Explore two walks along Hadrian's Wall
Situated in the heart of Northumberland, The Sill: Landscape Discovery Centre offers a gateway to Northumberland National Park, including the ancient spectacle of Hadrian’s Wall. Steeped in history and surrounded by breath-taking views, The Sill serves as the perfect starting point for a variety of fascinating walking routes for all abilities.
In this blog, we’ll explore two walks that diverge in opposite directions from The Sill, each leading to extraordinary historical sites along Hadrian’s Wall.
Before setting off, we advise all visitors to ‘Be Adventure Smart’ and plan ahead before visiting the park in Winter months.
Turn Right: Discovering the site of Sycamore Gap
If you turn right at Hadrian’s Wall to Peel Crags, you’ll embark on a journey that combines stunning scenery with historical significance.
The path leads you up steep inclines and descents towards the iconic site of Sycamore Gap, a location that was made famous as a location for ‘90s blockbuster film, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, but most recently for the tragic felling of the tree in September this year.
The spot remains a picturesque place to visit. The stump is alive but lies dormant, as is typical at this time of year, and is protected from grazing livestock by a wooden fence. It is hoped that new growth will sprout from the stump over the coming seasons.
The undulating hillocks that once framed the famed sycamore now reveals the beauty and ingenuity of the stonework of Hadrian’s Wall which is now more visible.
For turn-by-turn directions visit Sycamore Gap Walk • Northumberland National Park
Turn Left: Scaling the highest point on Hadrian’s Wall, Winshield Crags
Opting for a leftward route along the wall takes you on a journey to the highest point along Hadrian’s Wall.
Follow signs for ‘National Trails/ Caw Gap’ and continue along the grassy path with Hadrian’s Wall on your right. The path unfolds with a gradual ascent, and as you reach the highest point known as Winshield Crags, you’ll encounter a trig point, short for triangulation point, a fixed station used in surveying. Today, trig points serve as iconic landmarks and offer stunning viewpoints out over the surrounding landscape.
You can cut the walk short here or if you want a longer trek, you can carry on to Cawfield Crags and Milecastle 42.
Continuing Along the Wall: Cawfield Crags and Milecastle 42
For those who prefer a longer hike, continue along the wall from the trig point, and after a little while you’ll arrive at Cawfield Crags. This rugged terrain boasts dramatic landscapes, and here, you’ll discover Milecastle 42, a well-preserved Roman fortification. Milecastles were strategically positioned along the wall every mile, providing defence and signalling points for the Roman frontier.
After you have explored the quarry and milecastle, you can retrace your steps back to The Sill.
For turn-by-turn directions visit Winshield Crags & Cawfields • Northumberland National Park
Whether you choose to turn right towards the Sycamore Gap site or left to Winshield Crags and Cawfields Quarry beyond, walking routes from The Sill promise a captivating blend of natural beauty and historical interest. So, lace up your walking boots, and let the journey unfold as you explore the many wonders along the wall.