Hadrian's Wall Highlights: Corbridge to Bowness on Solway
Corbridge to Bowness in 7 Days Walking Code: HWH8
Unless you’re really intent on walking the whole official route, this is the most pleasant option if you’re looking for a longer walk. It covers nearly the whole route without spending time in the urban areas of Newcastle, where there isn't much of the wall to be seen. Many people choose to miss out the early part of the walk and start at Corbridge. There are also 2 dog-friendly options to choose from (codes ending with a D).
You can complete this Hadrian’s Wall Highlights walk over 7, 6 or 5 days. Although the 5 day option is perfectly achievable by walkers with a reasonable level of fitness, it leaves limited time to look around. The 6 day shortens the days between Twice Brewed and Carlisle, and the 7 day option splits the long (but flat) final day.
|Day 1||Travel to Corbridge for your first nights accommodation|
|Day 2||Corbridge to Humshaugh||6||9|
|Day 3||Humshaugh to Twice Brewed||13||21|
|Day 4||Twice Brewed to Gilsland||10||16|
|Day 5||Gilsland to Irthington||11||18|
|Day 6||Irthington to Carlisle||9||14|
|Day 7||Carlisle to Burgh by Sands then transfer to Carlisle||9||14|
|Day 8||Transfer back to Burgh by Sands then walk to Bowness on Solway||7||11|
|Day 9||Depart from Bowness on Solway after breakfast|
Corbridge to Humshaugh
Corbridge is a pleasant market town on the banks of the South Tyne. From Corbridge your transfer takes you to the wall at Port Gate, where you begin your walk along the vallum, through rolling Northumbrian countryside, past turrets and milecastles. The final 2 miles are marked by a descent through pleasant parkland to the North Tyne Valley and the picturesque villages of Wall, Chollerford and Humshaugh. (All of which we use for overnight stops). The nearby Chester’s fort is also worth a visit.
Humshaugh to Twice Brewed
The route soon reaches Northumbria National Park and classic Roman Wall country with expansive views and undulating moorland. The route climbs steadily at first, past turrets and a Brocolitia Roman fort; it then becomes more steeply undulating on reaching the Whin Sill escarpment. The views of open moorland, the South Tyne Valley, the Pennines and of the wall itself following ridges ahead are breathtaking. The route passes the well preserved Housesteads Fort and continues in a similar dramatic fashion to Twice Brewed and on to your accommodation.
Twice Brewed to Gilsland
Twice Brewed is a good place to schedule in a rest day, so you have time to explore the Vindolanda or Housesteads Roman forts. The route continues to follow the escarpment, over rugged crags of Windshield, equally as impressive of the previous section. It passes the remains of Great Chester’s Fort and the Roman Army Museum, and continues to the pretty villages of Greenhead and Gilsland.
Gilsland to Carlisle
Just after Gilsland the fort of Birdoswald is reached, the route then continues high above the steep sided Irthington Gorge, before beginning a gradual descent at the village of Banks. Rich agricultural landscape and parkland replaces the moorland as the route drops steadily through the villages of Walton and Irthington before reaching the River Eden for the final section into the historic border city of Carlisle. Carlisle’s history is very much evident with its cathedral, castle and old city walls.
Carlisle to Bowness-on-Solway
The final section is a complete contrast to all that has gone before; Initially along the banks of the Eden and then across the pancake flat salt marshes of the Solway Firth. The mountains of the Lake District are visible to the south and Scotland is just across the water to the north. This expansive estuary is internationally renowned for its thriving bird life and the area has a peaceful charm of its own.
Easy to Moderate
Of the National Trails we cover, this is the easiest. The route covers rolling countryside and moorlands, but not mountains. Many people with limited walking experience have completed this route.
Terrain: Rolling moorland & agricultural land up to 350m
What’s it like underfoot? Pretty good. Well maintained paths throughout, although sections can get a bit muddy in wet weather .
How much up & down? Numerous short steep climbs, but they never last that long.
