Walwick Hall Humshaugh, near Chesters Roman Fort; 01434 620156; https://walwickhall.com. Large Georgian manor which has recently been converted into a luxury hotel and spa in landscaped grounds. Expect to pay top end prices (£250 per night upwards for doubles) for sumptuous rooms (traditionally styled with modern touches) in what is probably the plushest hotel in Northumberland, where the staff are uniformed, couples walk arm in arm along the sunny terrace and the sound of children is rare indeed (families may feel more comfortable staying in one of eight self-catering suites in nearby Chesters Stables – a magnificent 19th-century building within the Walwick Hall estate). Produce grown in the walled garden is worked into unfussy, modern dishes and served in a decadent dining room (the extensive use of gold furnishings may not be to everyone’s taste, however).
Carraw B&B Carraw Farm, Humshaugh NE46 4DB; 01434 689857; www.carraw.co.uk. Three miles west of Chesters Roman Fort is thisexceptionally friendly and comfortable Gold Award B&B for which you will pay only a little more than average. Rooms in the main 17th-century farmhouse are bright, modern, unfussy and feature exposed beams, stone walls and stripped pine floors. Facing the south and open countryside, they are all blissfully quiet and have lovely views of the Tyne Valley and distant Pennine moors. In one room the bath taps have been thoughtfully positioned in the middle of the tub so you can lie back and enjoy the view. A new timber extension (The Lodge) has wheelchair-accessible rooms. Laundry and drying facilities and secure cycle storage are a welcome sight for soaked Hadrian’s Wall walkers and cyclists. Leah is a wonderful host – always smiling – and is committed to sourcing produce from local butchers and farms. She also bakes her own bread and biscuits (complimentary on arrival). Dinners and packed lunches are available if ordered in advance.
Old Repeater Station Grindon, near Housesteads NE47 6NQ; 01434 688668; http://hadrians-wall-bedandbreakfast.co.uk. Les, the owner of this five-bedroom B&B (nothing fancy), is quite a character and a very welcoming host. During the summer, there’s a convivial atmosphere in this five-bedroom remote B&B with Hadrian’s Wall walkers and cyclists swapping tales from the Wall. Decent food for breakfast (and dinner, if booked in advance).
Twice Brewed Inn near Vindolanda and The Sill, Bardon Mill NE47 7AN; 01434 344534; www.twicebrewedinn.co.uk. While fairly small and functional, the rooms in this large stone inn by the side of the Military Road are modern and clean and have the advantage of being walking distance from Hadrian’s Wall and serving good food and beers (brewed on site).
Willowford Farm Gilsland CA8 7AA; 016977 47962; https://willowford.co.uk. Follow Hadrian’s Wall a quarter of a mile out of Gilsland and you’ll come directly to this welcoming organic farm with five en-suite B&B rooms in a converted stone byre. They are all modern, spacious and tastefully furnished with patterned quilts, old pine furniture and slate floors. Best of all for cold, weary walkers is the underfloor heating throughout, and insulation provided by sheep’s wool. Breakfast ingredients are locally sourced and organic where possible and include smoked trout. The owners, who run the Samson Inn in the village, will drop you off and collect you after your evening meal. Wheelchair accessible.
Campsites and youth hostels
Greencarts Campsite & Bunkhouse near Newbrough, Humshaugh NE46 4BW; 01434 681320; https://greencarts.co.uk. This large inexpensive site in farmland not far from Chesters Roman Fort is mainly used by tent campers and is a good choice for Hadrian’s Wall walkers or those on a budget. Sweeping rural views.
Hadrian’s Wall Camping & Caravan Site near Melkridge NE49 9PG; 01434 320495/07425 626442; https://hadrianswallcampsite.co.uk. A very pleasant, leafy site close to Hadrian’s Wall with undulating Wall countryside all around. What struck me about this medium-sized site was the campervans from so many different European countries which gave the place a certain vibe. Lots of families too. There’s also a bunk barn sleeping up to ten (youth-hostel prices).
Herding Hill Farm Shield Hill NE49 9NW; 01434 320175; https://herdinghillfarm.co.uk. Donkeys, llamas and chickens greet campers on arrival at this family friendly site one mile north of Haltwhistle and roughly the same distance south of Hadrian’s Wall. Those walking the Wall will be pleased to discover that the Hadrian’s Wall bus (AD122) stops outside shuttling hikers to all the famous Roman sites. You can also hire bell tents, tipis and pine wigwams (the latter come with hot tubs). It’s worth noting that there’s not a huge amount of space between the wigwams, so those looking for somewhere a little more private may wish to stay elsewhere.
The Sill on the Military Rd, near Bardon Mill NE47 7AN; 01434 341200; www.thesill.org.uk. You can hardly find a more convenient budget option for visiting Hadrian’s Wall, which snakes across the Whin Sill escarpment half a mile away. Also close by are Vindolanda and Housesteads Roman forts. Housed in a new, modern building – which chiefly operates as a tourist information centre and café – The Sill sensitively blends into the landscape. It’s a great choice for solo hikers or families (there are 16 four-bed rooms and a number of two- and three-bed suites). The Hadrian’s Wall bus, AD122, stops right outside, shuttling visitors to all the major Roman attractions in the area.
Slack House Farm Bunk Barn Gilsland CA8 7DB; 01697 747351/07900472342; https://slackhousefarm.co.uk. Two basic dorms (one with fold-up campbeds) plus a family room adjacent to the farm’s wonderful organic café, located not far from Birdoswald Roman Fort. Access to rooms only between 17.00 and 22.00 which should tell you that the accommodation here is really just for walkers and cyclists out all day on the hills. Arrivals on horseback can leave their animals in the field with the cows.
If you want to find out more about accommodation options in Northumberland, check out our guide: