Things That Clare and Maddy Learned on Hadrian’s Wall

Maddy and I learned some hard lessons last week when in Northern England! It was interesting to see how “relaxed” one gets when you’re only responsibility is yourself… not your kids or clients too! Anyway, if you haven’t read the story yet, you can read part 1 here, and part 2 here, you’ll need it to understand why we are making the below recommendations! Just in case any of you have Hadrian’s wall on your bucket list, here are our recommendations for a great trip!

Maddy and Clare’s Lessons from the wall:

  1. Don’t hike 34km on a whim. We have now learned that no matter how fit you are, nobody is fit enough for doing 3x the volume of the most they’ve ever done before in one day without training…
  2. KNOW whether there’s food or water on the way. It gets mighty unpleasant when you’re hungry, thirsty, and there’s no end to the track in sight.
  3. Pack more than one pair of pants… apparently it gets muddy.
  4. Beware the gate snake, rock snake, and electric fence snakes.
  5. Don’t sit on stinging nettles.
  6. Beans make you fart, but they are excellent “energy” foods. So walk downwind of your companions.
  7. Only fast if you know when your next meal is going to be.
  8. Have optimism and luck.
  9. It doesn’t rain in Northern England so don’t worry about wet weather gear!
  10. Take every opportunity to bush wee, cos you never know when your next chance will be.
  11. Train!
  12. There is no Uber in a National Park
  13. Be nice to the locals, they’ll either drive you for free, or take you to a secluded area and go all wolf creek on you… you want the former!
  14. Bring a translator!
  15. Don’t buy a packet of biscuits if you intend on it lasting more than an hour.
  16. Taxi’s will rip you off in every country. Use Hadrian’s Haul to move your bags each day.


If you’re going to travel with Clare:

  1. Bring active wear, even if she tells you not to.
  2. Train!
  3. Expect to climb every mountain, hill, and tower in sight.
  4. Expect to go in to every church, building, and home that you’re allowed in to (And even a few that you aren’t).
  5. Don’t worry about setting an alarm, she’ll be bouncing on your bed at 6.30am sharp most days… unless you successfully wear her out the day before (which is rare)
  6. Ensure access to a washing machine every 3 days.
  7. There’s no such thing as a rest day… just a smaller mountain.

If you’re going to travel with Maddy:

  1. You’ll have to translate different accents.
  2. Take your own blanket, she doesn’t share at night.
  3. Factor in a wee every hour, which adds more time than you think to a 5-7hr day!
  4. Train! She defy’s gravity when she walks and gets faster when she’s tired. Your little stumps will never keep up.
  5. She likes cows.
  6. Don’t take pants because she’s already packed 10.

Items I took out of my backpack that perhaps should have stayed (they were in there for Hiking Group!)…

  1. Tissues.
  2. Basic safety gear.
  3. Basic First Aid Kit
  4. Perhaps an epirb if you’re going out of Wi-Fi
  5. A map

So enjoy your trip, and learn from our experience! It is a great place to visit!

2 replies
  1. Kelley
    Kelley says:

    Love it… if I ever visit up there again & decide to walk more than 30 minutes worth of the wall, I’ll take all of those hints into consideration.


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