As soon as you are able. Most folk will book at least six months before they are due to arrive. It's not unusual to find some accommodations being fully booked in popular periods, a year in advance. Bare in mind that there are some visitors travelling great distances to get here and they are making their plans, well before they come to the UK. Whilst it's not impossible to make a booking within a short timescale, the chances are that you will need to be either flexible on your dates, or be prepared to compromise on the preferred level of your accommodations on some nights.
In the first instance, you can make your deposit either online (by card), or you can call our office and we can take your payment over the phone. Final Balance becomes due at the six weeks (eight weeks - for group bookings larger than 6 persons, or Camping Backpackers) prior to arrival point and can be made by Bank Transfer - our account details are included with your invoice sent out in your Booking Pack.
This is the point when we start putting your Itinerary together. Once it's been set up, we then send out your 'Booking Pack'. Included with your Booking Pack, will be your 'Outline Itinerary' (stating the type and location of your Accommodations), a 'Map', a 'Guidebook' (with III, IV, or V Denarii bookings), a recommended 'Kit List' and 'Advice on Time & Distance'.
This is when we send out your 'Travel Pack'. Included in your Travel Pack, will be a 'Detailed Itinerary' (providing Accommodation details - ie. Accommodation Names / Addresses / Grid References / Route Directions / Contact Names / Telephone Numbers). There will also be 'Baggage Labels', as well as other useful information - eg Local Bus Timetables and Taxi numbers. After the 4 weeks prior to arrival point, we then pay for your accommodations in full - and it's at this stage, should there be some personal reason why you are unable to carry out your endeavour, it will be necessary for you to make a claim on your own Travel Insurance, as it will not be possible for us to get a refund from the Accommodation Providers, nor retrieve any other costs.
If it's before your Final Balance has been paid, there is an administration charge of £25 for each person that drops out from the initial booking. If it's after the Final Balance has been made and the cancellation is not less than four weeks of arrival - we will refund the balance paid by that person (or those persons) less a £50 per person administration fee. Cancellations within four weeks of arrival are non-refundable and in this situation, non-participants would need to make a claim on their own personal Travel Insurance.
Simple answer is 'we don't know' - that is we don't precisely know where you will be accommodated until we start putting your Itinerary in place - and that process begins as soon as we receive your booking.
We're sometimes asked, which accommodations are going to be available, before we've received a booking and can we not just enquire with Accommodation Providers on their availability, before a booking is placed. Unfortunately, the Accommodation Providers won't accept a booking from us unless we've received one ourselves. Nor will they hold rooms on our behalf, while we put a full itinerary together and wait for a possible client (who has made no commitment) to get back to us. It should also be borne in mind that just because an accommodation has availability in the morning, it doesn't necessarily follow that the availability will still be there later in the day.
Given your preferred option (ie length of visit and level of Accommodation & Services), we have a formula for which locations and accommodations will be suitable for that particular choice. However, we won't know which of those accommodations will be available until we start contacting them all - and that's not quite as easy as it may seem, as there's not always someone there at the time we make those calls - which then has a knock-on effect in delaying the whole set-up process, as there may be a need to adjust the initial itinerary that we've planned. Sometimes we're able to set up the whole itinerary in one day and on other occasions, it may be necessary to work on it that little bit longer.
As soon as we have your Itinerary in place, we then send you an 'Outline Itinerary' as part of your 'Booking Pack'. This will detail the type of accommodation (eg Farmhouse, Hotel, Inn, Guest House, etc) and its geographical location. There is scope at this point, for us to make adjustments, should you prefer to be in a different type of accommodation, or a different location, for any given night - you just need to tell us this when you receive your Booking Pack, before we issue your final invoice.
Assuming you're happy with the Outline Itinerary, we then send out a more precise detail of those accommodations (eg names, addresses, grid references and telephone numbers) in your 'Travel Pack', which is sent out after we receive the balance of your booking.
The nearest main airport to Hadrian's Wall is Newcastle International. The next closest main International airports in order are -
Glasgow - Edinburgh - Manchester - Birmingham - London Heathrow - London Gatwick.
All of the airports are connected to a rail network, however Newcastle has a Metro link (approximately 20 minutes) from Newcastle Airport into Newcastle Central Station, which links into the rail line running parallel to Hadrian's Wall, between Newcastle and Carlisle.
If you have the choice, the suggestion would be to take the closest airport. Traveling from Heathrow or Gatwick, is the best part of a full day's journey by rail, whereas an internal flight will take around one hour (excluding check-in & check-out times). The other provincial airports are generally less than a couple of hours rail journey away.
