Exploring Walltown Crags is one of the easiest ways to see Hadrian’s wall with a spectacular stretch of the wall very well preserved.
A short venture out exploring Walltown Crags was to be our first outing since returning to the UK and managing to re-register the 4×4. We’d rented a shipping container to store our classic Ford as well as a mountain of boxes and all of our camping and overlanding gear, this was located near Greenside with Walltown Crags being right next door so it was the obvious choice to kick start our Northumberland exploration.
Growing up in Northumberland I knew all about Hadrian’s wall, I even lived in a farmhouse that was built using stones from the wall in 1200ad. The last time I visited the wall, that is if you don’t count driving on top of it on the Military road was way back on a school trip. It’s funny how you have all of this history and heritage on the doorstep but don’t explore it when you’re younger. Life is happening like getting a job, buying a house, making money so the Romans can wait.
Things get different when you approach 50 however, all of a sudden those ‘boring’ things become interesting and if you can work in some exercise then that’s as added bonus. This was to be my first trip exploring Walltown Crags and it won’t be last, it’s the type of place that to get the ‘right shot’ you need the right weather and time of day – It’s a photographers dream.
Take a look online and there are some stunning images of this place and the views that surround it, in summer it’s an early start with the tripod, flask and breakfast for sure.
While the site is free to visit, NNP [Northumberland National Park] charges apply. The car park is a good size, easy to find and with good access however it gets very busy during the holidays and any time the weather is good so it will pay to go early to avoid the crowds. A full day parking is £6.00 which is probably worth it simply to save you clock watching.
Greenhead, Hexham, Northumberland, CA8 7JD GPS: 54.986996,-2.519963
The ticket machine looked like something from the starship Enterprise but that might just be us having been away for nearly 20 years. In the end we managed.
There are several circular walks starting at the visitor center, each is short but you do have the odd picnic table and pleasant surroundings. To reach the wall you need to deviate away from the circular routes and make your way through a field [everything is explained on the map board].
Dogs need to kept on a lead although this does not seem to apply to everyone… The walk up the field towards the wall at the top is steep and very slippery when it has been raining [going up aswell as down]
At the top
Once you reach the top which only takes a few minutes you’re in for a real treat. The wall is spectacularly well preserved at this location and you can’t help but imagine Roman soldiers milling about the place. It is best to stay on the nearside of the wall where you can pick up the trail of the wall itself or simply spend some time taking in the views.
Walltown Crags was our first trip out since we got the Shogun re-registered in the UK. Having mobility back is a huge bonus and being able to get to places like this is great. There are dozens of locations to explore along Hadrian’s wall, some lesser known than others and we’ll be visiting many of them over the coming months.
For now though Walltown Crags was a quick visit, a taste of being home again and while the weather was poor to say the least it was still well worth the trip out.
- Visitor center
- Car park
- Toilets: YES
- Dogs allowed
- Drone flying: NO
- Entry: FREE
- Trail signage: YES/OK