This departure is one of our "experience" hiking tours.  It is a 7 night/8-day tour with three dedicated days of hiking the best ruins of Hadrian's Wall. The hiking averages around 8 miles a day with a half-day opt out. There will be time dedicated for sightseeing, museum tours and enjoying the local culture.  Many add-on days pre- or post-tour to visit additional destinations in England and Scotland.  


THE HADRIAN’S WALL EXPERIENCE: 
TREKKING THE EDGE OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE IN NORTHERN ENGLAND

Hadrian’s Wall, Newcastle, Brampton, Carlisle, and Edinburgh
Fall 2018

This escorted 6-night adventure tour of Roman Emperor Hadrian’s Wall and surrounding sites offers a unique blend of archeologically-rich hiking, museums, forts and castles, an onsite study of ancient ruins, expert lecturers, sightseeing and the allure of British shopping, attractions and culture.  Hadrian’s Wall, the main focus of the adventure, was an imposing stone fortification that divided Roman Britain between present-day northern England and Scotland.  Constructed under the direction of Emperor Hadrian in 122 A.D., the wall stretched for 84 miles - of which you’ll hike the most preserved 24 miles - and marked the edge of the Roman Empire for 300 years.  The ruins of numerous forts, milecastles, turrets and earthworks bring this major feat of Roman engineering to life.  Tour features include upscale accommodations at historic hotels and inns, luxury coach travel, a limit of 14 guests per tour with an expert subject matter Tour Leader.  This adventure is ideal for anyone with an active outdoor lifestyle, hikers, and adventurers; historians, students, and enthusiasts of the Roman Empire; museum lovers and anyone who enjoys the enchantment of the United Kingdom’s countryside and vibrant cities.  (Activity Level:  Moderate to Difficult)

Ram on Hadrian's Wall Hike
Historic Hiking Adventure - Hadrian's Wall Path
Hadrian's Wall Path, Northern England

ITINERARY AT A GLANCE:

DAY 1 – Arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland; tour of Edinburgh Castle and group dinner
Overnight in Edinburgh

DAY 2 – Depart for Newcastle, England, and tour of Jedburgh Abbey  
Overnight in Newcastle

DAY 3 –Tour of Newcastle, Segedunum Roman Fort and Great North Museum
Overnight in Newcastle

DAY 4 – Trek from Tower Tye to Housesteads Fort - 8 miles
Overnight in Newcastle

DAY 5 – Trek from Housesteads Fort to Roman Army Museum - 8 miles
Overnight in Lanercost

DAY 6 – Trek from Roman Army Museum to Lanercost Priory - 8 miles
Overnight in Lanercost

DAY 7 – Transport to Carlisle Castle and Edinburgh
Overnight in Edinburgh

DAY 8 – Conclusion of Adventure Tour and Departure

DETAILED ITINERARY:

Pre-Adventure:  Depart U.S. for Edinburgh (Overnight flight)

DAY 1:  Arrive in Edinburgh and Edinburgh Castle       
Edinburgh, Scotland

Welcome to Scotland!  After checking into the hotel, take some time to rest from your travels or visit Edinburgh Castle at your leisure (your castle tickets are provided in advance of your arrival).  With its medieval Old Town, elegant Georgian New Town, gardens and neoclassical buildings, Edinburgh is a remarkable combination of old and new.  You will have the day free to explore the city’s many sites including the National Gallery which first opened to the public in 1859 and whose collection includes European masterpieces and Scottish works.  Be certain to return to the hotel in time for a group dinner where you will meet your Adventure Escort and fellow Adventurers.  Meals: D

DAY 2:  Jedburgh Abbey and Newcastle
Newcastle, England

Following a group breakfast, a luxury touring coach will transport you and your fellow Adventurers to Newcastle via a scenic countryside route with a visit to the ruins of Jedburgh Abbey.  Founded in the 12th Century and close proximity to the English border, Jedburgh Abbey was frequently targeted by invading armies.  After stopping for lunch at an authentic pub, you will check into the historic 4-Star Vermont Hotel that will serve as your base for the next three nights.  Take some time to relax or visit the city’s numerous sites and shopping venues.  Meals: B, L

DAY 3:  Tour of Newcastle, Segedunum Roman Fort, and Great North Museum
Newcastle, England  

