Step back in time and walk along the Romans’ northern frontier
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty Level2 Two
Hadrian’s Wall runs from coast to coast across the north of England and lies within a stone’s throw of both Northumberland and the North Pennines. Substantial parts of the wall remain, as well as Roman forts and watchtowers, making this the perfect place to join a friendly group of fresh-air lovers and really get to know the area.
Join us in this vast and historic landscape as we take in two sociable walks designed to show us the best bits of Hadrian’s Wall and the surrounding landscape. We’ll have plenty of time to explore the ruins, gaze over the brooding landscape around the wall, and imagine ourselves as Roman troops posted to the very limits of the empire.
In a nutshell:
- Explore the central section of Hadrian’s wall and the North Pennines over two days of easy guided walks.
- Marvel at the expansive views over Northumberland and the North Pennines, still wild and remote places today.
- Relax in our exclusive hostel with all food provided and hot drinks always available.
- Meet a friendly bunch of fellow walkers and share your passions for fresh air, weekends away and social outdoor adventure.
You’re welcome to arrive at the hostel from 5pm, where your Large Outdoors host will be there to meet you and get you settled in with a cup of tea in the lounge. From then on it’s time to relax and meet your fellow walking companions while we prepare the evening meal, which is served at 8pm.
After breakfast we’ll make packed lunches and then set out for a day of walking. Hadrian’s Wall is just a short drive away and the night before we’ll decide which section we’re going to explore. If it’s a big group we’ll split up, so there may be a choice of walks. Here are some possible options to give you an idea of what the walks will be like:
Houseteads and Greenlee Lough – Starting high up on the hill where the wall runs, we’ll head east following the wall itself, with immediate views over to the vast Kielder Forest. We’ll pass Sycamore Gap, and make our way along the wall to Houseteads Roman Fort. Continuing a bit further to really get a great view of the wall itself, we then leave it and head north to complete a circuit of Greenlee Lough and Swallow Crags, and this wander through moorland will really put the wall into the context of how remote it is.
Gilsland to Once Brewed – A long day out and a linear walk, we’ll start from the pretty village of Gilsland, which lies right on the route of the wall. We’ll then follow Hadrian’s Wall National Trail east, past Magnis and Aesica Roman Forts, several turrets, and a milecastle. We’ll finish at Once Brewed, with final brooding views over the lonely Crag Lough. This walk will require some car shuttling.
How many walk options are offered?
On each of our weekends we aim to offer two or more walk options each day, so you have a choice of a harder or easier day out. However, this is not always possible. On weekends where there is a small group, instead of cancelling the weekend, we will all head out on the same walk. This walk will be planned so that everyone can have a good day out, with the aim being a social group exploration of the local countryside.
Saturday afternoon onwards
When we’ve all returned to the hostel it’s time to relax as we prepare the evening meal. Perhaps grab a glass of wine and relive the day’s adventures!
After breakfast it’s time to pack up and leave the hostel before we head out on our morning walk. Today we go out for roughly 3 hours of walking before taking you to somewhere you can get lunch. We usually end up in an excellent local pub or cafe where we can share one last meal before the weekend’s adventures come to an end.
Your leader will choose a great walk for today, and here are some possibilities:
Alston riverside – Venturing further into the rolling moorland of the North Pennines, we start this walk from Alston, heading south along the River South Tyne. After heading upstream on peaceful riverside footpaths, we take a slightly higher route back. We could also head north to do a short section of the Pennine Way past Whitley Castle Roman Fort.
Crag Lough and Sycamore Gap – If we haven’t done the Houseteads walk from Saturday, we should definitely do this one. Walking along Hadrian’s Wall near once Brewed, we pass Sycamore Gap and do a circuit of Crag Lough before heading back. This walk is a great mini-circuit to show you the wall as it rises and falls over several small craggy hills.
About the Area
Running nearly 80 miles from coast to coast, the ancient fortification of Hadrian’s Wall was the northern frontier of the Roman Empire. From the modern cities of Carlisle and Newcastle, it runs in a near-straight line across the hilly interior, over the hills and moors of Northumberland and gazed down on by the mighty moors of the North Pennines. In this central section much of the wall remains, at least to a metre or so above the ground, and there are also plenty of other forts and ‘milecastles’ to be seen. Following the wall along its length is the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail, and there are lots of other paths criss-crossing it, meaning the area is excellent for walkers and there are multiple options for exploration of this great piece of British history.
This 250-year-old lead miners’ house offers a special place to stay in the North Pennines close to Hadrian’s Wall. It offers four-star accommodation, en suite rooms, a great social space and a terrace with wonderful views.
We will be offering a taxi collection from Hexham train station at 7pm on the Friday night. There is a £10 charge for this and this must be booked at least 5 days before the trip, you will only ever pay £10 regardless of the numbers in the taxi. If you cannot make this time then taxis are roughly £30.
You are welcome to arrive any time from 5pm onwards and settle in before we serve an evening meal at about 8pm. Please let us know if you intend arriving after 10pm.
For this weekend we provide the following meals: evening meals on both Friday and Saturday, breakfasts, and a packed lunch for Saturday’s walk. On the Sunday, we usually head to a local pub or café for lunch which is not included in the price of the weekend.
As well as meals, we also provide a variety of complimentary soft drinks and beverages – tea & coffee which includes herbal, fruit and decaffeinated options and fruit squashes. We do not supply alcohol but you are welcome to bring your own.
This is offered on a single sex shared room basis. The venue also has a limited number of twin / double rooms. All bedding is provided but you will need to bring your own towel / and towels are provided and the venue has free Wi-FI, although please note there is no mobile phone signal.
Please note we are unable to accept dogs on this weekend, with the exception of registered guided dogs which are welcome on all of our trips.
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What our members have to say...
My first Large Outdoors and (Ulster & the Giant's Causeway Walking Weekend) Irish experience was absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised perfectly and Gareth is a joy to be around. I loved every minute and will definitely book myself onto another trip. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocomeVanessaMember Since 2018
“I didn’t really know what to expect on my first ever walking holiday and wasn’t very prepared if truth be known – lesson to all read the essential kit list especially waterproofs! It was great fun and what a lovely group of supportive and encouraging people, especially Gareth who did a great job looking after us all. I must admit at times I found it a bit challenging but what a great sense of achievement when we reached the top of the mountains (hills) I will definitely do this again.ElizabethMember Since 2016
Well, for a non-walker it was certainly challenging but my word was it exhilarating! The feeling of achievement after every day, was just fabulous. The group we went with were all strangers on day one, but firm friends by the end of the week. The comradery on some of the tougher walks, helped me to the top…..and wow what views. Anyone thinking of doing it - don’t worry….just go for it!ClaireMember Since 2016