Hadrian’s Wall guided tours

Your visit to Hadrian’s Wall will be greatly enhanced by understanding more about why this world-famous Roman structure was built and how it operated.  Hadrian’s Wall is much more than just a wall – there is a whole suite of military fortifications including turrets, milecastles, forts, north ditch, vallum and Roman bridge abutments, many set against dramatic backdrops.

I can devise a personalised itinerary that will enable you to enjoy great scenery and exhilarating walks along Hadrian’s Wall, visit sites of interest and begin to recognise the different features of Roman military planning for yourself.

I am based near Carlisle, the perfect gateway to exploring this World Heritage Site.  My knowledge of Hadrian’s Wall is extensive, and I am the author of ‘Romans in Cumbria’ and ‘Solway’s Built Heritage’ booklets.  Using my expertise, you will receive a personalised guided tour tailored to your specific interests and requirements.

Minibus and chauffeur-driven tours are available by prior arrangement.

Tours in French, German and Spanish can be arranged (subject to availability).

Virtual Tours along Hadrian’s Wall

If you are planning to walk Hadrian’s Wall and would like some information on what to look out for, you might find these recordings of my virtual walk along Hadrian’s Wall of interest.  I have completed 4 sections so far, all of which cover the Wall in some detail.  Each ‘tour’ costs £5.  If you would like to receive the recordings, please let me know via email – anna@discoverlakeland.co.uk – and I will send the chosen recording/s by WeTransfer.

Section 1. Bowness-on-Solway to Carlisle

Section 2. Carlisle to Banks Turret

Section 3.  Banks Turret to Gilsland

Section 4.  Gilsland to Cawfields

Introductory tour (from Carlisle)

This informative one-day tour provides a full introduction to Hadrian’s Wall through a balanced mix of site visits and short walks.  You will see examples of all the different types of fortifications – turrets, milecastles, fort, the north ditch, vallum and remains of a Roman bridge – and leave with a thorough understanding of how the Wall operated, who built it and why.

Anna was incredible and knowledgeable and any tour with her will be worth it.  If you can find a tour with her go for it.  I know history and know if someone who is just reciting facts and some like Anna who knows what she’s talking about. Randall Miller, June 2022

Anna gave a superb tour June 9th of Hadrian’s wall for my wife and I.  The history, scenery, stories, flexible amount of desired exercise and the sites we were taken to made the day incredible!!! We would have never had this tremendous experience without a guide.  Even now as we approach the end of our 3-week vacation, I can say it was the highlight of our trip.  Definitely 5 out of 5 rating! Joe & Deb Hooyman, June 2022

Scenic Hadrian’s Wall & Vindolanda

If you prefer to stride out along one of the most scenic sections of Hadrian’s Wall, this tour includes an exhilarating 3-mile (4.5 km) walk from Steel Rigg to Housesteads Fort, rounded off by an afternoon visit to the incomparable Vindolanda – the only fort in the Hadrian’s Wall corridor undergoing complete excavation.

Anna’s knowledge of Hadrian’s Wall and the surrounding area and history was greatly admired and appreciated.  It made you appreciate the history, the beauty of the land and the strength of the people.  It was the best tour I have ever taken to find out about the area I was visiting.  Would highly recommend it to anyone interested in understanding the area they are visiting.  Terri Ellis, August 2022

Mysteries of Hadrian’s Wall 

A tour looking at some of the less well-known aspects of Hadrian’s Wall.   Starting at Housesteads, we walk to Sewingshields Crags and ponder its age-old links with King Arthur.  Further east, at Brocolitia, we view a Mithraic Temple to learn about the fascinating cult of Mithraism and its associations with ancient astrology.  A short distance away, Limestone Corner captures a unique moment in time when the Romans were defeated by the hardness of the underlying rock.  Finally, we end the day at Chesters Fort to hear about its unexpected archaeological finds.

You couldn’t ask for a better guide than Anna Gray.  I wish we had an entire week to have her guide us around all of Hadrian’s Wall.  I highly recommend her to anyone interested in history.  E Crosswhite, August 2023

Thank you for a wonderful day and for giving so much of yourself and your knowledge to us.  We loved being with you. Donna Bullock

Beyond Hadrian’s Wall 

If you are already familiar with Hadrian’s Wall, this tour will take you to less well-known but equally fascinating sites that lie beyond the Wall.   This absorbing guided tour will take you firstly to Burnswark – a prominent hill that once supported a sizeable Iron Age tribe.  Here you will be able to clearly see the might of the Roman military machine in action.  After a brief visit to Birrens outpost fort, we head across country to Netherby Hall (site of the Roman fort of Exploratorum) and on to Bewcastle.  This tiny settlement in the far north of England just oozes history.  From being a Roman outpost fort (Fanum Cocidii), it became a Norman stronghold and later a nefarious base for the infamous Border Reivers.

An incredible day out looking at sites associated with Hadrian’s Wall but rarely visited.  Thank you for showing me a fascinating other side to Hadrian’s Wall. Larry Schiff, 2019