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Hadrian's Coastal Route


124 km / 77 miles
A walk along the little-known western coastal Hadrianic frontier based upon the thesis that the Roman defences extended south beyond Maryport as far as Ravenglass, with its Roman Fort - Glannoventa.

Hadrian's Wall, with its clear line spanning coast to coast and World Heritage site status and its national walking trail, is inevitably a powerful public attraction, but there was a coastal frontier as well. Its northern part ran south along the Cumbrian coast from Bowness on Solway - the terminus of Hadrian's Wall - to Maryport, a formal system of watchtowers, forts and ditches topped with a palisade, constructed around 122AD. Beyond Maryport, it was considered by academics and archaeologists alike that the frontier was merely a series of forts without additional formal defence, for a stretch of coast of 35 miles to Ravenglass.

Archaeologist Clifford 'Indiana' Jones didn't agree: from surveying the landscape over twenty two years ago, he was convinced that there was a continuation of the Roman defences to Ravenglass and research by Jones and his volunteers supports this idea. Walkers are invited to see the evidence for themselves following Jones' illustrated guidebook.

The route does not adhere either to the present Hadrianic Cycle Route (Sustrans 72), leaving it to reach places cyclists cannot, or to Cumbria's coastal way, though it is often coincident with one or other. Most of the walk is on tracks and minor roads. There are good train and (between Maryport and Bowness) bus connections.

A further related route, Hadrian's Eastern Way, is being researched. From Ravenglass it goes inland across two of the toughest Lakeland passes, Hardknott (with its Roman fort - Mediobogdum) and Wrynose, now dominated by traffic, via Skelwith Fold and Pull Wyke to Ambleside with the fort of Galava nearby. Its purpose is to open up another route for walkers along a Roman road, parts of which have not been known before. But, more importantly to claim the passes back for travelers on foot.

The coastal parts of this route may be superseded by the England Coast Path when it is fully open.

Strider News - August 2024 (Publication Update)



Path Type: Other Paths
Attributes: Easy
Cycle Route
Start: SD084965 - Mite viaduct, Ravenglass, Cumbria View on StreetMap
Finish: NY225628 - Bowness-on-Solway, Cumbria View on StreetMap
Open Date: 2008

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

Guidebook Hadrian's Coastal Route : Millom to Bowness-on-Solway  (History Press  - 28/03/2024 )
Guidebook Eastern Hadrianic Way : Ravenglass to Ambleside  (Striding Edge  - 2009 )


You can use the interactive controls to zoom in and out and to move around the map, or click on a path or a marker for more info.(interactive map help)

Show Connected Path Outlines
National Trails (England & Wales)
Other Paths

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
OS Landranger 85, 89, 96
OS Landranger Active 85, 89, 96
OS Explorer 4, 6, 303, 314
OS Explorer Active 4, 6, 303, 314

Connected Paths:


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Route Profile:

123.7 km (76.9 miles)
1,262 m (4,140 ft) ascent
103 m (338 ft)  maximum height

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