Challenge level: 4 out of 5
|11 June - 18 June 2023||On Sale|
Trek alongside Hadrian’s Wall on this incredible time warp of a Dream Challenge! Following the rustic, rural trail from Solway to Wallsend, we’ll roam alongside the sea, before winding inland through fields and forest on the line of the ancient Roman landmark.
Little more than a rise in the ground level to start with, whispers of the wall grow ever more prevalent as we hike on. Prepare to encounter incredible sites lying on the trail, including the remains of the 12th Century Thirlwall and Motte Bailey Castle, the well-preserved stretch of wall at Walltown Crags and the spectacular Housesteads Roman Fort.
Gazing out upon a sea of lush green fields from the edge of the Roman Empire, we’ll escape to the ancient era that shaped British history, discover the remains of a Roman hospital and barracks and gain captivating insight into the AD138 century lifestyle.
As we draw nearer to Newcastle, we’ll jump on the chances to visit the magnificent forts at Chesters and Vindolanda.
This hike isn’t all about the history! Our six-day trek will treat us to exquisite natural scenery with rolling open farmland, chocolate box villages, enchanting woodland and river-side paths. If skies are clear enough, we could also see over the border to Scotland.
All this leads to a triumphant finish at Wallsend, with a celebration and night spent in Newcastle, the most metropolitan city of the North East, which throws us right back into the 21st century!
Our challenge will begin bright and early tomorrow, so we’re staying in the area tonight. This way, you have all day to travel to Carlisle and will benefit from a good night’s sleep at our accommodation.
Please make your own way to our accommodation and check-in to the hotel room we have arranged for you. We first meet as a group this evening with a welcome dinner and an exciting briefing from our challenge leader.
We’ll send you all the accommodation and parking details as the challenge draws closer; but rest assured that parking throughout our trek is included in your challenge costs. If you choose to drive. Carlisle also has fantastic public transport connections for non-drivers.
Waking to an early breakfast at our accommodation, we transfer to our starting point at the beautiful Bowness-on-Solway, an ancient seaside village at the western end of Hadrian’s Wall. Built on the site of the Roman Fort Maia, this pretty village is bedecked in history and we can still see Roman stones in several of its buildings, including the Norman church of St Michael.
As such, it makes the perfect place to commence our trek and we start off hiking along the coast. Today, we enjoy an idyllic, fairly flat route, with sandy shores and the sea to one side and lush countryside to the other. We’re also in for a spot of wildlife watching, as the nearby reserves and fantastic natural landscapes provide a home for oystercatchers, curlew, golden and grey plovers and many other birds.
We see no above-ground remains of Hadrian’s Wall today, but we glimpse whispers of the great landmark on the stretches of turf walls, signalling where the Wall once stood.
Hiking inland, we follow quiet roads and tracks through the countryside and patches of woodland, stopping to visit the fascinating local landmark of Dumburgh Castle along the way. This medieval castle has stood in the little village since 1518, but the site on which it stands dates way back to the reign of the Roman emperor, Hadrian, as a tower on Hadrian’s Wall. We take a few moments here to explore the site, before pressing on to the bustle of Carlisle.
We finish our day’s hike at Carlisle Castle in the heart of the city. Declared a Scheduled Ancient Monument, this captivating, red sandstone castle has been at the centre of several wars and episodes of British history, including the famous Jacobite Rising of 1745–6.
Fortunately, we find the area at peace today and we find our accommodation for dinner and a good night’s sleep.
After breakfast at our hotel, we head east out of the city and leave the inner-city buzz for another stretch of rural walking. The trail leads us along the edge of a pretty park and follows the River Eden for a short time to Crosby.
We spend the rest of the day following the ghosts of the Wall through charming farmland. Trekking along tranquil country lanes, rustic footpaths and trails across lush fields on fairly even terrain, we may spot a few sheep or cows enjoying the ample grass for grazing.
Having seen few remains of the ancient barrier so far, we now find the line of the buried Wall, its ditch and vallum as we reach Oldwall and continue to Newton. We hike through some beautiful woodland and cross the river to Walton, with a short road stretch to the picturesque Dovecote Bridge. Here, we catch our first sight of the remains of the Wall’s turret and we enjoy views of the remains as we continue to Haytongate.
