Walltown and Thirlwall Castle – Aug 2021


Date: Saturday 21st August 2021
Time: 10:00 am
Distance: 9 miles
Difficulty: Moderate (distance)

Event Expired


Walltown and Thirlwall Castle

CawfieldsGreenhead - CawfieldsGreenhead-12

The Walltown and Thirlwall Castle walk starts at Cawfields.  It then heads west along Hadrian’s Wall, returning via an easier route, adjacent to the Vallum.  The outward path that we take follows the Wall closely and is actually included in three major long distance walking routes.  The Pennine Way, the Hadrain’s Wall Path and Alfred Wainwright’s A Pennine Journey all use the same path.  So there must be something good about it, right?

The Start

Cawfields is a great place to start.  It’s a great place for picnics and stargazing too, but we will use it to park and use the toilet facilities.

The route follows a path across fields to start with.  It isn’t long before we reach the first Roman feature (not counting the Wall itself of course).

CawfieldsGreenhead - CawfieldsGreenhead-1

Aesica Roman Fort

There are remains of a turret and Roman camps here and a little further we reach Great Chesters.  This is the location of Aesica Roman Fort.  Often features along the Wall are just earthworks but here there are visible elements of the fort.

CawfieldsGreenhead - CawfieldsGreenhead-41

Hadrian’s Wall

From Aesica, the Wall continues on across relatively flat country, passing more turrets and a milecastle.

CawfieldsGreenhead - CawfieldsGreenhead-2

It’s as the path starts to meet the higher ground of the Whin Sill that we start to get the amazing views that are part and parcel of a walk along Hadrian’s Wall.

CawfieldsGreenhead - CawfieldsGreenhead-16

CawfieldsGreenhead - CawfieldsGreenhead-8

Walltown Country Park

We arrive at Walltown Country Park and more facilities.  There is a picnic area here, so we can enjoy a brief rest before carrying towards Thirlwall Castle.

CawfieldsGreenhead - CawfieldsGreenhead-19

Thirlwall Castle

Standing on a hill in the hamlet of Holmhead is Thirlwall Castle.  This is a 12th century castle, which might sound old, but it was later strengthened using stones from the then abandoned Hadrian’s Wall.  The castle was in use up to the 17th century.  It is now a Grade I Listed Building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

CawfieldsGreenhead - CawfieldsGreenhead-32


From Thirlwall Castle, it is only a short walk to Greenhead.  This village is just off the A69 and is somewhere many people are aware of but have never been to.  There isn’t a lot here but there is a tea room and we will more than likely visit it.

CawfieldsGreenhead - CawfieldsGreenhead-37

When we leave Greenhead, we will head up the road and then back towards Walltown Country Park.  On the way we pass the vague remains of the Magnis Roman Fort.

Instead of going back along the Wall, we take a more leisurely route towards Walltown.  This track eventually crosses the Vallum and then runs adjacent to it until we turn north and back to Aesica Roman Fort.  From here we retrace our steps back to Cawfields.

We hope you can join us.

Julie and Martin x


Gallery – Walltown and Thirlwall Castle

Home | Blog | Walks | Sign-up | Contact 

Strolls with Poles – Nordic Walking for Fun and Fitness



This shows the start location for this walk.

Location: Cawfields Quarry Car Park
Nearest postcode: NE49 9PJ
OS Grid Reference: NY 71277 66563
What3Words: chefs.insurance.sizzled
Directions: From the A1, take the A69 to Park Lane near Haltwhistle. Follow Park Lane to the B6316, where Cawfields is opposite The Milecastle Inn.
Toilets: There are toilets in the car park
Parking: Parking is at the Cawfields site.  Parking is charged at £2 for 2 hours and £1 for every additional hour, up to a maximum of £5.  We suggest that you will need to pay £5 to cover the time required to complete the walk.

Information re parking:

Q. How can I pay for my parking?
A. You can pay online, using your mobile or using cash or credit card.
Q. How long do I have to pay for my parking?
A. You have up to 48 hours after your visit to pay for your parking.
Q. Do I have to pay on the day of my parking?
A. No, you can pay up to 48 hours after your visit.
Q. Can I pay online?
A. Yes, simply visit www.parkwithease.co.uk and follow the simple instructions.
Q. What happens if I do not pay?
A. If you do not pay within 48 hours for your parking then Northumberland National Park Authority reserves the right to issue a Parking Charge Notice, currently £60 to be paid in 28 days of being issued but reducing to £35 if paid within 14 days of being issued.
Q. Do I need to display a ticket?
A. No, Park with Ease do not produce tickets to display.
Q. Do I get a receipt when I pay my parking tariff?
A. Yes, you get the option to request a receipt after paying your tariff.