You can take some great walks from the campsite. The AD122 gives you lots of options for walks further afield as well but below are a couple of walks that we love.
Sycamore Gap/Twice Brewed Inn circular walk
- At Hadrians wall camping and caravan site entrance turn right on to the small road running alongside the campsite.
- The view at the entrance over to the West is beautiful and you can see the wall from here – look out for the 3 peaks in the distance. The sunset view from here is fantastic.
- Walk along the road for around 5 minutes. As you turn the corner you will see the dramatic Hadrian’s wall right in front of you.
- At the end of the road you will reach the main B6318 road (the Military road). At this point you’ll find the bus stop for the AD122 (the stop is called Melkridge road end). Directly opposite there is a stile. The road is a fast one so be careful when crossing.
- Walk straight ahead on the footpath. You will be following the farm wall at this point and when the wall ends, bear left and take a diagonal route downhill.
- You’ll see a small bridge. Cross the bridge and keep heading up the path. You’ll reach Hadrian’s wall at Shield on the wall.
- Turn right and continue along Hadrians wall path. There’s quite a bit of climbing up and down but the views are stunning. Here you are on Winshield crags. You will reach the highest point of the wall at 345m. There is a trig point here so you know that you’ve reached it.
- Spend some time looking over at the views. On a good clear day you can see over to the Cheviots and the view from every direction is wonderful from the expanse of Hadrian’s wall East to West with Winshields crag and Steel Rigg to the rolling hills in the south and the Cheviots to the North. It certainly worth a few photographs
- Continue on following the Hadrian’s Wall path. You will reach another small road and Steel Rigg car park. Cross the road, follow the road down to the right to pick up the footpath again (or walk through the car park to pick the path up from here). If you feel you’ve walked enough and you need a break, The Twice Brewed pub is at the bottom of this road!
- The next part can be a bit tricky especially with a dog as it’s a steep, narrow climb up to Peel Crags. There can be a few people here who have parked at the car park to walk to sycamore gap so you may be waiting for a little while to let others coming down pass you.
- You will reach Milecastle 39 Which is called Castle Nick – it sits in the “nick”. And don’t give up here as you have another climb before you drop down to see the spectacular tree. The sycamore tree is a few hundred years old and derived its name from the fact that it sits in the spectacular dip that was created by the glaciers and the meltwater. It won the tree of the year award in 2016 and is famous as “the Robin Hood tree” as it was featured in the Kevin Costner film
To return, you could retrace your steps or you have the option of taking the parallel old roman road path that runs below Hadrian’s wall path.
If you’re feeling energetic and want to continue, there is an option to head on to Vindolanda. Northumberland National park website has a great collection of walks to follow. Here’s the link for the route back, taking in Vindolanda as well as the link for the route back on the old Roman Road path
- If you’ve retraced your steps back to Steel Rigg car park, turn left down the small road towards the B6318 to The Sill / Twice Brewed Inn
- You may want to call in at The Twice Brewed pub. The story goes that it was called this as the Romans felt the beer was too weak and asked for it to be brewed again. There is a brewery here and you can take a brewery tour (perhaps something to plan for another day while you’re here).
- If you want to stick to the Once Brewed option, you could call in at the Sill café for a cup of tea and homemade cake.
- You can catch the AD122 bus back to Melkridge road end (our bus stop) if you don’t want to walk back from here but if you want to walk – see below
- At the Sill, turn right on to the road (opposite the road you walked down from Steel Rigg). You will pass the road that takes you to Vindolanda on the left (if you’ve walked to Vindolanda from the tree and don’t want to visit the pub, you can pick up the route back from here – you can also get the AD122 from Vindolanda)
- Continue along this road until you reach a small road on your right that takes you to Cranberry Brow Farm (don’t take the footpath that’s signposted – keep going until you reach this small road). Pass the farm (on the left). The road turns into a track and you will need to go through a gate. This is a straight path with a couple of gates.
- At the end of the path you will reach the road that drops down to the campsite. Go through the gate, turn right and follow the road down.
