This list is intended as 'food for thought' and may seem like commonsense to many, however every item on this list is either overlooked or ignored on a regular basis by walkers coming to the area. This results not just in discomfort or inconvenience, but unfortunately for some, an inability to complete the task they set out to achieve.
1. Don't underestimate the difficulty - It might not look much on a map, but if you are thinking of walking the whole of the Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail, you will be crossing from one side of the country to the other and as such traversing a mix of terrain including part of the Pennine Way.
2. Make sure you are properly equipped - This is not the same as 'walking to the shops'. Clothing, footwear, equipment - they are all vitally important. Check out our 'Walkers Kit List'.
3. Bring some Cash - Some places you may like to visit, (including shops, pubs and accommodation) don't accept plastic cards and the only Cash Machines on the Wall are in either Newcastle or Carlisle.
4. You need a Map - Unless you believe the signposts will always be where you want to see them and you're not concerned about your exact location should unforeseen circumstances arise (let alone have a general interest in where you are at any given time) - you need a Map and there is currently only one available of the whole length of the Wall - the Harvey's 'Hadrian's Wall Path'.
5. Correct Footwear is a Must - Footwear (socks as well as boots) that performs on all kinds of terrain and in all kinds of weather conditions is a tall order. You don't need 'heavy boots' to walk on miles of flat hard ground and shoes are not ideal for clambering up and down grassy or rocky slopes. Top tip is to make sure your feet are cushioned well. Check our 'Walkers Kit List'.
6. Bringing Dogs can be difficult - Not many Accommodation Providers accept dogs and the same goes for some of the places you might like to eat or drink. If you really want to bring your dog, the easiest option may be either to Camp or stay longer in the accommodations that allow it. Also be aware that this is 'sheep country' (requiring dogs to be on leads) and not all dogs appreciate long walks day after day (especially on the harder ground) - it does happen where the owner fails to complete the distance because the dog isn't up to it!
7. Covering a Long-Distance Trail with Kids in a short timescale, is not ideal. Dragging young children over long daily distances is really not a wise move and in some circumstances, can be dangerous. Hadrian's Wall is a great place for children to visit and walk along. However, walking the entire 84-mile length of the Trail, covering a distance equivalent to a half-marathon each day, is not the wisest move. If you're coming with young children, there's lots to interest them and walking short selective sections of the Path will be far more inspiring for them than a hard daily slog.
8. Consult Local Knowledge - Like everything else in the world - 'things change'. Accommodation, Pubs, Places to Eat - they open-up, close down and change hands. Sometimes it's for the better and occasionally it's for the worse. Beyond that, paths can get diverted and there are some things that you would not have wanted to miss. If you had to inform anyone about your local area, would you suggest asking someone a hundred miles away?
9. Making use of an Itinerary Planning Service can save a lot of grief - especially if you're considering changing your accommodation on a frequent basis. Adopting the 'do-it-yourself' approach is fraught with difficulties. Those of us unfortunate enough to have been taken in by the accommodation provider assuring us that they are "only five minutes away" from our intended destination, only to find that they were actually talking about a 'five-minute drive at 100mph assuming the road is completely clear', makes you cautious not to repeat the experience. Calling upon the expertise of an organisation with a reputation to maintain makes sense.
10. If Local Specialists exist, why not make use of them? Apart from the advantage of their local knowledge and experience, you also have the satisfaction of knowing that you're supporting the local economy of the place you're visiting - and who knows, you might just appreciate their assistance just when you need it...