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Hadrian's Wall

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Hadrian's Wall: Our most recommended tours and activities

Hadrian's Wall & Roman Britain 1-Day Tour from Edinburgh

1. Hadrian's Wall & Roman Britain 1-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Travel south from Edinburgh on the old Roman Dere Street that linked the supply ports in the south of England with the ancient city of York. Then go north past Hadrian’s Wall to the Roman settlements in Central Scotland. Your first stop on this tour will be in the border town of Jedburgh, a historic burgh that lies only 12 miles north of the Scotland-England border. Here you have time to take a short walk through the narrow streets that lead to the remains of the Augustinian Abbey, which has been a great symbol of power during its 900 year history. Continuing south you make a brief stop at scenic Carter Bar on the edge of the Cheviot Hills. This crossing point between Scotland and England runs close to the ancient Roman road and has formed the border between the 2 countries for the past 700 years. The tour continues through the magnificent forests of Northumberland National Park before turning west towards the remains of Hadrian’s Wall. Follow the road taking you along the south side of the wall, stopping at Steel Rigg where you come face-to-face with large sections of the wall’s remains. Take time to walk along the wall and experience the isolation that Roman foot soldiers would have experienced as they guarded their empire from the barbarians to the north. You continue your journey west along the wall towards the village of Lanercost, the western gateway to Hadrian’s Wall. After pausing for lunch you travel a short distance to Birdoswald, one of the best preserved of the 16 Roman forts along the length of Hadrian’s Wall. Enjoy time to explore this fascinating site and further sections of the wall before you turn north for the return journey. Traveling through the Galloway hills, stop in the Victorian spa town of Moffat before continuing through the Southern Uplands and Scottish Borders, and returning to Edinburgh.

Hadrian's Wall: 4-Hour Guided Tour

2. Hadrian's Wall: 4-Hour Guided Tour

Walk along the iconic central section of Hadrian’s Wall, followed by a visit to one of the best-preserved Roman Forts in Britain. Discover the unique stories of the Roman museums and archaeological sites in Northumberland on this 4-hour walking tour. As your guide explains the history of each site, they will also weave in the importance of the surrounding landscape to reveal what makes each place so special. Soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the stunning views across Northumberland National Park and Hadrian’s Wall.

Hadrian's Wall: 2-Hour Guided Tour

3. Hadrian's Wall: 2-Hour Guided Tour

Feel Roman history come to life as you discover just what Britain was like under the Caesars on this 2-hour tour of Hadrian's Wall. Explore this breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site with a local guide dressed in an authentic costume of the era, and discover hidden archaeological gems. Hear your guide weave a narrative from both sides of the wall — the tales of the natives and the stories told by the occupying forces — and walk along the iconic central section of Hadrian's Wall. See a milecastle (a rectangular fortification) and one of the best sections of the Vallum defensive ditch. Throughout your tour, admire the magnificent backdrop of the Northumberland National Park, and enjoy some of the best views across the rugged moorland vistas.

Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall Small Group Day Tour

4. Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall Small Group Day Tour

Visit intriguing Rosslyn Chapel, explore the town of Melrose, journey to the Scottish Borders, and see Hadrian’s Wall on this full-day tour from Edinburgh. Rosslyn Chapel has always been mysterious, and has achieved worldwide fame since the publication of The Da Vinci Code. This beautiful and highly ornate 15th-century chapel has long been the subject of speculation about its origins and the meanings of its famous stone carvings. Visit the charming town of Melrose for lunch, then cross the ancient Scotland/England border at Carter Bar. Follow in the footsteps of feuding clans and families, known as Border Reivers, who fought a series of violent raids here until the end of the 16th century. Then visit one of the world's most important Roman monuments: Hadrian’s Wall. Travel to Housesteads Fort (National Trust) in Northumberland National Park, the best preserved Roman fort along Hadrian’s Wall. Enjoy a free nature walk along one of the most dramatic and photographed stretches of the wall. Upon returning to Edinburgh, stop in the Border market town of Jedburgh to stretch your legs and take photos of the famous abbey.

Northumberland: Full-Day Tour of Vera Filming Locations

5. Northumberland: Full-Day Tour of Vera Filming Locations

Follow in the footsteps of Ann Cleeves’ no-nonsense Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope on this full-day guided tour of “Vera” film locations in Northumberland by coach. Get an insider perspective of ITV’s best-loved detective drama. Starting and ending in the center of Newcastle, visit coastal locations in Northumberland including Amble, Warkworth, Alnmouth, Bamburgh, and Lindisfarne Island (or Holy Island), the fictional home of Vera. See more than 15 actual locations from episodes all the way through ten years of "Vera." Enjoy time to get on and off the coach and see some locations up close with plenty of opportunities to take photos.