Reaching the village of Lanercost, we pass the majestic English Heritage site of Lanercost Priory. Although clearly not Roman, this tranquil monument has played its own significant part in history, having suffered several attacks in the Anglo-Saxon wars.
We end our day tucking into a well-deserved dinner at our accommodation.
With two days behind us, our hike picks up today with tough climbs and better-preserved sections of Hadrian’s Wall ahead. We leave Lanercost after breakfast, tackling the long, but rewarding Hare’s Hill, which takes us back onto the Wall path and treats us to incredible panoramas of the rural landscape.
Before long, we reach Gisland and continue through the rolling countryside and across the Tipalt Burn River to the remains of the 12th Century Thirlwall and Motte Bailey Castle. Although strengthened by stones from Hadrian’s Wall, the castle began to fall in the 17th and a lot of it has even fallen into the river. Its decrepit remains now hold a ghostly air on the grassy banks beside the water.
Crossing the river, we press on through the sprawling, green Northumberland National Park, tackling some steep climbs along the way. We follow the line of the wall until we reach its magnificent remains at Walltown Crags, one of the best-preserved sections of the monument.
Here, surrounded by seemingly endless lush grassland, Hadrian’s Wall makes an incredible spectacle, winding down over the crags of the Whin Sill, with strips of rustic stones dotted here and there along its snaking line. On a clear day, we may be lucky enough to see Southern Scotland and the north Pennines.
We now follow visible remains of the wall through more undulating terrain, enjoying extraordinary views of the remaining stones and the expansive fields beyond. The monument grows only more extraordinary as we reach the highest point of the wall, Winshield’s Wall.
We proceed to the famous Sycamore Gap, featured in a significant scene in the 1991 film, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Here, a lone sycamore tree stands alongside the Wall in a shallow dip. Then, it’s all down-hill to our accommodation at Once Brewed, where we end our day.
We’re in for more challenging terrain today, as we continue to follow Hadrian’s Wall up and down through the countryside. Although our legs are starting to fatigue, the ancient monument keeps us captivated and we soon reach the Wall’s flagship site of Housesteads Roman Fort. Here, we can stand on the edge of the Roman Empire and marvel at the panoramas, along with the remains of an ancient hospital and barracks. We may even see the Roman toilets!
Leaving the site, we enjoy another day of walking mostly alongside the remains of the Wall through a sea of grass. With nothing but green on either side, the Wall stands out clearly, snaking into the distance and marking our trail alongside it. What’s more, after our tasty, packed lunch, our second half of the day is all down-hill!
Trekking on, the lush expanse of fields meets the Roman road of Stanegate, which we follow to Tower Tyne and down to the awesome Chesters Roman Fort and Museum, where we can learn loads about the fort’s fascinating history.
We then tackle the final stretch to Chollerford, where we settle down for dinner and a great night’s rest.
After breakfast at our accommodation, we begin our penultimate day following the Roman road we met yesterday afternoon. Hiking south east, we soon encounter the B6318, an old Military Road, which was built directly on top of Hadrian’s Wall. Our route takes us alongside the road and almost entirely through more open fields.
Along the way, we see signs of how the ancient Wall has shaped the countryside, with a series of mounds and ditches that provided an additional defence for the Romans. Today, we also enjoy a delicious lunch at a local brewery, with a short coach transfer there and back.
Signs of the Wall diminish further, but we encounter a brilliant ancient landmark towards the end of the day, just south of the Wall: the Vindolanda Roman Fort. Dating back to AD85, this amazing fort once guarded the Stanegate and hosts replica altars to the Roman God, Jupiter Dolichenus.
The fort was constructed here because of the fertile soil, nearby spring and other fantastic resources for the Tungrians, who came here from Spain, France, Belgium and what is now the Netherlands, to man the fort.
We leave the landmark and end the day at our accommodation at Heddon-on-the-Wall for dinner.
Rise and shine to our last day trekking. Our route today takes us alongside the winding River Tyne, on cycle lanes, footpaths, a rustic wagon-way track and a few stretches of road. We follow the river for the majority of the day, savouring the final rural stretches, until we enter the vibrant city of Newcastle.