Navigation: Pretty straightforward. Well defined paths, and good signposting.
|Accommodation||Overnight Bed and Breakfast accommodation in selected hotels, farmhouses, village inns, guest houses and family B&Bs.Full English or Continental breakfast.|
|Guidebook||A detailed guidebook with route information, maps, photos and background information.|
|Information of Services Along the Route||A comprehensive Service Info sheet, including services such as cash points, banks, post offices, village shops, inns, cafes and taxis.|
|Maps||A waterproof 1:40000 map from Harvey Maps covering the whole route.|
|Personal Itinerary||A personal itinerary setting out each overnight stop, including large scale maps of each accommodation, to ensure you find it easily.|
|Emergency Telephone Support||If you get in to difficulties during your holiday, we are always available to help, even out of office hours.|
|15% discount at Cotswold Outdoors||We will issue you with a 15% Discount Card valid at all Cotswold Outdoor stores, and online, for the whole year on confirmation of your booking.|
|Luggage Transport||We will transfer your luggage between each overnight stop – if you leave your luggage at the accommodation when you set off in the morning, it will be moved on to your next B&B. You only need to carry a small day sack with the clothes and provisions you require during the day’s walk.|
| Packed Lunches
||Provided for each day’s walking and recommended on this holiday as there will not always be a handy shop or cafe on the route.|
|Off Road Parking||If you are travelling by car we can usually arrange off road parking for the duration of your trip. (There may be a small charge for this).|
|Arrangement of return transport||We can also arrange your transfer back to your car, (or advise you when public transport is a better option)!|
What’s not Included
|Evening Meals||Your evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each evening meal in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub and/or restaurant, or where there is good food available at the accommodation, we’ll book that for you. Allow about £20.00 per night.|
|Transport to the Start & Away from the Finish||Have a look at the “Travel Info” tab above for suggestions. If you’re still struggling, get in touch and we’ll help you sort it out.|
|Travel Insurance||Even if you are based in the UK travel insurance is worth having.|
One of the great features of our Hadrian’s Wall holidays is the quality of the accommodation, including small country house hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfasts and farm house accommodation. In selecting the accommodation we look for helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation close to the trail. We always try to arrange en suite accommodation, i.e. rooms with their own bathrooms for each night of your stay. However, in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of your holiday, (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.
Single Rooms We are happy to book single rooms on this walk but cannot normally book more than 2 for any one group. Single room bookings include a supplement.
Here are a few examples of the accommodation we use along the Hadrian’s Wall path.
A warm welcome awaits you at the award winning Brookside Villa. Keen walkers Denise and Gerry will be only too happy to share their in-depth knowledge of Hadrian’s Wall, as well as always going out of their way to ensure your comfort and enjoyment. Visit their website
Samantha is your host at Vallum Lodge. Her family run guest house offers excellent en suite accommodation and personal service. Such is their proximity to Hadrian’s Wall that the vallum, built 2000 years ago as part of the wall’s fortifications, actually runs through their back garden! Visit their website
General travel information on the Hadrian’s Wall area will be in your holiday pack including train and bus timetables where available.
Detailed instructions on getting to your first night’s accommodation by car, or on foot from the nearest train or bus station, will also be included in the holiday pack on individual accommodation maps.
If you require car parking whilst walking this route, we can usually arrange for you to leave your car in Corbridge and then you return to your car by public transport or taxi – please contact us for detailed information.
By Air: Newcastle International Airport (NCL) has its own Metro station (you will need some change for the ticket machine). The journey time from the airport to Newcastle Central Station is around 20 minutes. From Central Station take the train to Corbridge (half hour travel time).
By Public Transport: There is a train station in Corbridge, visit qjump for train times.
By Road: Turn off the A69 at the main Corbridge roundabout, onto the B6529 towards the town centre; follow the directions to your accommodation on the individual map supplied in your holiday pack.
Returning from Bowness on Solway:
Take the bus from Bowness on Solway to Carlisle (approx 45 min) there is a bus at 07:35 and 10:12. There is a train station at Carlisle for onwards travel.
Twice Brewed is an excellent place for a rest day - in the middle of the most dramatic section of the wall, and close to the best preserved Roman forts. Vindolanda can take the best part of a day - there are extensive remains, a comprehensive museum, and often an archaeological dig in progress. Housesteads and the Roman Army Museum are also close by.
Carlisle is an historic border city, complete with castle and cathedral. Tullie House Museum has a lot of Roman artefacts and is worth a visit. The cathedral was founded in 1122 and is open every day. The castle has dominated the city for 9 centuries, and also houses a military museum – there are guided tours daily. There are plenty of shops and lots of places to eat or have coffee.