A walk along some of the sections of Hadrian’s Wall

A fantastic walk along some of the best-preserved sections of Hadrian’s Wall. You’ll be treated to fantastic views from the highest point on the Wall.

This area is dominated by the dramatic whin sill ridge along which Hadrian’s Wall is built. This rock was here 295 million years before the Romans!

Rare whin grassland plants such as thyme, wild chive, biting stonecrop, rockrose and mountain pansy grow on this hard rock along Hadrian’s Wall. Birds such as snipe, curlew and skylark can be seen over the moorland, whilst kestrel regularly fly above the crags on Hadrian’s Wall.

The logo for the Hadrian's Wall 1900 festival

Walk overview

Walk difficulty
Walk distance
6 miles / 9.6km
Walk duration
3.5 hours
Hadrian's Wall
Recommended OS Map
OS OL43 Explorer 1:25000 Hadrian’s Wall
Dog friendly

Step by step route

Starting from outside The Sill

Facing the main entrance follow the path around the right-hand side of the building to the wicket gate by the main road. Cross the road into the small woodland, and turn left up the footpath that runs alongside the road heading uphill.

Continue to follow the road

Coninue to follow the road and take the footpath through the gate on the left, signed ‘National Trails/ Caw Gap’. Follow the grassy path straight on, Hadrian’s Wall is on your right.

Steady climb to the trig point

It's a steady climb up to the trig point on the top of Winshield Crags, the highest point on Hadrian’s Wall at 1,132 ft / 345m. For a longer walk, continue on to Cawfields OR retrace your steps back to your start point.

Follow the path

Follow the path as it goes up and down alongside Hadrian’s Wall. Head down the stone steps to the minor road at Caw Gap.

Follow the path signed ‘National Trails /Cawfields Quarry’.

Cross the road, go through the kissing gate and follow the path signed ‘National Trails /Cawfields Quarry’. Continue alongside the Wall, up and down to Turret 41a, Thorny Doors, Cawfields Crags and then Milecastle 42. Milecastles were small forts built every Roman mile along Hadrian’s Wall.

Great views over Cawfields Lake

A short there and back detour up the crag ahead gives great views over Cawfields lake, which was a Whinstone quarry for road- stone from 1902 until 1952, long before Hadrian’s Wall was given World Heritage Site status!
Take the path through the gate and head down to Cawfields where there are toilets and a picnic area by the lake.

Retrace your steps

Having explored Cawfields retrace your steps back up to Milecastle 42 and from there return the way you came, back to your start point.

Walk route

Getting there

The starting point for the walking 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

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