised and all in all wonderful trip.”
Mrs Mørk, Norway
“All the accommodation was first class… all the breakfasts superb and hospitality faultless throughout.”
Mr Harfield, UK
“This is the third time we have booked a trip with Contours. Previously we have done two trails in Scotland and a trip in Wales. Contours is thorough and professional.”
Dr Rudolph, USA
“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
“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
“Everything worked as promised; great scenery; good accommodation; interesting museums. This was our third trip with Contours.”
Mr Bregha, Canada