We recommend staying in Northumberland for at least two nights to fit everything in this itinerary into your trip.
Walwick Hall is an elegant, boutique country hotel that sits in Northumberland National Park, making it ideal for visiting this vast and varied area of Northumberland. Each room has its own unique décor, yet maintains the Georgian character of the country hall that it once was. You can stay in the main hotel, or for a really special experience, the luxurious, individually-designed Chester’s Stables are set apart from the hotel and are ideal for big groups and families.
Morning – Roman Vindolanda
- Enjoy a delicious breakfast at Walwick Hall before setting off for Roman Vindolanda. This site is only around a 20 minute drive away and has its own car park.
- Once you arrive, spend some time exploring Roman Vindolanda independently. The site is any archaeologist’s dream and lies upon the first Roman frontier in the north, with breath-taking views of Northumberland National Park as its setting. Wander through the ruins and take in the eerie, ancient atmosphere that echoes throughout the site.
- Next, head to the archaeology site to see where the excavations take place. Archaeologists travel from across the world to come and dig up fascinating artefacts, and over the years have uncovered a large Pre-Hadrianic bath house, several barrack buildings, a roman temple and much more. This year, excavations have already revealed an Ancient Roman Gaming board and many other secret treasures that date back to the third century. They take place between April – September, so go along and you might witness the next major discovery.
Lunch – Vindolanda Café
- Vindolanda has its own café, where you can stop and enjoy a warming cup of coffee and a spot of lunch.
Afternoon – The Roman Army Museum
- After regaining your energy with delicious food and refreshments, it’s time to visit The Roman Army Museum. Their use of 3D technology in a film theatre and their interactive display make you feel like you have stepped back in time. They even have a holographic Latin school teacher who gives an engaging lesson on maths and morals, and the museum boasts many Roman artefacts for you to admire and inspect.
Evening – Walwick Hall
Return to Walwick Hall, kick back and relax. If you have time, make use of the hotel pool, where the calming, azure décor and gentle lighting make for a tranquil soak. Then, treat yourself to a meal in the elegant dining room, where traditional dishes are served with a modern culinary twist, using fresh, local ingredients.
- Check out of Walwick Hall and head to The Sill, which is only an approximate 15 minute drive away and is very close to Vindolanda. The Sill has its own car park, but please note that charges apply here.
- The Sill is based in Northumberland National Park and acts as a hub for walkers, cyclists, history buffs and generally anyone who is there to enjoy the surrounding nature. Many think of it as the gateway to the National Park, and there is a permanent exhibition here, as well as an information desk and a café where you can enjoy a tea or coffee before you set off.
- There is so much to see in the National Park, but for the sake of this itinerary we recommend that you keep the historical theme and explore more of the area’s Roman past on the Hadrian’s Wall Path. This path is 84 miles long (don’t worry, you don’t have to go the whole way!) and follows some of the most beautiful parts of the National Park. Awe-inspiring views combine with the rugged landscape and the ancient wall to make this a wonderful walking route.
- End your walk back at The Sill and head upstairs to their café, where incredible views of the National Park can be admired through the panoramic windows. There is also a terrace that can be enjoyed on a warm day, which looks over some striking views.