Following a group breakfast with a local tour guide, take in a familiarization tour of Newcastle – a city that grew atop the site of a Roman settlement – en route to the Roman Fort and Museum of Segedunum.  This location marks the starting point of Hadrian’s Wall in the aptly named town of Wallsend.  The tour continues with a visit to the Great North Museum whose collection includes carved and inscribed stones from Hadrian’s Wall and its outpost forts.  Located in the museum is the Library of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle Upon Tyne, a historical society founded in 1813, where a private tour of their impressive collection awaits.  A walking tour back to the hotel will include a stop for lunch and ample time for shopping in the quaint shops of Newcastle.  Later in the afternoon, enjoy private tours of the Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas and the Black Gate & Castle Keep – the medieval fortification built on the site of the fortress which gave the City of Newcastle its name.  Tonight’s special dinner includes notable guests from both the Cathedral and Castle Keep and a presentation from a prominent expert of the Roman Army.  Meals: B, L, D
 


 

DAY 4:  Trek from Tower Tye to Housesteads Fort - 8 miles (Activity Level: Moderate)
Newcastle, England

From the hotel, you will be transported to the entrance of the Roman ruins at Chester Fort with its bathhouse ruins, vast museum of inscribed artifacts and where 500 cavalry soldiers were stationed for 300 years.  The 8-mile hike commences at nearby Tower Tye in the English countryside and follows the Hadrian’s Wall path with numerous Roman ruins including stone fortifications and defensive earthworks.  After lunch in a small inn along the route, the trek continues to Housesteads Roman Fort.  Set high on a dramatic escarpment on a Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Site, Housesteads provides unparalleled views of the “barbarian” territory to the north.  Return to Newcastle for an evening free to shop, explore and have dinner at one of the city’s many diverse dining establishments.  Meals: B, L

DAY 5:  Trek from Vindolanda to Roman Army Museum - 8 miles (Activity Level: Difficult)
Brampton, England

Upon bidding farewell to Newcastle, you will be transported to the remains of the Vindolanda settlement where you will explore Roman life on the edge of the empire 2000 years ago.  Marvel at the world famous Vindolanda writing tablets and the largest collection of Roman Empire-era leather anywhere including shoes of all sizes and styles, bags, purses and archer's gear.  From here the coach will take you back to Housesteads to trek the hilly hiking path which is both challenging and breathtaking.  After a break for a picnic lunch, the hike concludes at the Roman Army Museum where you will step into the life of a Roman soldier on the front line of Emperor Hadrian’s formidable Britannia frontier.  Transport from here to the charming accommodations of Abbey Bridge Inn and a group dinner.  Meals: B, L, D

DAY 6:  Trek from Roman Army Museum to Lanercost Priory - 8 miles (Activity Level: Moderate)
Brampton, England

On the last leg of the hiking adventure, you will be transported back to the Roman Army Museum and immediately set out for Birdoswald Roman Fort to explore the longest continuous remaining stretch of Hadrian’s Wall.  Proceeding along the path and the ruins of the wall’s turrets, you conclude the hiking adventure at Lanercost Priory.  The beautiful and now tranquil setting of Lanercost Priory belies an often troubled history.  Standing in proximity to Hadrian's Wall, Lanercost Priory suffered frequent attacks during the long Anglo-Scottish wars and mortally-ill King Edward I rested here for five months in 1306-7 shortly before his death on his final campaign.  To commemorate the completion of trekking the heart of the Hadrian’s Wall path, enjoy a celebratory reception at the Abbey Bridge Inn before dinner in the nearby small town of Brampton.  Meals: B, D, Reception

DAY 7:  Transport to Carlisle Castle and Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Scotland 

Before heading back to back to Edinburg, a visit to the 900-year-old Carlisle Castle awaits.  Built on the site of a Roman fort, its purpose (not unlike Hadrian’s Wall a millennium early) was to protect the area from northern invaders (this time the Scots).  The castle was a center of conflict for over 700 years and Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned within the castle in 1567.  Upon departing Carlisle and your arrival in Edinburgh, you will be transported to either your hotel to resume exploring the city on your own or continue on for an optional self-guided tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia which served the British monarchy from 1954 until 1997.  Meals: B, L

DAY 8:  – Conclusion of Adventure and Departure
Edinburgh, Scotland

After breakfast, the adventure concludes upon your departure to Edinburgh airport, the railway station or the many other great destinations of Scotland and the United Kingdom!  Meals: B

TOUR PRICE:

The cost of the tour is $2,750 per person, based on double occupancy

The price of the tour includes:

  • 8-day/7-night tour, 3 days of hiking
  • Accommodations for 7 nights in upscale hotels and inns
  • 17 meals/receptions included
  • Tour transportation via luxury coach
  • Door to door luggage transfers for every stop on tour
  • Tour escorted and led by Matt Durfee

Note: All itineraries are subject to change and require a minimum of 8 guests with a maximum of 14 guests.