Charity Challenge, Walking Hadrian's Wall

A guest post and a cry for help from Phill at Corporate Dad.

The first day of the year, where many of you are hungover is probably the most inappropriate time to discuss getting out into the fresh air, picking out a tent and camping. Or maybe it's the best time, when you are all full of New Year's resolutions and energy.

Whatever the case, I need your help!

Having organised an 84 mile trek in May to raise money for charity and inspire my daughters to do something amazing, there’s at least one issue. I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to camping but I do know how to walk. One out of two isn’t bad, right?

Now I know for any kind of long trek there’s going to be a lot of weight to carry. I’m hoping that a minimum of 4 people are going to be taking part and then multiples of 4 after that. Seeing that we will have camping gear, eating things, clothing and food, we can then separate out into four equal bags.

We’re going to be starting May bank holiday and looking at the weather the average temperature for that time is at least in double digits. I hope that the weather will be on our side when it comes to the weather as we’ll need lightweight, versatile clothing and camping equipment.

So thank you to Naomi at Tents and Festivals for letting me put this out there:

“I’m a NOVICE please help!”

Being tent experts I’m hoping there’s some avid walkers and hardened campers here to offer up some advice and expert opinions on equipment, logistics, best things to eat and any preferred locations to camp along the Hadrian’s wall.

5-6 Days of walking, we anticipate 16 miles a day minimum and my understanding is that it’s a really pleasant walk from Newcastle to Bowness. Fairly downhill and of course, with a wall, fairly straight forward. That doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be difficult.

Here’s some of my major questions:

  • What type of tent do we need? Double shell or do we go light and individual?
  • Food and Cooking? Would you recommend cooking or go all dry ingredients and protein shakes?
  • Any ideal Camping Spots or just go rural?
  • How would you arrange the logistics of it all? Getting to Newcastle and then back from Bowness?

Fingers crossed that everything will go to plan, there’s a whole lot of training to be done and I can’t wait to get started in the New Year (when I’m finally over this cold). It’s for a great cause and there’s going to be a whole sense of achievement after not only for me and my group but hopefully for my kids.

This is an open trek so please do let me know if you’d like to join us in this adventure and if you can help out with any of the questions above please do comment, share to those that may be able to help as every little detail could be vital.

If you’d like to know more or join in come find more details here: Charity Challenge

Wishing Phill all the best for his trip - you can follow him on Twitter or on Facebook
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  1. In terms of camping, just going rural is not an option- between the farmland and the protected sites this is not an area where roughing it is really possible. Visit Northumberland have a good website with details of campsites and other options - I'd recommend seriously looking at the barn at Melkridge which should be about midway, and guarantees you a dry warm night.Twice Brewed has anice campsite too, as I remember....
    Don't under estimate the rolling nature of the terrain - this is a rugged area with lots of sharp little inclines as well as high moors where being windproof is as important as being waterproof. Don't forget, on the northumberland side, if you go south from the wall you're walking down the side of a valley,and you'll have to walk back up it to get back to the wall. In some villages )e.g Haydon Bridge) that can mean stretches of 7- 10% -which is not fun with a backpack.
    Don't expect solitude - the main routes are very very busy all year round. The beginnings of the route (e.g. Wallsend) are very urban and remain so for the first six miles or so. You can of course cheat if you get the train to Newcastle, since the wall runs under the railway staion, just about, but to be authentic get the metro to wallsend.

    1. Morning it's Phill, thank you for this great advice. So yes Newcastle to Bowness. So you'd say plan camping points rather than find a isolated plot for the night. 84 miles we're anticipating 4-5 nights.

  2. I would also add, its optimistic to expect double digit temperatures in May, in northumberland especially if you add in the windchill on some of the more exposed parts, up by the whin sill for example It can be lovely in May, but its not at all guaranteed

    1. So expect it to be chilly. Surely that's the best for walking maybe not the camping part :) any guidance on equipment?


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