The walk to Sycamore gap is around 1 ½ hours along the wall. From the pub back to the campsite it’s around 45 minutes so you’ll definitely deserve to put your feet up, perhaps with a relaxing glass of wine or beer while enjoying the view after this walk!
Walk to Milecastle
The Milecastle Inn is a 30 minute walk from the campsite. It’s a walk that you can do with your dog if they are fine with stiles but they will need to be on a lead as there is livestock in the fields most of the year. The pub doesn’t allow dogs inside but, in the warmer and dryer months it’s really worth a visit with the dog as it has a lovely beer garden with a Westerly aspect and stunning views of the wall. The dog will be greeted by very friendly staff, will get a bowl of water and what better than to sit watching the amazing sunset with your favourite tipple and your favourite doggy friend.
Once you’ve reached the Milecastle and you’ve enjoyed a drink or two and some delicious food, you may want to retrace your steps or you may want to take the longer route back along the wall, visiting Cawfields quarry, taking in the Milecastle that the pub was named after and walking up to the summit of Cawfields ridge to experience the amazing views.
- At the campsite entrance, turn left and walk down the hill. At the point where the road bends to the left and climbs up again, there is a gate on the right into a field. There is a footpath sign here for Haltwhistle. Go through the gate. There are some wonderful fell ponies in this area. Sometimes they are up on the higher fells and you may not see them but you will need to make sure you close the gate properly or they may end up in (or on!) your tent! Put the chain back on and wrap the rope around the gate post.
- Continue straight ahead along the field, following the line of the paddock wall on your right. The views over to the West are spectacular right from the word go.
- The wall that forms the border of the paddock area turns at a 90 degree angle and at this point, if you look right you’ll see a stile. Ignore this one and continue on the path. At this point you will be walking on the bottom (right) path. Above you is the path that takes you to Halwhistle.
- In a short distance you will reach the second stile. Go over this one and carry straight on. You will see a very clear path in front of you that winds up towards the tree line. In the spring and summer, there will always be sheep and lambs on this fell so if you’re with your dog, they will need to be on a lead. In the Autumn and Winter you may not see any sheep but be very careful during the walk as the sheep can easily appear when you don’t expect them to
- At the top of the winding path, turn left and here there is a wide grass path. Keep walking to the West but it’s worth looking back over to the campsite for the splendid view. You will see Hadrian’s Wall campsite to the right and to the north (your left) is Hadrians wall. In the morning the sunrise colours the sky pink. Turn back and keep walking West along this path until you reach the road and another stile. Be very careful when you come over the stile. The road is a small but winding one and the cars may not see you as you come over the stile. Be particularly careful if you’re with your dog.
- Turn right and walk down the road. You’ll see the spectacular Caw Ridge with the Milecastle in the distance and in less than 5 minutes you will reach the pub.
Return along Hadrian’s wall
- Cross the main B6318 road at the pub and head down the road directly opposite that leads to Cawfields quarry (there is a brown tourist sign here).
- You’ll reach a kissing gate on the right hand side and you can take this footpath (diagonally right) leading to the milecastle and caw ridge. Once you’ve taken a look at the milecastle and its information board, turn right to continue on your journey Eastward. You can either walk along Hadrian’s Wall path or you can take the less undulating path that runs parallel to the wall. On the wall path, there is a reasonable amount of climbing up and down but the views are worth it.
- You will eventually reach the small road at Shield on the Wall. There is a kissing gate at the end of the wall path and a stile at the end of the lower path. You can easily walk up to the kissing gate at this point if you’re with your dog – it’s not a stile that a dog can easily manage
- Cross the road and go over the next stile. Turn right so you’re heading down towards the farm in the distance. You will see a little footbridge. If you are with your dog, you can follow the road down towards a gate which will take you to the other side of the small bridge as described below
- Cross the bridge and bear left. Take a diagonal route towards the end of the farm wall and then follow the farm wall with the farm on your right. You will see the B6318 in the distance. When you reach the end of the path, you will see the road directly opposite that takes you to the campsite
- Cross over carefully and follow the road back to the campsite.
This circular route – to the pub and back along the wall – takes around 1 ¾ hours + pub stoppage time