Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail
137 km / 85 miles
Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear
The Trail follows the line of the Wall built in the second century AD by order of Roman Emperor Hadrian as a defensive barrier that continued in use for most of the next 300 years until the Romans finally left our shores in the fifth century. The Wall included milecastles at each Roman mile, some 80 in all, as fortified gateways to control traffic of people and trade. Hadrian's Wall is recognised as a World Heritage Site, Frontiers of the Roman Empire.
The Trail provides a fine coast-to-coast walk and if completed east to west first takes the walker from urban and riverside walking on the north bank of the Tyne to farmland above Tynedale. The upland sections along the wild and dramatic escarpments of Whin Sill give way to gentler pastures of Cumbria and finally the Solway estuary and its salt marshes bring the walker to Bowness. An alternative west to east traverse has the benefits of a following wind and access to a city, Carlisle, at an early stage and certain of the guidebooks describe it.
In places the Trail runs close to roads, or on minor roads. To create the Trail footpaths were created where none currently exist in order to provide a line as close to the Wall's remains as is possible, but avoiding interference with it. There are real future concerns for this World Heritage Site and in consequence a 'User Code of Respect' was developed to include recommendations for keeping to signed paths, avoiding interference with the remains and using promoted circular walks especially in wet winter conditions. In response to the intensive use of the main trail in its most vulnerable sections, where in part it coincides for a time with the Pennine Way/E2 E-Route around Housesteads Fort, initiatives such as the Roman Ring and Moss Troopers' Trail and the provision of circular walks based on the Trail seek to spread walkers into the surrounding countryside corridor that has much to offer in scenery and interest.
The part of the Trail within the Tyneside area is known locally as Hadrian's Way. The Keelman's Way between Wylam and Bill Quay (14 miles) is a cyclist/pedestrian route to the south of the River Tyne with links to the National Trail which is north of the river.
The LDWA National Trails Register offers certificates for completers of several British National Trails.
Publications, Badges and Certificates:
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