Sycamore Gap and Housesteads Fort – Feb 2023


Date:   Saturday 4 February  2023
Time: 10:00 am
Distance: 8 miles
Difficulty: Moderate (hills)

Event Expired


Sycamore Gap and Housesteads Fort

SycamoreGap-CragLough - SycamoreGapCragLoughRecce_31082020M-4

The Sycamore Gap and Housesteads Fort walk starts at The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre (at Once Brewed).  It takes a route to Sycamore Gap and Housesteads Fort before returning via a route giving us a view of Sycamore Gap with less people.


Hills: General - AscentKey1-98x27 Some hills
Distance: General - DistanceKey1-98x27 Medium distance
Grade: General - GradeKey1-98x27 Moderate
Map: General - OL43-HadriansWall-Map-thumb
This walk is on map Explorer OL43 – Hadrian’s Wall. Click on map image to buy this map.
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The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre is Northumberland National Park’s new visitor attraction and will excite and inspire people of all ages to explore the landscape, history, culture and heritage of Northumberland.

The tree is one of most photographed in the country.  It stands in a dramatic dip in Hadrian’s Wall in the Northumberland National Park.  The 1991 film ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’, starring Kevin Costner, was filmed here.  The tree has been known as The Robin Hood Tree ever since.

The Start

Sycamore Gap is only a short distance East from The Sill and we will take one of the paths adjacent to the wall, to get there.  The traditional path climbs up from Steel Rigg via stone steps (there is always an alternative easier path, if you think this is not for you).  The views are spectacular up there and we will walk along the top of Peel Crags.

Sycamore Gap

Soon we reach Milecastle 39 and then follow the path down to Sycamore Gap.  We will stop for photographs and a rest before continuing on up to Highshield Crags.

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Highshield Crags

These crags sit high above Crag Lough, a lake at the bottom of a vertical crag.  Again, the views are amazing across the lough.  The path descends through trees, towards Hotbank Farm.

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Hotbank, Cuddy’s and Housesteads Crags

From Hotbank Farm, we climb to the steep slope to Hotbank Crags.  We will follow the wall past Cuddy’s Crags and Housesteads Crags, to Housesteads Roman Fort.  We will take our lunch here.  The Fort is managed by English Heritage, so we won’t be entering it.  After lunch, we will continue on by the Wall, to King’s Wicket, where we turn back West.

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Broomlee Lough and Ridley Common

We take an easier path back over fields.  We pass south of Broomlee Lough and the on over Ridley Common.  The Crags that we walked over on the way are visible from here.  Greenlee Lough Nature Reserve is also visible from here.  We return to Hotbank Farm, to follow the path further on.


The last part of the walk is over Peatrigg and then up to Steel Rigg car park, before heading back to The Sill.  On the way we see the other side of Sycamore Gap.

SycamoreGap-CragLough - SycamoreGapCragLoughRecce_31082020M-4

Return to the Sill

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We return down the road to the Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre.

This is a beautiful walk, not to be missed, with outstanding views and of course the iconic Robin Hood Tree.

We hope you can join us.

Julie and Martin x


Gallery – Sycamore Gap and Crag Lough

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This shows the start location for this walk.

Nearest postcode: NE47 7AN
OS Grid Reference:  NY 75254 66844
What3Words: ///strutted.scooped.kennels
Toilets: The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre
Parking: Parking is at The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre.
It is accessible from the B6318 Military Road, near the Twice Brewed Inn.
Parking Charges:  Up to 2 hours £2.00.  Then £1.00 per hour thereafter up to a maximum of £5.00.  Payment is on exiting.