A short walk to the famous Sycamore Gap

This short walk has great views of Hadrian’s Wall and the surrounding landscape.

It starts and finishes at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre – where parking, facilities and refreshments are available.

There are steep climbs and descents on the route and it can be slippery and muddy.

Walk overview

Walk difficulty
Walk distance
2 miles / 3.2km
Walk duration
1 hours
Hadrian's Wall
Recommended OS Map
OS Explorer OL 43 1:25000 Hadrian’s Wall
Dog friendly

Step by step route

1. Start from outside the Sill

Start from outside the Sill.  Facing the main entrance follow the path around the right hand side of the building to the gate by the main road.  Cross the road into the small woodland and then turn left up the footpath that runs alongside the road heading uphill.

2. Cross the road by Peel Bothy Cottage

At the left hand bend in the road cross the road by Peel Bothy Cottage.  Go through the gate on the right and take the left hand path to Hadrians Wall - past the waymarker post - and up to the gate in the wall.  Go through the gate and follow the stone flagged path downhill to the bottom of the crags.

3. Climb up the steep stone path

Climb up the steep stone path / steps to the top of Peel Crags.  Go through the gate and follow the path round to the left.  Keep the wall on your left as you follow the path up and down to Milecastle 39.

4. Milecastle 39

Milecastles are fortified gateways, built every Roman mile, often protecting weak points along the wall.  This one is number 39 meaning it is 39 miles away from the start of the wall at Wallsend. Follow the path around the Milecastle and continue uphill before the steep drop down to Sycamore Gap.  Take care coming down this steep descent.

5. Sycamore Gap

Sycamore Gap is one of the most famous trees in the country and is an iconic sight along Hadrian's Wall.  It was made famous in the Kevin Costner film Robin Hood Prince of Thieves when he visited the location on route to Sherwood Forest. Turn right at the tree and head downhill to the grassy track - this is the best spot for photographs showing the tree within the natural dip in the landscape.

6. Turn right along the grassy track

Turn right along the grassy track and then continue straight on when the track forks - DO NOT follow the left hand fork.  Go past a waymarker post and continue until you reach a stile over a wall.  Cross the stile and continue to follow the grassy track. / This track is the Roman Military Way - a Roman Road that was built near the line of the wall to allow access along it.

7. Continue on

The track turns rockier as it heads downhill and round the crags.  Continue on and head for the gateway to the right of the cottage in front of you.  Go through the gateway and back to the road.

8. Turn left through the gate

Turn left through the gate, cross the road and head back downhill to the Sill.

Walk route

Getting there

The starting point for the walk is The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre.

On the B6318 (Military Road). An hour’s car journey west from the centre of Newcastle and 45 mins east from Carlisle (Hadrian’s Wall Bus stops here)

Grid Ref: NY 752 668

W3W: scout.talent.resonated