For the Brits and all their walking holidays, this route was actually harder to plan than either Tara or I anticipated. I scoured the bookstore, we scoured the internet and still neither of us could find much information on Hadrian’s Wall except for a small guide that had to be ordered off Amazon. And while the Wall is a National Trust property, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an English Heritage Site, all the websites were subpar! I’m sorry but it’s true. Every time I visited this site half of it wouldn’t load. Most information found concentrates on the parts of the Wall that are more intact and worth visiting because there are also museums, tours, history to digest, making these sections good daytrips for visitors. However, on a whole, walking the length of the route, nada helpful!
For our part, we relied heavily on Google. First, we had to find a map of the Wall, to see where it started in the West, then followed it to the East. We used tour trip itineraries (and said Amazon book) to give us an idea of what a reasonable amount of mileage would be each day. Tara being Canadian speaks in km and I speak in miles, so small hurdle. Then nearly every itinerary we came across spoke of the route from East to West forcing us to interpret and reverse the route and mileage for the opposite direction. (As a reminder, we are walking West to East). A little more Googling to figure out which parts of the Wall had attractions and where we should allow extra time to explore. We also garnered a vague idea of which sections the walk turns more into a hike and a harder trail. From there we mapped out our route. 7-days of hiking, taking one day off to explore a part of the wall that has a lot to see and do nearby Ancient Roman Forts, towers and museums.
And with the route booked we moved on to the next question, where does one sleep? While I’d love to camp, there was no way either of us was going to lug camping gear to England, so we decided that B&Bs were our best option. Or rather, due to the limited options we had, B&Bs seemed like the way to enhance our English walking holiday. One thing we had to keep in mind was that if a B&B was a few miles from the wall, that was a few extra walking miles for the day. Through a combination of sources, we located B&Bs and booked, running into no-vacancies in a few towns. While we were planning this trip a little last minute, some towns, like my favorite, named Onced Brewed, had limited sleeping options. Small wrench, we reshuffled our route accordingly. Honestly, I can’t wait to see how many miles we traipse in the end. I’ll have my Garmin and Strave tracking each footstep…
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