Walk 3404 - printer friendly version
Hadrian's Wall - Cawfields to Steel Rigg Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 3.5 miles / 5.7 km
Ascent - 650 feet / 197 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference NY752668
Lat 54.995157 + Long -2.3891662
Postcode NE47 7AW (approx. location only)
Hadrian's Wall runs for 73 miles across northern England and its route is followed by a Hadrian's Wall National Trail. In addition on this section of the Wall, the Pennine Way also takes the same route. Construction of the Wall started in AD 122 and it remained in use until the Romans departed in the 5th century. Today there is still significant evidence of the Roman's endeavours with some sections of the wall restored or rebuilt.
The start for this walk is the Northumberland National Park Centre at Once Brewed (Grid ref NY752668) where pay and display parking is available. From here take the AD122 Bus Service to the Milecastle Inn. After alighting walk north down the minor road opposite the bus stop to the car park at Cawfields (Grid ref. NY712665). Ignore the footpath across fields signed on your right and continue down towards the car park. Approaching the entrance to the parking area bear left and begin to follow the wall. This is a well preserved section and gives an excellent impression of what the Wall would have looked like in its operational days, when it provided an intimidating line of defence.
Looking ahead, you will see the wall follows the undulating country so do not expect level walking. Milecastle 42 is soon reached. This was one of the smaller fortifications placed every Roman Mile. This one is also well preserved and would have been home to a small garrison of men who defended the wall in this area. Continuing on the main path follow the wall as it crosses the top of Cawfield Crags to reach Caw Gap. Ahead more rolling countryside provides some excellent views on both sides as the path follows the contours.
There is less evidence of the Wall now as you pass Milecastle 41 to reach the trig point on the summit of Windshields Crags (345 metres above sea level). Cross the lane (Grid ref. NY750675) and continue along the line of the wall for approximately 250 metres to reach a fine viewpoint (Grid ref. NY752675). From here descend to the road using the permitted footpath. Walk south towards the main road soon reaching the start the car park at the Northumberland Visitor Centre at Once Brewed.