This list is intended as 'food for thought' and may seem like common sense to many, however every item on this list is either overlooked or ignored on a regular basis by walkers coming to traverse Hadrian’s Wall*. This results not just in discomfort or inconvenience, but unfortunately for some, an inability to complete the task they set out to achieve.
Hadrian’s Wall Ltd is the Local Company based in the village of Wall, providing Walking Itineraries along Hadrian’s Wall
1. Don't underestimate the difficulty
It might not look much on a map, but if you are thinking of walking the whole (84 miles) of the Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail, you will be crossing from one side of the country to the other and as such traversing a mix of terrain including part of the Pennine Way.
2. Make sure you are properly equipped
This is not the same as 'walking to the shops'. Clothing, footwear, equipment - they are all vitally important.
At Trailtrekkers, we send out a 'Walkers Kit List' with the initial 'Booking Pack'.
3. Mobile Phone + Charger
Having a phone is great for taking photos, but as a means of contact it’s a must.
It also follows that you need to be able to recharge it and having your own mobile battery charger means that you don’t need to rely on having somebody else’s power supply to plug into
4. You need a Map
Unless you believe the signposts will always be where you want to see them and you're not concerned about your exact location should unforeseen circumstances arise (let alone have a general interest in where you are at any given time) - you need a Map
- Walkers Advice on Time & Distance
- Walkers Kit List
- Hadrian’s Wall Path Map
5. Correct Footwear is a Must
Footwear (socks as well as boots) that performs on all kinds of terrain and in all kinds of weather conditions is a tall order. You don't need 'heavy boots' to walk on miles of flat hard ground and shoes are not ideal for clambering up and down grassy or rocky slopes.
Top tip is to make sure your feet are cushioned well.
6. Itinerary Planning
Planning your own itinerary for walking Hadrian’s Wall, may seem like a simple exercise - however, adopting the ‘do-it-yourself’ approach does present you with a number of hurdles to cross.
Assuming you’ve done your research - read the books / worked out what you want to see / how far you (and whoever’s with you) are comfortable with walking each day / when you’d like to come / where you’d like to stay (that you know about) / what you want to bring with you / what to carry / what to have moved for you… That’s the easy bits sorted - you just then need the time and inclination to make it all happen.
Here are just two considerations
- You may have decided on a specific distance each day - What if the terrain is on flat, undulating, or hilly ground? - What sites of interest might you like to explore en-route and how accessible are they? - What if your preferred daily distance ends in a field miles from anywhere to eat or stay?
- You may have worked out where you would like to stay each night (based on the information you’ve been able to find) - What do you do for an evening meal? - What if you’ve managed to book some of your chosen accommodations, only to find that one or two of them have no availability (and nor do any of the ones you know about in that area)?
We provide an Itinerary Planning Service specifically for Walking Hadrian’s Wall and the surrounding areas
7. Consult Local Knowledge
Like everything else in the world - 'things change'. Accommodation, Pubs, Places to Eat - they open-up, close down and change hands. Sometimes it's for the better and occasionally it's for the worse.
Beyond that, paths can get diverted and there are some things that you would not have wanted to miss.
If you had to inform anyone about your local area, would you suggest asking someone a hundred miles away?
Our base is not just next to Hadrian’s Wall, but actually in the village of Wall itself.
We see and talk to folk who live, work, visit it, on a daily basis and know the pulse of the area.
8. Can I bring my Dogs?
Most Accommodation Providers will not accept dogs and the same goes for some of the places you might like to eat or drink.
Unfortunately it has got to the point that those of us that live and work here (as well as having dogs of our own), experience difficulty in finding places that will accept dogs on the premises.
Bearing in mind that much of the Hadrian’s Wall Path passes through ‘sheep country’- the general advice has to be ‘leave the dogs at home’.
9. Walking with kids
Covering a Long-Distance Trail with Kids in a short timescale, is not ideal.
Dragging young children over long daily distances is really not a wise move and in some circumstances, can be dangerous.
Hadrian's Wall is a great place for children to visit and walk. However, walking the entire 84-mile length of the Trail, covering a distance equivalent to a half-marathon each day, is not the wisest move.
If you're coming with young children, there's lots to interest them and walking short selective sections of the Path will be far more inspiring for them - than what may seem (from their perspective) like a hard daily slog.
10. Find Local Specialists
If there is a local company with a wealth of local knowledge and experience, why not use them?
Those of us unfortunate enough to have been taken in by the accommodation provider assuring us that they are "only five minutes away" from our intended destination, only to find that they were actually talking about a ‘five-minute 100mph drive -assuming the road is completely clear’, makes you cautious not to repeat the experience.
Calling upon the expertise of an organisation with a reputation to maintain makes sense.
Hadrian’s Wall Ltd. has been putting itineraries together since the Trail opened in 2003 - not using a 'one size fits all' system, but tailoring itineraries to clients' personal preferences and aspirations.
Whether it be a special regard for accommodation, budget, daily walking distances, places to explore en-route, or consideration and assistance for how folk get to and from here.
Apart from the advantage of their local knowledge and experience, you also have the satisfaction of knowing that you're supporting the local economy of the place you're visiting - And who knows, you might just appreciate some local support when you least expect it…