Hadrian's Wall: Birdoswald Roman Fort Entry Ticket

6. Hadrian's Wall: Birdoswald Roman Fort Entry Ticket

Rising over ridges and snaking through moorland, the 73 mile-long Hadrian's Wall is an incredible monument with incredible stories to tell. Go on a journey back to life on the frontier and into the Roman Empire's extraordinary tale of power and ambition. Start your Hadrian's Wall adventure at Birdoswald Roman Fort, where you can still see the remains of all of the Wall's defining features. Birdoswald Roman Fort is set on a spectacular ridge above the river Irthing, offering fabulous views down into the gorge below. To the east are the crags of the Whin Sill, where the remains of Hadrian's Wall can be seen tracing the contours of the dramatic landscape. Stand in awe of more than 1,800 years of history as the longest remaining stretch of the Wall spans as far as your eye can see, and explore the ruins of the Roman fort, a turret, and milecastle. Delve into the story of the most famous Roman frontier with the exhibition in the visitor center. Find out how the Wall was constructed, check out some Roman artifacts, and gaze through a periscope to take in the view from the original height of Hadrian's Wall.

English Heritage: Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors

7. English Heritage: Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors

Get a range of benefits with a 9-day or 16-day single or family English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass, offering free entry to more than 100 stately homes, castles, prehistoric remains and gardens the length and breadth of England. Only available to non-UK residents, the great value pass will save you money even if you only visit 2 or 3 attractions, making a 9-day pass suitable for a weekend break. You can visit as many English Heritage attractions as you like, and come back as many times as you want to. But the more places you visit, the more money you save! Plan your vacation with the help of our overseas visitor Guidebook. The English Heritage website will also help you plan your visit before you travel. Once you have decided which attractions to explore, there is no need to get your money out at every attraction, and no need to keep track of your spending. The monuments bring the story of England to life, and have all been selected for their historic significance. Located in some of the most beautiful settings in England, they include mighty castles, tranquil monastic ruins, pleasant gardens and grand stately homes. Many host special events throughout the year, and your pass also gives you free or reduced price entry. You might even come face-to-face with a knight in shining armor. All sites have reduced opening times during the winter months (October to March). Detailed information available after booking. The full list of places you can access with your pass is as follows: In London: Apsley HouseChiswick HouseEltham Palace and GardensJewel TowerMarble Hill HouseRanger’s House - The Wernher CollectionWellington ArchIn the South East: 1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey & BattlefieldBayham Old AbbeyCarisbrooke CastleDeal CastleDover CastleFort Brockhurst (as part of a pre-booked group)Home of Charles Darwin (Down House)Lullingstone Roman VillaMedieval Merchant’s HouseOsborne HousePevensey CastlePortchester CastleRichborough Roman FortRochester CastleSt Augustine’s AbbeyWalmer Castle & GardensYarmouth CastleIn the South West: Berry Pomeroy CastleChysauster Ancient VillageCleeve AbbeyDartmouth CastleFarleigh Hungerford CastleHailes AbbeyLaunceston CastleMuchelney AbbeyOkehampton CastleOld SarumOld Wardour CastlePendennis CastlePortland CastleRestormel CastleSt Mawes CastleSherborne Old CastleStonehengeTintagel CastleTotnes Castle In the East of England: Audley End House & GardensBerney Arms Windmill (as part of a pre-booked group)Castle Acre PrioryDenny Abbey and the Farmland MuseumGreat Yarmouth Row Houses and Greyfriars’ CloisterGrime’s GravesFramlingham CastleOrford CastleSaxtead Green Post MillTilbury FortWrest Park In the East Midlands: Ashby de la Zouch CastleBolsover CastleHardwick Old HallKirby HallKirby Muxloe CastleLyddington Bede HousePeveril CastleSibsey Trader WindmillLincoln Medieval Bishops’ PalaceRushton Triangular LodgeIn the West Midlands: Boscobel House and the Royal OakBuildwas AbbeyGoodrich CastleHaughmond AbbeyKenilworth Castle and Elizabethan GardenStokesay CastleWenlock PrioryWitley Court and GardensWroxeter Roman CityIn Yorkshire: Aldborough Roman SiteBrodsworth Hall and GardensByland AbbeyClifford's TowerHelmsley CastleKirkham PrioryMiddleham CastleMount Grace PrioryPickering CastleRichmond CastleRievaulx AbbeyRoche AbbeySt Peter's ChurchScarborough CastleThornton Abbey and GatehouseWhitby AbbeyYork Cold War Bunker (pre-booked visits only)In the North West: Beeston Castle and Woodland ParkBrougham CastleCarlisle CastleFurness AbbeyLanercost PrioryStott Park Bobbin MillAt Hadrian's Wall: Birdoswald Roman FortChesters Roman FortCorbridge Roman TownHousesteads Roman FortIn the North East: Aydon CastleBarnard CastleBerwick-Upon-Tweed-BarracksBelsay Hall, Castle and GardensBrinkburn PrioryDunstanburgh CastleEtal CastleLindisfarne PrioryPrudhoe CastleTynemouth Priory and CastleWarkworth Castle

