Birdoswald - Gilsland Circular

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Starting from Birdoswald, we walk along a section of Hadrian's Wall, crossing Willow Ford and proceeding up to Gilsland. From here we follow a riverbank path which then crosses the river via stepping-stones and goes up to the entrance of Gilsland Spa Hotel. Passing through the grounds or after a visit to the café, we drop down into the Dean, then out through Collering Wood onto the moor road. Here we follow further moor roads, tracks and footpaths down through the woods and over a stream, up to Dumblar Rigg. Now we pick up a farm track to Highstead Ash, then to Watch Hill Plantation before following a bridle-path back down to Birdoswald.

Please note that one stream crossing requires either waterproof boots and gaiters or bare feet and towel (only normally ankle-deep).

England - North England - Northumberland - Hadrians Wall


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Flowers, Gift Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, National Trust, Nature Trail, Pub, Public Transport
6/23/2020 - Jacqueline McMullan

The stepping stones are okay and it is easy to get over the river this way. I have crossed the river using these regularly during lockdown so they must have been fixed since the comment below. The only problem could be after heavy rain when they can be submerged under water. During the summer months they are usually fine.

9/25/2012 - Richard Fletcher

Walkers should be aware: 1. The stepping stones at (5) GR NY636671 are impassable since middle stone now missing. Detour possible through Irthing house up to road then taking path on left by fingerpost sign, down into woods and accross brige towards Gilsland Spa. 2. Very difficult to find existance of bridletrack/path at (14) GR NY621694 overgrown almost impenetrable. Note also landscape considerably altered since trees felled. 3. River crossing at (16) NY610698 can be very risky if in flood. 4. Don't take fingerposted path at (22) GR NY610669 unless you want to squelch through dense reed bog. It is best to take the road at Kiln hill with due caution down to Birdoswald. Despite the various issues with the described route it is never the less an excellent 9.2miles or with adjustments between 10.5 - 11.5miles

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