Tips for Hadrian's Wall lodge-to-lodge hike in July?
February 12, 2019 3:03 AM   Subscribe

Just what it says on the tin. My best friend is moving to the UK this summer, and I want to take the opportunity to cross the Hadrian's Wall Path off my bucket list. I'm looking for recommendations of companies who can arrange it, thoughts from those who have done it, must see spots, etc.
posted by frumiousb to Travel & Transportation around Manchester, England (7 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure if you've ruled out self-planned because you just aren't interested or if you think it would be too difficult, but the walking guides all break down the long paths day-by-day and it's totally possible to do a self-supported walk. I did a section of the Cleveland Way and found this series to be helpful for working distances between towns/what's a reasonable day and the official national trail guide more useful while walking.

There is an Ordnance Survey map of Hadrian's Wall, so you in theory just need the one map.
posted by hoyland at 4:07 AM on February 12, 2019

Oh. I did this!
We got a company who moved our bags from lodge to lodge so we didn't need to carry anything. They were pretty

Ah here we go: Sherpa Van
They also have some planning details on the site.
You can basically plan your own route and find places on the way and they'll sort out bags n stuff.

West to East is more popular, and there are places in the middle which cater to that assumption (like opening hours etc.). It was a longer walk than I realised and I wasn't really fit enough for it. It also didn't help that the person who planned our route apparently couldn't count and we ended up trying to WAY more miles in a day than we should've. In retrospect I'd like to get a bit more exercise and then try it again.

That said, we started in Newcastle and had the first day be in a city. We ended up in the Kings Arms in Bowness-on-Solway which is a bit of a nicer place to end up, nature wise and they have a nice dog. So it has that going for it.

I can try and dig out our intinery so you can avoid it and go a bit slower. (Or you might be much more fit than me)
Feel free to memail me if you have any specific questions.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:45 AM on February 12, 2019 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Hi thanks-- I don't want to arrange it myself because 1) I want baggage transport and usually that is arranged by the walking companies (delighted to see that it can be arranged separately). I'm sure it can be done self supporting and carrying my own bags, but I don't want to. and 2) I don't have a ton of time for planning, nor do I live in the UK.

I am more tempted to plan it myself knowing that Sherpa Van exists, but honestly in this case I'm happy to have someone else managing the reservations as well if they are up for it. I would definitely be interested in getting any itineraries.
posted by frumiousb at 6:02 AM on February 12, 2019

I haven't walked Hadrian's Wall, but I did walk the Coast-To-Coast path (two separate times). I can offer some advice for this kind of walking trip:
First - if you are going to have a company book your overnight stays, get on it now so that you don't get stuck with places far off the route (tiny out-of-the-way pubs book up very early in the season). We booked our first trip fairly late in the game and wound up having to take taxis to and from the off-route pubs we were staying in, which was a drag.
Second - long-distance walking Brits don't bat an eye at a 15 or 20 mile day (which isn't that hard, you just need to be in shape, start early, and end late) but we met lots of folks who signed up for these itineraries that they clearly just could not complete. Likewise, a single 20 mile day is one thing, but five of them in a row can be obnoxious. Just know yourself and do a bit of conscious training in the months leading up to your trip. We are pretty active hikers here at home so this wasn't a big deal.
Not necessarily recommending them, but Macs Adventures has a nice page of various itineraries for the Hadrian's Wall walk.
posted by gyusan at 6:54 AM on February 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I wanted to do this once and booked Contours Walking Holidays after some research. Unfortunately I had an emergency gall bladder operation that prevented my doing it, but that's the one I chose from a distance, at least. It sounds super fun and I still want to do it someday!
posted by praemunire at 8:16 AM on February 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

I used Macs Adventures to do the Coast-to-Coast a few years ago: they were great. Very reliable and well-organized.
posted by suelac at 9:31 AM on February 12, 2019

Best answer: praemunire: "I wanted to do this once and booked Contours Walking Holidays after some research."

My wife and I booked Contours last year for a walk in the Cotswolds and had no complaints (my own question previously). I see they also arrange Hadrian's Wall services.
posted by crazy with stars at 9:53 AM on February 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

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