Hadrian’s Wall - a Roman Tour

John Sadler
A four-day history tour travelling along Hadrian's Wall to examine the Romans' impact on Britain
John Sadler

Tour Dates

13/08/2021 - 16/08/2021 Book
01/10/2021 - 04/10/2021 Book

Hadrian's Wall - a Roman Tour

When Claudius demanded a Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43 his troops made rapid progress in conquering the country. But there was resistance from the natives and the Scottish tribes proved troublesome. So the emperor Hadrian, visiting Britain in AD 122, ordered a wall to shut out the Scots. 

Secure behind Hadrian’s Wall, the North of England became a cosmopolitan place on Rome's frontier, with soldiers, travellers and traders sharing a massive mix of gods, goods, culture and food. 

Our expert-led tour follows Hadrian’s Wall to visit villages, towns and forts that reveal this fascinating period in English and Roman history. A time that inspired Kipling to write his famous poem, The Roman Centurion’s song: {abridged}

Legate, I had the news last night – my cohort ordered home
By ships to Portus Itius and thence by road to Rome.
I’ve marched the companies aboard, the arms are stowed below:
Now let another take my sword. Command me not to go!

I’ve served in Britain forty years, from Vectis to the Wall,
I have none other home than this, nor any life at all.
Last night I did not understand, but, now the hour draws near
That calls me to my native land, I feel that land is here.

Here where men say my name was made, here where my work was done;
Here where my dearest dead are laid – my wife – my wife and son;
Here where time, custom, grief and toil, age, memory, service, love,
Have rooted me in British soil. Ah, how can I remove?

Legate, I come to you in tears – My cohort ordered home!
I’ve served in Britain forty years. What should I do in Rome?
Here is my heart, my soul, my mind – the only life I know.
I cannot leave it all behind. Command me not to go!

The expert leading your tour

John Sadler has been leading tours along Hadrian’s Wall for more than 25 years. 

An Anglo-Scottish border cross, with Douglas on his mother’s side and born in Berwick upon Tweed, John lives in the North East and specialises in military history. He has written several books at the Romans, and is an accomplished lecturer, tour guide, heritage professional and historical interpreter, and a visiting lecturer at the University of Sunderland Centre For Lifelong Learning. 

Read more about John here. 

Highlights of your history holiday

  • Explore the ruins of the Roman forts of Arbeia and Housesteads
  • Examine the archaeological discoveries of Vindolanda, including a crucial fort and village
  • Tour the Roman Army museum at Walltown Crags
  • See the treasures of Corbridge, once the most northerly town in the Roman Empire
Please note that due to COVID restrictions outside of our control, the places we visit on any tour may change. If this happens, we will replace with an appropriate alternative.

Tour map

From your base in Newcastle, your expert guide takes you to a new destination every day. 

Map of Hadrian's Wall history tour

Tour prices

This tour costs from £999 per person, based on two sharing if you are taking part in the tours, and from £799 if you are not taking part in the tour.

There is no single supplement for individuals staying in single rooms, and a small extra charge for individuals in twin or double rooms. 

Included in your holiday

  • Expert guide
  • Tour manager
  • Luxury hotel accommodation
  • Luxury private coach travel to all sites
  • Entry to all attractions
  • Breakfast and dinner each day

Available dates

There are two tour dates avaible in 2021, with tour departures on 13 August 2021 (book here) and on 1 October 2021 (book here). 

Numbers are limited, reserve your place with a low 5% deposit and enjoy the full flexibility of our COVID guarantee. 


You'll be staying in a luxurious hotel that is perfectly located for the sites we will be visiting. All rooms are ensuite and comfortable, with a TV, radio and complimentary wifi, plus tea and coffee making facilities. 

Your booking includes:
  • Ensuite room with tea & coffee facilities and wifi
  • Breakfast and dinner

There are extra charges for:
  • All food and drink outside of breakfast and dinner. 

Options for non-touring partners

If you are travelling with a partner or friend who doesn’t share your love of Roman history, they can book with a lower rate to enjoy the hotel and our evening activities, without having to take part in the specialist tours. 

They can explore Newcastle and the North East under their own steam. Favourite attractions include the Quay and Quayside, which is now a hub for arts, music and culture in the city. Newcastle has transformed some of its most impressive historic buildings into centres for contemporary art, with the cool BALTIC Centre and The Biscuit Factory among the popular galleries. 

There are many creative small shops to see in the City too. The Grainger Market is now a Grade I listed building that is home to a wide range of independent stalls. Elsewhere, lookout for quirky independents which include the city-centre café Mog on the Tyne, where a collection of re-homed cats help guests escape from the stresses of their day, and For The Love of the North in Whitely Bay, which stocks souvenirs crafted by local artists!


Transfers during your tour

For transfers between all tour destinations we use large 17-22 seater executive minibuses so that the seat beside you can be empty.

Transfers will be a luxury experience and your minibus will have comfortable reclining seats with safety belts, a fully operational air-conditioning system, an on-board refrigerator and a fully functioning toilet maintained throughout your journey.

Our drivers are friendly, smart, professional and punctual. so you are always in safe hands. 


Solo travellers welcome

Our tours are perfect for solo travellers who want to expand their knowledge and understanding of a subject, and prefer the choice of being as solitary or social as you like. Each tour is a journey of an independent mind – fellow travellers will be intelligent, well-read, knowledgeable and like-minded people, and a mutual interest in a particular topic can lead to life-long friendships.

Read more about our welcome for solo travellers here.​

Picture credits for this page:

Main image: A Roman Legion, credit: Iberfoto/Mary Evans
Landscape image: Housesteads Roman Fort on Hadrian's Wall, credit: VisitBritain / Andrew Pickett

Your history holiday itinerary

Your four-day guided tour along Hadrian’s Wall visits the most important locations that shed light on this incredible period. 

Tour Dates

13/08/2021 - 16/08/2021 Book
01/10/2021 - 04/10/2021 Book


Day 1

Arrive in Newcastle and check-in at your hotel. In the afternoon, your guide will take you to Arbeia, the remains of a large Roman fort at the end of Hadrian’s Wall. The site now includes a reconstruction of a typical Roman Gatehouse and soldiers living quarters.

In the evening, you’ll get to know your fellow tour mates over dinner and an introductory talk on the Romans in the North from our expert guide.

Day 2

You’ll take a trip along Hadrian’s Wall. Travelling by executive coach you’ll follow the course of the River Tyne, with a first stop at the famous Housesteads Roman Fort to explore the ruins and enjoy its museum and café.

Your tour then continues to Vindolanda, where exciting archaeological discoveries include the remains of an important Roman fort and village which once supported the defence of the Wall.

As we visit these incredible sites, your guide will bring them to life through visceral accounts from the rulers, soldiers, traders and locals who lived through the period.

Day 3

In the morning you’ll visit the much-heralded Roman Army museum at Walltown Crags, with our expert providing fascinating insight into the artefacts on display.

In the afternoon the group heads to Corbridge, once the most northerly town in the Roman Empire and today a time-capsule of Roman life. The Corbridge Hoard, on display at the town's museum, was one of the most significant finds in Roman history. Through armour and trinkets the collection provides fascinating insight into the life of a Roman soldier on the Wall.

To end the day you’ll continue along the river to Hexham, a typical Northumberland market town with a medieval Abbey.

Day 4

For our final visit, your guide will lead a morning tour of the medieval castle that gave Newcastle its name. You’re then free to explore the city before leaving for home.