The bustle here makes a stark contrast to the tranquillity we have enjoyed throughout our challenge, but it comes as a relief to our fatigued feet! Our river-side trail takes us through the sprawling suburbs and outskirts of the most populous and metropolitan city of North East England.
We journey deeper into the town until we reach our triumphant finishing point of Wallsend. As the eastern ending point of the wall, the site hosts a brilliant museum, along with an observation tower and an incredible reconstructed bath-house – the perfect end to our ancient trek.
Having conquered a mighty trek of around 120km, we’re well ready to celebrate. As the saying goes, “When in Rome (or at an iconic Roman landmark) do as the Romans do” and so we’ll toast our success over a fantastic feast and even have a chance to party in Newcastle.
Tonight, we’ll stay in the city, before parting ways in the morning after breakfast. Please make your own way home from our accommodation or take this opportunity to spend more time in Newcastle.
After our big night in Newcastle, we can recover with a refreshing breakfast at our accommodation, before we transfer back to Carlisle. Please make your own way home from here or take this opportunity to spend more time in Carlisle. Of course, you’re also welcome to stay in Newcastle. Please simply let us know and we’ll bid goodbye to you after breakfast.
Pay the registration fee (£199) and challenge costs (£1,199).
Pay the balance
Pay the registration fee (£199) and fundraise £2,398 or more for your chosen charity.
Minimum sponsorship target
Your registration fee of £199 per person is used to administer the charity trek and pay deposits to suppliers.
Your challenge costs of £1,199 cover:
In addition to paying your registration fee (£199) and either self-funding your challenge costs (£1,199) or fundraising the minimum sponsorship target for your chosen charity (£2,398), you will need to budget for your:
You will need a pair of quality walking boots with ankle support — these are essential for trekking on uneven terrain. Please also bring a 2-litre water bottle.
Your day bag needs to be at least 35 litres to carry sufficient water for the day, along with your waterproofs, snacks, and personal items.
All meals are provided, but you may want to bring your favourite snacks to munch on throughout the charity trek.
This trek is no walk in the park, but certainly suitable for anyone looking for a legendary UK charity challenge in 2023. It's the perfect motivation to train, get fit, improve your mental and physical health, and support your favourite charity in a huge way.
Once you register for the trek, we'll send you a realistic training plan. This builds up gradually over time so you'll be ready and raring to go by the time we start our Dream Challenge.
We'll face quite a few steep ascents and uneven terrain on our challenge, so please incorporate hills into your training, and remember to invest in a pair of decent hiking boots with ankle support.
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up to this fantastic UK charity trek on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and life-long friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.
Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for our charity challenges.
Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow trekkers on your training and fundraising.
You may also want to reach out to fellow participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.
Absolutely. We encourage solo trekkers and teams alike to join us for the challenge.
Our Dream Challenges are renowned for their camaraderie, so it's a fantastic opportunity to strengthen bonds between teammates and/or make new friends there.
Join us with your friends and family or take it on as a corporate challenge and show your commitment to corporate social responsibility while having the time of your life. You could even take this opportunity to raise funds for your charity of the year.
You can commit to a sponsorship target or choose to self fund with a personal donation or some optional fundraising.
Your luggage and food will be transported to our accommodation on each day of our trekking challenge, so you will only need to carry a day pack containing your 2-litre water bottle, extra layers or waterproofs, and your personal items.
Please make sure your day pack has at least a 35-litre capacity so that you can carry sufficient water for the day, along with your other things.
We'll start our challenge in Carlisle, which has fantastic public transport connections. Please click here for up-to-date information on train times and tickets.
We will send all participants details of the start venue and parking details (included) once finalised.
You need to be 18 years old or over to take part in The Hadrian's Wall Trek 2023. There's no maximum age limit. One of the amazing things about this UK charity challenge is that it brings adults of all ages and from all walks of life together for one amazing event.
16 and 17-year-olds may participate if given permission by the Dream Challenges team. Please get in touch with us to discuss this. Call us on 01590 646410 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to help.