A Whistle Stop Tour of Hadrian's Wall
Bamburgh Castle

A Whistle Stop Tour of Hadrian's Wall

A whistle stop tour of Hadrian's Wall

A whistle stop tour of Hadrian's Wall


Start: Matfen Hall

Finish: Matfen Hall

To enhance you visit why not book the services of a Northumberland Guide, click here for more information.

A busy day of sightseeing can make you very hungry! Book your “Pop up Picnic” with Country Concierge. Delivered to a specific point for a specific time, these home baked, individually packed goodies will keep you going all day. www.countryconcierge.co.uk 

Matfen Hall
Set in some of Northumberland’s most beautiful countryside, Matfen Hall is a magnificent 19th century country house hotel. Sir Hugh and Lady Anna Blackett carefully restored their ancestral home between 1997 and 1999 to it becoming one of the leading independently run hotels in the region. Matfen Hall offers everything that a guest would expect from such an imposing and elegant building. The superb leisure club offers swimming pool, gym, aerobics studio and 5 beauty treatment rooms, the highly rated 27 hole golf course offers an ideal opportunity for relaxation. Renowned for its extensive menu of fabulous food The Library Restaurant offers an intimate atmosphere for dining. 

Journey Times

Day One

Matfen Hall to South Tynedale Railway 33 miles 1hr 5 minutes
South Tynedale Railway to Birdoswald 22 miles 50 minutes
Birdoswald to Matfen Hall 34 miles 60 minutes

Day Two

Matfen Hall to Roman Army Museum 27 miles 50 minutes
Roman Army Museum to Vindolanda  8 miles 20 minutes
Vindolanda to Matfen Hall 21 miles 45 minutes

Day One

Depart: Matfen Hall 

Here’s how: 
Turn left out of Matfen Hall before turning right onto B6318. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto A68. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto the A69 ramp to A6079/Hexham/Carlisle merge onto the A69. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit to stay on A69. Turn left at Haydon Bridge crossroads onto A686. Turn right to stay on A686, turn right Destination will be on the left.

Arrive South Tynedale Railway

Here’s Why: Enjoy a scenic ride through the beautiful South Tyne valley from Alston station. Travel to Kirkhaugh, Lintley Halt and back by a train hauled by vintage steam or diesel locomotives.  Sit back and relax in a vintage coach to be taken gently along the valley on the north of England’s highest narrow gauge railway through lovely Pennine scenery. Catch sight of deer, look out for soaring birds of prey, you may even glimpse a red squirrel. On your return pay a visit to the newly opened Discovery Centre. The Centre tells the story of “The trials and triumphs of a rural railway”. The history of the area; the rise, fall, then rise again of the railway, along with the work of the South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society are presented in very accessible information along with a stunning range of photographs and artefacts.

Depart: South Tynedale Railway

Here’s How: Head southeast toward 68/Station Rd/A686. Turn right onto 68/Station Rd/A686. Continue to follow 689/A686 before turning right onto Raise Bank/A689. Turn right again onto A689 then right onto A689. Turn left and continue onto Bellister Bank. Turn left onto Haltwhistle Bypass Rd/A69. Continue to follow A69, turn right slight left toward B6318. Turn left onto B6318 Turn left to stay on B6318 Turn left then left down a restricted usage road Birdoswald will be on the right. 

Arrive: Birdoswald

Here’s Why: Birdoswald Roman Fort is the perfect place to see the longest continuous remaining stretch of this magnificent World Heritage Site, Hadrian's Wall. Explore the extensive remains of the Roman fort and discover interactive displays, artefacts and a model of the wall in our fascinating exhibition.  With delicious locally made cakes and treats in the tearoom, it is the ideal place to stop and relax while walking or cycling along Hadrian's Wall.

Depart: Birdoswald

Here’s How: Turn right onto the B6318, continue to follow the B6318 until you reach a roundabout. Take the 3rd exit followed by the 2nd exit of the next roundabout to stay on the B6318.  Take a left then right and you will be at Matfen Hall. 

Arrive: Matfen Hall 


Day Two

Depart: Matfen Hall

Here’s How: Turn right out of Matfen Hall into the B6318, reaching the roundabout take the 2nd exit and stay on the B6318. You’ll go over a bridge, at the roundabout take the first exit, following the signs for B6318 and Hadrian’s Wall.  Continue along the B6318 before taking a right then left turn for the Roman Army Museum.

Arrive: Roman Army Museum 

Here’s Why: The Roman Army Museum, which is situated next to one of the most complete sections of Hadrian’s Wall, uses stunning real 3D technology in a specially designed film theatre and interactive displays enable visitors to understand life for soldiers on this northern frontier. This accessible museum has its own Latin classroom with a teacher who emerges from the past via a hologram to give an entertaining lesson in maths and morals.  A visit to this modern museum will transport you back nearly 2000 years for a truly memorable time travel experience. Visitor facilities include, tearoom, picnic area and gift shop.

Depart: Roman Army Museum

Here’s How: Turn left onto B6318. Continue to follow the B6318, turn left at The Sill; National Landscape Discovery Centre, continue to follow the road down to Vindolanda. 

Arrive: Roman Vindolanda 

Here’s Why: Roman Vindolanda is highly regarded as one of the most fascinating and exciting sites in the Roman world. Annual excavations have uncovered a wealth of artefacts and structures on the site including the ‘Vindolanda Writing Tablets’, small thin wooden letters that have been voted Britain’s top treasures by the British Museum. 

Some of the Tablets, along with a vast array of finds are displayed in the modern museum. A sample of some of the 6,000 leather shoes found here are a highlight of the collection for many visitors. Visitor facilities include a café and gift shop.

Depart: Roman Vindolanda

Here’s How: Follow the B6318 back to the roundabout, taking the 3rd exit and go over the bridge.  Continue to follow the B6318 taking the 2nd exit at the roundabout. Continue on this road following the signs for Matfen Hall. 

Arrive: Matfen Hall


Places in this itinerary

Travel through the Pennines

Ride on the North of England’s highest narrow gauge railway winding from Alston through the picturesque South Tyne Valley.

We have a Discovery Centre, gift shop and the “Buffer Stop” cafe serving freshly made food.

For timetables and news of special events visit www.south-tynedale-railway.org.uk

Birdoswald Roman Fort

Birdoswald Roman Fort is the perfect place to see the longest continuous remaining stretch of this magnificent World Heritage Site, Hadrian's Wall. Explore the extensive remains of the Roman fort and discover interactive displays, artefacts and a model of the wall in our fascinating exhibition.

Gallery 1

Immerse yourself in the life of the Roman Army at this interactive and engaging museum - there is nothing else like this on Hadrian's Wall

Vindolanda from the air
NE47 7JN

Home of Britain's 'Top Treasure' - the Vindolanda Writing Tablets. Vindolanda is one of Europe's most important archaeological sites, with live excavations taking place every year and an award winning museum.

Queens Hall
NE46 3LS

Hexham Tourist Information Centre is the best place to find information on Hadrian's Wall, attractions, events, eating out, accommodation, walks, and much more, for Tynedale, North East England and the rest of the country. 

Map of places in the itinerary

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