Hexham: Hadrian's Wall and The Romans Full Day Guided Tour

8. Hexham: Hadrian's Wall and The Romans Full Day Guided Tour

Head to Cawfield Quarry and find your expert, local guide, dressed in an authentic Roman costume of the era. The tour is set in the spectacular Northumberland National Park, which makes a magnificent backdrop to explore the hidden archaeological gems of Hadrian’s Wall by foot. Follow your guide as he weaves a narrative from both sides of the wall. Listen to Roman history come to life as you discover what life was like for Britons under the rule of Rome. Learn the tales of the natives, and the stories told by occupying forces as you explore the local’s favorite sections of this breathtaking world heritage site. After the tour, head to your choice of nearby Roman Museums, including Vindolanda Roman Fort, The Roman Army Museum, Housesteads Roman Fort, or Chesters Roman Fort. Here, learn even more about the fascinating times of Britain under Roman rule, and see incredible artifacts left behind from the era.

Hadrian's Wall: Housesteads Roman Fort Entry Ticket

9. Hadrian's Wall: Housesteads Roman Fort Entry Ticket

Visit the historic Housesteads Roman Fort with a pre-booked entrance ticket. Set on an escarpment and flanked by dramatic stretches of Hadrian's Wall, uncover the lives of the self-sufficient soldiers who lived here. Stand on the edge of a formidable empire and take in awe-inspiring 360-degree vantage points. During your tour of the site, imagine what life was like for the 800 soldiers living and working here during the Roman period. Learn about every aspect of their life including clothing, tools, weaponry, religious beliefs, and medicine. See the barracks block, hospital, Commander's House, granaries, and communal toilets. Then, head into the museum to visit the mini-cinema. See the fort brought to life in film with stunning recreations of the original Roman buildings and meet Felix, the character who guides younger visitors around. Next, discover the fascinating collection of Roman finds to give you a snapshot of life, 2000 years ago. See Roman altars, dedication stones, jewellery, tools and weapons, all excavated from the fort. Look out for the impressive winged statue, Victory, a wonderful example of classical sculpture found lying in the landscape around the fort. Finally, take the Housesteads Trail covering some of the most tranquil parts of Northumberland National Park. Run wild in 5 acres, dress-up as a Roman soldier and play a game of 'I spy' on the edge of the Roman Empire.

Hadrian's Wall: Chesters Roman Fort and Museum Entry Ticket

10. Hadrian's Wall: Chesters Roman Fort and Museum Entry Ticket

Come and see what life was like at one of the Roman Empire's most northern outposts. Chesters Roman Fort is the most complete Roman cavalry fort in Britain. Wander around the unusually well-preserved baths and steam room, and the officers' quarters. Discover an amazing collection of Roman objects and inscriptions in the museum, which were found at the fort and along Hadrian's Wall. Chesters is home to a spectacular Roman bathhouse, a place to relax on Hadrian's Wall for both Roman and modern visitors. The tranquil riverside spa on the banks of the North Tyne consists of a complex of rooms where weary soldiers could take hot, cold, and steam baths. Browse the recently updated Clayton Museum to discover a myriad of Roman artifacts, and find out about the "Savior of the Wall," the Victorian lawyer John Clayton. The museum first opened in 1896 on behalf of the Trustees of the Clayton Collection, and still has many of its original Edwardian display cabinets. Pick up a Chesters Fort takeover trail sheet from the admissions team and set off on a Roman adventure. Take a stroll through history around the fort, the headquarters building and courtyard, hall and regimental shrine. Plus, don't miss the ruins of an elaborate and luxurious commandant's house. Fuel up after your adventure in the Chesters tearooms. Here you will find light lunches made from locally sourced ingredients, sweet treats, and hot and cold drinks. Try a traditional stottie cake for a truly Northumbrian culinary experience.

Other Sightseeing Options in Hadrian's Wall

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What people are saying about Hadrian's Wall

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 357 reviews

As with the previous half day in Newcast not only did we see Vera locations but also little fishing ports and inland hamlets. But the star location was Holey Island, we left just under two hours before it was cut off again when the tide came in. How did they find an isolated cottage on the island to portray where Vera lives ? Two very good days. Recommend Pilgrims Coffee on the island

Decided on a guided tour as it's hard to know where to start with Hadrian's Wall. This was a perfect introduction. Entertaining and fascinating talk by a friendly Celt in full costume, followed by easy access to the wall and lots of explanation and answered questions. Well worth the money, Thank you!

Graham was a wonderful tour guide! Great balance of historical narratives, stop times at attractions, route of travel, Scottish music, and peaceful travel time. Highly recommend!

Had a great time. Guide was knowledgeable and friendly. Really enjoyed exploring all the locations!

Fran was the absolute best. Would highly recommend this tour to any Vera fan.