Find a walk / Northumberland

Hadrian’s Wall classic


This is a walk we did on our first family camping trip to Northumberland, when OJ was five months old. We picked it at random from the OS map as the topography looked interesting – turns out it’s a bit of a classic! We certainly didn’t have the route to ourselves, but that’s no surprise as it’s in this section of the wall that Sycamore Gap is hidden, better known as that tree in the Kevin Costner version of Robin Hood. The section along the wall is steeper than I expected, on rocky steps, but there’s no scrambling. It took us close to three hours with stops. It’s not a pushchair walk.

  • AREA: Hexham
  • DISTANCE: About 5 miles
  • FACILITIES: Cafe and toilets at Once Brewed
  • PARKING: Steel Rigg (£4), near the Once Brewed visitor centre
  • GRADIENT: Steep in parts
  • TERRAIN: Not for puschairs – farm tracks, fields, rocky paths
  • OS MAP: Hexham & Haltwhistle

The Robin Hood tree at Sycamore Gap

The Robin Hood tree at Sycamore Gap

Our dog looks reluctant to stay

Our dog looks reluctant to stay

Looking East along the wall with Broomlee Lough in the background

Looking East along the wall with Broomlee Lough in the background

Sheep grazing north of the wall

Sheep grazing north of the wall

Crag Lough

Crag Lough

Descending to Sycamore Gap

Descending to Sycamore Gap

  1. From the car park, walk back out onto the lane and turn right (north). After 50m you’ll come to a gate and farm track with a fingerpost on the right. Follow this track for about 800m, to the far side of some woods
  2. Staying right of the wall, continue along the rough track past a rusty-roofed farm building, heading for another farm building in the dip ahead. On the far side of this building, at the corner of a wall, you’ll see a fingerpost. Follow it across the field in the direction indicated, to a gate with another fingerpost
  3. Go through this gate and cross another field, until you come to a gate with a farm track on the far side. Turn left onto the track. Follow the track and fingerposts until you come to a stone ruin that looks like it was an outpost of the main Hadrian’s Wall. Turn right and follow the footpath (the Pennine Way) up to the gap ahead of you.
  4. At the gap, turn right onto the main Hadrian’s Wall path and follow it all the way back to the car park, being prepared to stop for all the views!

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