Hadrian's Wall from Steel Rigg (approx 3½ miles)

Maps: Sheet OL43 Hadrian's Wall
View Steel Rigg car park in a larger map
Start: NY750676 Steel Rigg car park (pay and display).
Route: Click here to view the route superimposed on GoogleEarth (GoogleEarth must be installed on your computer in order to view - click here to download GoogleEarth).

Hadrian's Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this walk explores the most dramatic length. A short stretch of road leads down to a path, running east, that runs parallel to the wall. This section is fairly level, but the return route, via the footpath alongside the wall contains some steep up and downhill sections. The walk can be extended to approximately double the length by walking to Housesteads before joining the path by the wall.
More info: Hadrian's Wall pages of the Northumberland National Park website;
National Trails website;
UNESO's World Heritage Sites listing.
Refreshments: Once Brewed National Park Centre offers simple refreshments;
the Twice Brewed Inn;
Housteads Museum.
Route profile: route profile
Steel Rigg car park Leave the car park by the road entrance and turn right.

unclassified road, NW of Steel Rigg car park The road leads downhill. Just less than 200 metres from the car park the road levels and there is a track leading off to the right. Climb the ladder stile next to the metal gate and follow the track.
track running east, parallel to Hadrian's Wall This first section of the walk allows you see the Wall from a distance, at its most spectacular - and to appreciate the difficulty that the builders must have had to overcome along this length of the Wall.
track running east, parallel to Hadrian's Wall The clear track continues, here passing Peatrigg Plantation.
track running east, parallel to Hadrian's Wall We walked the route at the end of December of the wettest year on record in England - not surprisingly there were places where the ground was very muddy!
path running east, parallel to Hadrian's Wall Since leaving the road, the track has been clear on the ground and followed a wall on the left; from this point the route becomes less clear on the ground and no longer follows the wall. Continue walking in the same direction.
path running east, parallel to Hadrian's Wall After climbing the ladder stile to the left of the wooden gate, the path bears slightly to the right (at this point heading almost directly towards the farm).
path running east, parallel to Hadrian's Wall The path then bears right, towards a finger post. At the finger post, follow the path to the left.
stile leading to Access Land near to Hadrian's Wall Climb the first stile shown in the photograph. From here it is possible to extend the walk (see 2003's walk from Housesteads.
If not extending the walk (we had intended to walk further - but the cold, the wind and the drizzle got the better of us): climb the second stile immediately on the right.
track leading to Hotbank Farm Follow the track leading to Hotbank Farm.
Hotbank Farm Go through a metal gate, continue ahead to pass the farm buildings, then beyond the buildings go through the wooden gate which opens directly on to
Hotbank Farm a paved section of Hadrian's Wall Footpath. Turn right.
Hadrian's Wall Where the path crosses the track shown above we climbed the stile on the right then followed the footpath between the wall and the trees (there is a route signposted to the left of the wall, which has less steep sections).
Hadrian's Wall Route finding is easy - even if the climb isn't!
Hadrian's Wall The views are spectacular - no wonder this is a World Heritage Site.
Hadrian's Wall This section of the wall is well preserved and the valley provided some shelter from the howling wind.
Hadrian's Wall Exhilarating and enjoyable as the walk was - we didn't envy the soldiers who had to patrol the wall day in and day out around 2 millennia ago.
Hadrian's Wall, milecastle 39 The next descent leads down to milecastle 39.
Hadrian's Wall From the high points on the walk, the whole of the route is visible.
Hadrian's Wall The final descent is the steepest, leading down to one of the turrets.
path from Hadrian's Wall to Steel Rigg car park"> At the foot of the descent, follow the paved path, then continue to walk up the field path to return to the car park.

Other walks near here:

  • Hadrian's Wall from Housesteads - approx 4½ miles

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