If you want to be at the western end of Hadrian's Wall, you should head for Carlisle, which is on the West Coast mainline, connecting between London Euston, Birmingham New Street, Manchester Piccadilly and Glasgow. If you want to be at the eastern end of the Wall, Newcastle Central connects via the East Coast mainline, between London Kings Cross, York, Durham and Edinburgh.
There is a relatively frequent service on the Newcastle - Carlisle Hadrian's Wall line and for those aiming for the central part of Hadrian's Wall, Hexham is half an an hour out of Newcastle, whereas Haltwhistle is half an hour further on (or it's a 20 minutes journey from Carlisle).
For those who might like a scenic journey from the south, the Settle - Carlisle line is a real treat. Passing the lovingly-restored Railway Stations, through the Yorkshire Dales, over the famous Ribblehead Viaduct and up the Eden Valley, you also have dramatic views over towards the Lake District. You can get on this line from either York, or London Kings Cross, via Leeds.
The maximum number on a Camping Trek is 12 persons - occupying six tents.
Our Camping Treks are priced to keep the cost for Trekkers as low as possible, however, there is a minimum total number on which we are able to operate. The minimum number on a Camping Trek is 3 tents in total. If the total number is less than this*, we have three alternatives for Camping Trekkers -
a. Provide an alternative date.
b. An additional charge per person (to make up the total number shortfall) is applied*.
c. Deposit is refunded and booking cancelled.
* Since we introduced our Backpacker Camping Trek option in 2015, we have not had an under proscribed Trek - so there has not been a need to apply an additional charge. If an under proscribed Trek was to become apparent, we would expect to be able to give between six & eight weeks notice, of a total number shortfall.
Our Camping Treks are Self-Guided - who you choose to walk with or not to walk with, is entirely up to you. In effect, the group is accommodated in the same location each night, however, how folk progress along the Trail is down to individual choice. So if you prefer to walk in your own company at your own pace, you can do. Equally, if you find like-minded souls who would like to share the walking experience, then the opportunity is there for you too.
1 Main Bag - Each person on a Trek brings two bags with them (included within the price) - one small daysac for walking with and one main bag to be transferred between camps and the end of the Trek. Our definition of a 'bag' is either a rucsac, or a holdall - a rigid suitcase is not practical or suitable for camping in a small tent, or for loading on and off the vehicle transporting it.
Main Bag - We provide clients with a recommended Kit List and all of this should fit in one bag (ie nothing attached to it, or hanging off it). For ‘Health & Safety' reasons, the weight allowance is 15kgs per bag - this being the limit for lifting weight above waist height (greater weight risks injury for anyone transferring baggage and therefore has implications on our insurance cover). You should therefore bear in mind that a bag exceeding this weight, will not be transferred by us and you would need to make alternative arrangements for the necessary transfers.
It's not a major problem for anyone to bring more gear, however the weight of your bags should not exceed the 15kgs per bag weight limit. If we have space available (and you warn us off beforehand), extra bags are charged at £10 per bag for the Trek (as far as Heddon-on-the-Wall) and £15 per bag (if going all the way to Wallsend).
One way to cut down to amount of gear you bring, is to hire some of it off us - and the transportation is included within the hire charge.
Vaude Backpacking Tents - 2 Types - One for Twin Occupancy (Mark L 2P) and One for Solo Trekkers (Taurus 2P).
How big is the tent for a Solo Trekker?
A Solo Backpacker is provided with a Vaude Taurus 2P - snug for two persons, with ample space for a solo.
Some Campsites offer more facilities than others, however all the sites have toilets & showers, with washing & drying facilities generally available. Meals and licensed Refreshments are available nearby.
Camping is restricted to approved campsites or private land where some kind of provision for campers has been made - what there is, we make use of.
Generally there will be a Pub nearby for bar meals and on the one night where there isn't a pub on hand (2nd night), the nearby farmhouse offers evening meals and has a drinks license.
Although you may be having to embrace the spirit of adventure washing your clothes by hand, more often than not, you will be able to make use of some kind of drying facilities.
If you choose to cook your own meals, you will either need to bring your own cooker or hire one off us and you should bear in mind that you may be able to cook under cover, however you will not be able to cook 'inside' your tent.
It is possible to charge your mobile phone or portable device at the first three nights campsites, but you should enquire with the campsite provider first. It's also worth bearing in mind that other campers are likely to be seeking the same facilities - our recommendation is to bring your own portable charger with you.
Sorry, but No.