(image credit Dave McGlade)
The Hadrian’s Wall path is one of England’s most iconic long distance routes and also one of its youngest National Trails, marking ten years this summer with a programme of walking events designed to celebrate the unique 84 mile route and its surrounding countryside.
The anniversary celebrations – which began on 2 May and run until late September - include a series of guided walks and other activities taking in the heritage of the trail as well as the landscape and wildlife of ‘Hadrian’s Wall Country’.
As well as running through the UNESCO World Heritage site after which it is named, the Hadrian’s Wall path can also claim to be the only one of the 13 National Trail’s in England to cross the entire width of the country, running from Bowness-on-Solway on the Cumbria coast to Wallsend near the North Sea.
Around 11,000 people walk the full length of the trail every year, with thousands more enjoying smaller sections as well as 80 circular walks designed to allow walkers to explore the local countryside and alleviate pressure on the grass trail, where archeological gems lie just beneath the surface.
"People from around the world want to walk the trail for many different reasons” says Linda Tuttiett, Chief Executive of the Hadrian's Wall Trust which manages the trail. “There's the history and landscape, personal challenge and achievement, and to raise money for many different charities.”
Walkers are encouraged to walk the trail during the drier spring, summer and autumn months when the surface is less vulnerable to damage and to walk side by side rather than in single file to increase the carrying capacity of the grass path.
"No other trail provides for such extensive access to an archaeologically sensitive landscape” says Linda. “By actively managing the trail we can look forward to welcoming many thousands more people whilst still protecting the site for future generations."
The Hadrian's Wall Trust produces the Every Footstep Counts code to help people use the trail sensitively and also operates a passport scheme from 1 May – 31 October where walkers can collect stamps at sites along the route.
Find out more about the Hadrian’s Wall path and other National Trails or join our Campaign for National Trails to ensure a brighter future for the gems of Britain’s footpath network.