Walking Hadrians Wall

#1
Me and the long haired Colonel are looking at walking Hadrians wall in the next couple of months. Has anyone else done it?

Next year we want to do Offas Dyke (Oooer misssus) which will be harder I think.

Any tips or hints greatly taken on. Both in our 50's and in not physical jobs. Planning a week to the whole thing (including a day at Vindolanda). Would like to know if anyone else has done this?
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#2
I haven't walked it, though I grew up in Co Durham and regularly visited Cumberland so I visited the wall a lot. There's nothing I ever saw that either I in my early teens or my mother (in her 50s) - or her friends who were probably in their 60s - struggled with.

I vaguely remember one place I think around Greenhead where it crossed the river at the bottom of a valley. Cannot for the life of me think how we'd have crossed it.

If you reckon you can walk the walk, I cannot see any gotchas.

But, I say again, I have never tried to walk it.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#3
Pay a bit of respect and usual drills such as no littering, no pinching souvenir stones and the local farmers will be happy. Even better buy some local grub up there and help a hill farmer!
 
#4
Did it back in the early 90's... had a few weeks to kill however and did several side trips to other points of interest. If you stick to the better preserved bits and take your time with them, a week is more than sufficient. Highly suggest planning distances for each day and having accomodations reserved in advance. I did the B&B thing mainly... used one of the Let's Go guides to find suitable accomodations although I also spent more than a couple nights under the stars. Definately take in the museum at Carlisle during your trip... they have quite a collection of Roman artifacts and some interesting interactive displays (launching projectiles via a ballistae on a mock up of the wall at picts was amusing for me at least.)
 
#5
Try a PM to drummer - member info.

He does most of his blogging on another site nowadays, but I know he's planning a charity walk along the wall. Who knows, you might get roped in rather than just getting info.

He's a bit older than you it seems but you'll enjoy trying to keep up with him.
 
#6
I did it last September on my own as a charity hike in memory of a best friend, having never been anywhere near it in my life. It was an awesome trek, and I don't use that adjective lightly. Since National Trails got hold of it a few years ago and created a fully signed, unbroken 84 mile coast to coast path it's become really popular so you need to book your accommodation well in advance, particularly in the mid-section. Gradient wise it's only the mid-section that is sharply undulating - short verticals rather than long winded hills - but it is a little relentless, especially when you're doing the trail in 4.5 days as I did (with accomm and ale house diversions adding at least another 7 or 8 miles overall). I believe the standard hike is around 7 days, accomm is only sparse in the mid-section.

Most walk it East to West for the aesthetics, rather than the opposite for slightly more favourable winds. That was fine for me, in fact I preferred hiking right through the centre of Newcastle and out into the countryside, and finishing in wild, coastal countryside rather than the other way around. The National Trails link above provides the pertinent info and I thoroughly recommend THIS map rather than the 3 or 4 OS maps required to cover the entire route. It's the whole path on one map but does have pretty much enough finer detail to see you through, but as I said it's superbly signed so not essential - it's just nice to trace your position (and work out the next beer stop!).

I loved it so much that I returned at Christmas to re-hike the centre sections in the opposite direction and it was just as beautiful as the first time. In fact more so as I had the craggy route to myself. PM me if you want to know more, if you couldn't tell I'm a huge fan! ;)
 
#7
i've got a book that i used when i ambled along it a few years ago.

Hadrians Wall history and guide
ISBN 07524 1407 0

Quite a good book and informative too as as mentioned earlier follows the best route east to west
 
#8
Here
you can find comprehensive information with regard to books/maps and accommodation for Offa’s Dyke


Seriously though, contrary to what someone else said, you'ld be more welcome if you bought a lamb from the hill farmers rather than grub (grubs are saved for fishing!) :twisted:
 
#9
One of the contributors to Shooting Times farms up that way and his main gripe is walkers nipping off the trail into the woods and curling one out, leaving the trout for others to tread in and bits of 'used' Kleenex fluttering in the breeze. Bag it or bury it!
 
#11
Planning to do this late August/Early Sept.

Harveys Maps do a decent looking walkers map of the route.

Haven't really started planning my walk yet; only just had permission from the long-haired Oberst! Fortunately her family is from Carlisle so can leave her with them whilst I do it.
 
#12
That's the map I used and refer to in my post - definitely better off getting one of those instead of the several OS covering the route. The fact that it's waterproof is an added bonus!
 
#13
I did it in 36hrs with a strained groin and achilles tendon. I know that doesn't help you much, I'm just showing off. :)
 
#14
I took a Platoon of recruits from W to E which was good fun and took 48 hours, if you keep to the route and follow the code the locals will be happy. Good detailed map of wall and couple of mandatory sites to bag but do choose your weather as it can be foul.
 
#15
pimpernel said:
I took a Platoon of recruits from W to E which was good fun and took 48 hours, if you keep to the route and follow the code the locals will be happy. Good detailed map of wall and couple of mandatory sites to bag but do choose your weather as it can be foul.
Note: weathergods only need apply :D

Anyway, isn't getting drenched part of the Great British Hillwalking tradition? Up to your knees in wet bracken, sweat dripping out of the bottom of your pre-Goretex waterproofs, sodden brillopad socks concertinad around your ankles and rubbing skin off wherever they touch, soaking wet through cheese roll and penguin biccie for lunch etc etc etc.


(I may be showing my age) :(
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#16
Showing your age would be knee length woollen socks, Walking breeks in Moleskin, plaid thick furry shirts and canvas rucksacks. Not forgetting old boots that wont mould to your feet or soften up regardless of effort.
Thats the gear I was issued for a snow and Ice climbing course in Baalyhuilish in Jan 84. No Goretex, no waterproofs, just a grey canvas type windproof pullover type hooded smock.
 
#19
StumpyHussar said:
Me and the long haired Colonel are looking at walking Hadrians wall in the next couple of months. Has anyone else done it?

Next year we want to do Offas Dyke (Oooer misssus) which will be harder I think.

Any tips or hints greatly taken on. Both in our 50's and in not physical jobs. Planning a week to the whole thing (including a day at Vindolanda). Would like to know if anyone else has done this?
I did Offers Dyke a few years back over 6 days, 'camping' Oo er. That's about 30 miles per day, so some going for the ex-Guards Sergeant I did it with. And I carried most of his kit. Some great scenery, some boring bits. The Black Mountains and Clwdian Ranges were very enjoyable. I was glad to see the sea in Prestatyn at the end though, and have a few pints. Advice would be to go light on kit, allow 10 days, and stay in B&Bs, for best enjoyment as a holiday like (i.e. it's not a physical test). :D
 
#20
Hadrians Wall is definitely on my to do list as the Romans and their army are one of my favourite subjects to read about. If anyone is interested in learning more about their army then I can recommend two books by Adrian Goldsworthy.

First "In the Name of Rome". This is about Roman generals from the mid republic, through to Marcellus, Scipio, Ceasar, Agrippa, Agricola, Justinian all the way through to the early Byzantine period and the last glimmerings of the old latin speaking professional army.

Second. "The Complete Roman Army". All about how the army came to be, evolved and changed. It decribes how the legionnaires and auxiliaries lived, fought, dressed as well as the things that they built including Hadrian wall and the Antonine wall further north between modern Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Both books are informative, ACCESSIBLE (no dry academic language) and have plenty of photos and maps. I got hold of both from Waterstones, so there shouldn't be any dramas if you want to buy a copy of either.
 

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