Have a staycation in Hadrian's Wall Country | Living North

Have a staycation in Hadrian's Wall Country

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Hadrian's Wall Country
There’s plenty going on at the wall, whether you’re looking to release your inner archeologist, walk 500 miles or dine out at some of the region’s best culinary spots

Hadrian’s Wall Country, that glorious yet wild countryside that runs parallel to the River Tyne is where you’ll find Housesteads, Chesters and Vindolanda, all Roman remains of note, and The Sill, a much more contemporary construction which aims to shed light on the incredible history which surrounds it. Villages are scattered here, with Newbrough, Fourstones, Wall and Acomb to the south, and Matfen, Humshaugh and Barrasford a trio of note to the north of the wall and the World Heritage Site.

Base Camp 
North of the wall, The Barrasford Arms offers a warm welcome at their traditional country pub with rooms. In nearby Gunnerton, Southland Farm is home to four quaint sandstone cottages if you prefer to have your own space. Across in Matfen, Matfen Hall have a selection of unique and historic rooms, as well as three new self-catering holiday cottages – The Gingan, The Granary and Aydon Castle Cottage. The Hadrian Hotel, a traditional country pub in Wall, is a great base for exploring Hadrian’s Wall – stay in one of their 11 newly-refurbished bedrooms. On the wall find the luxurious Walwick Hall, a country house hotel complete with spa and refined dining. South of the wall, near Newbrough and Fourstones, you’ll find The Red Lion which offers six luxury bedrooms, as well as welcoming log fires, delicious freshly-made food, local real ales and a great pub atmosphere. As far as B&Bs go, Carraw Bed and Breakfast, also near Fourstones, is one of the best, situated on a hilltop (on the foundations of the wall itself) it overlooks the vast Northumberland National Park. South-west of the wall, Layside is a brand new log cabin offering seriously luxurious self-contained rooms, where you’ll be hosted by seasoned travellers Sophie and Kevin who will be on hand to prepare breakfast and recommend local activities, while nearby Henshaw Barn boasts a rustic B&B offering two stylish double rooms, and wholesome food home-cooked by your classically-trained chef-cum-host John.

Perfect Weekend
Push yourself to your limits at Maften’s Go Ape. Climb 30ft high into the tree tops, where swings, rope ladders, zip wires and a range of obstacles will have your heart racing. Or, if it’s rest and relaxation you’re after then take a trip to the spa. Walwick Hall’s intimate spa is equipped with skilled Germaine de Capuccini therapists, while Matfen Hall’s Aqua Vitae spa has everything from luxurious spa treatments to a full suite of training equipment – they also serve a delicious homemade afternoon tea that remains faithful to the classic combination of finger sandwiches, homemade scones, and sweet pastries. 

Foodies should head to Hjem at The Hadrian Hotel to discover the unexpected. Scandi chef Alex Nietosvuori began his culinary career working in the two Michelin-starred restaurant, Daniel Berlin Krog, and last year made the move to Wall, bringing his flair for food and exceptional culinary skills with him. Their speciality is tasting menus, which pack in the freshest seasonal produce from their Northumberland surrounds. If you can bag yourself a table (they’re in high demand) we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Hadrian’s Wall Country, including the many sites of the Roman ruins, are simply begging to be explored on foot. Cawfields is one of the easiest Hadrian’s Wall milecastles to reach by car, but also encompasses one of the highest standing sections of the entire Wall. Expect steep slopes where the wall hangs on the edge of the sheer crags of the Whin Sill and views over the quarry lake. From here, head around three miles east to see the iconic Sycamore Gap tree, which featured in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, continue and you’ll end at the Housesteads Roman Fort. 

Published in: March 2020

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