Walking on Hadrian's Wall

Why Visit Hadrian's Wall?

A guide to the Roman wall
Northumberland is home to many attractions and historical sites, including the wonders of the Northumberland National Park, all of which are uniquely beautiful.

Northumberland is home to many attractions and historical sites, including the wonders of the Northumberland National Park, all of which are uniquely beautiful. 

Today, however, we’re shining the spotlight on one of Northumberland’s most treasured landmarks — one that takes its visitors back in time to follow in the footsteps of the Romans. It can only be Hadrian’s Wall. 

The vibrant history of Hadrian’s Wall


Hadrian’s Wall has been listed as a World Heritage Site since 1987 and it acted as the northwest frontier of the Roman empire for a staggering 300 years. 

But how long is Hadrian’s Wall? Built by the Roman army in 122AD under the orders of Emperor Hadrian, the wall itself runs for approximately 73 miles. To put this into perspective, it would take the average person between six and eight days to walk Hadrian’s Wall from start to finish.

Standing at 15 feet tall, Hadrian’s Wall is one of Northumberland’s most iconic and symbolic attractions, allowing visitors to transport themselves back into the past. It’s a great day out for solo travellers, groups, and families — and here’s why.

5 reasons to visit Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland


Wondering why Hadrian’s Wall should be a hit on your Northumberland itinerary? This iconic historical site is far more than just a pretty picture with beautiful scenic spots.

1. It’s a great location for walking, hiking and cycling

Fancy getting your steps in for the day? You can plan an active day around Hadrian’s Wall with ease.

The Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail offers visitors an expansive journey through rich history and lush landscapes, from Wallsend in Newcastle upon Tyne in the east to Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast. 

It’s ideal for couples seeking a romantic weekend stroll or families looking for an educational adventure — it’s up to you whether you’d like to take in the views on a leisurely walk, a vigorous hike, or a refreshing cycle. With your Hadrian's Wall walk map in hand, you’ll easily be able to navigate through varied terrains —  perfect for an active day out no matter how you choose to explore.

2. There’s plenty of accommodation nearby

After a busy day of adventuring the wall and nearby attractions (more on those in the next section), you’ll need somewhere to rest your feet and recoup for your next adventure in Northumberland. 

Thankfully, Hadrian’s Wall accommodation isn’t hard to come by, with various places happy to accommodate families, couples, and solo travellers. Some of our favourites include Wydon Farm B&B, Carraw Farm Luxury Holiday Homes and Battlesteads. Would you rather be close to nature? Hadrian’s Wall is home to many an off-grid campsite offering a direct view of Northumberland’s stunning landscapes.

If camping isn't your style, there are plenty of quaint bed and breakfasts, self-catering cottages and guesthouses that provide a cosy setting, including Chesters Stables and the Host & Stay. These are perfect for couples seeking a quiet retreat or families wanting a comfortable rest stop between their activities, or for a more luxurious setting get your rest at Matfen Hall Country Hotel, Spa and Golf Estate or Langley Castle hotel

You’ll also find an array of hostels available — ideal for solo adventurers and groups. No matter where you choose to lay your head, you can rest assured you’ll be somewhere comfortable where you can soak up the area’s rich history and natural beauty.


3. You can take advantage of the popular attractions and sites nearby

Hadrian’s Wall is a clear star attraction, but in this area you also have the option to split up your day by visiting nearby English Heritage sites, castles, and museums.

Starting with the impressive Birdoswald Roman Fort, you can delve into the lives of Roman soldiers and see the longest continuous remaining stretch of the Wall. 

Nearby, Corbridge Roman Town offers a glimpse into Roman urban life, while the charming village of Corbridge presents delightful shops and quaint streets — perfect for a stroll and a spot of lunch. 

Just a short drive away, Aydon Castle stands tall — a beautifully preserved 13th-century manor house providing a captured moment in time of Medieval England. On a visit with history buffs? Head over to the Vindolanda Museum and explore their exceptional Roman artefacts, including the famous Vindolanda Tablets. 

Be sure not to miss Chesters Roman Fort with its preserved Roman baths, and Housesteads Roman Fort (one of the best-preserved forts on the Wall) offering dramatic views that are symbolic of Roman military history.

However, many people suggest that the best place to see Hadrian’s Wall in all its glory is Walltown Crags. Expect breathtaking views and a captivating spot to stop for a picnic

4. It’s an opportunity to try out the local food and drink 

Hadrian’s Wall can be found in The Tyne Valley — a rich area bordering three counties, allowing you to explore the eateries of nearby towns such as Haltwhistle and Hexham.

Haltwhistle is located in the geographic centre of Britain, and it’s the closest town to the central section of Hadrian’s Wall. If you take a lunchtime detour into Haltwhistle, you’ll be met with quirky tearooms, welcoming pubs, and restaurants waiting to be explored.

For the gory history lovers, change the tune with Hexham’s bloody past — the past home of rampaging Vikings and England’s first purpose-built prison, Hexham Old Gaol. Immerse yourself in its historic outdoor markets, countless independent stalls and local food outlets for an authentic and fresh takeaway experience.

5. It’s a chance to experience the wall’s iconic historical symbolism

The main reason to visit Hadrian’s Wall on your visit to Northumberland? The powerful symbolism it holds. Whether you’re looking from the scenic sections of the wall or viewing its grandeur from afar, there’s no denying that Hadrian’s Wall is a powerful marker of strength and authority.

Its presence today serves as a bridge to the past, embodying both division and protection in one historical structure. No wonder it continues to fascinate and educate visitors from all over the world.

Explore the wonders of Hadrian’s Wall with Visit Northumberland

However you choose to explore Hadrian’s Wall and its surrounding areas, we’re sure it will be a fond memory for you and whoever else you bring on your travels.

Stay in Northumberland, explore what our wonderful county has to offer, and let your experience of Hadrian’s Wall be a tick off your bucket list.

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