Things to do near Old High Shield

Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian’s Wall is almost 1900 years old and stretches 73 miles across the north of England from Bowness-on-Solway to Wallsend on the river Tyne. It took three legions just over six years to build. Hadrian’s Wall is probably the most important Roman monument to have survived in Britain and has been awarded World Heritage Site status.

Old High Shield is situated half way along the wall, lying just half a mile south of its highest point where Hadrian’s Wall crosses the Pennines close to Rapishaw Gap. It is at this point that the wall follows the natural line of the Whin Sill, a dramatic escarpment of ancient igneous rock. The surrounding countryside is spectacular and many of the wall’s favourite views are to be found in this area.

Various forts, milecastles and turrets can still be seen along the length of the wall, as well as the ditch to the north and the great Vallum earthworks to the south (the course of the Vallum crosses the entrance road to High Shield). Sycamore Gap, used in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is half a mile west.

For more information visit: Hadrians Wall Official Website

Housesteads Roman fort (Vercovicium)

Housestead’s fort is only 2 miles from High Shield and is the best preserved of the sixteen outposts along Hadrian’s Wall. It has spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, a museum and ruins that include the four double-portal gateways and perimeter wall, granaries, barracks, under floor heating system and some of the earliest known flushing toilets.

After visiting Housesteads Roman fort, why not explore more of Hadrian's Wall and experience the romance of this famous monument? Now a World Heritage Site, Hadrian's Wall spans 73 miles of beautiful British countryside. Walk around the many forts, turrets and mile castles that span the Wall, and absorb 2,000 years of history.

For more information visit: National Trust

Vindolanda Roman fort and museum

Vindolanda was occupied by the Roman army from around AD 85 when the first fort was built to guard the central section of the vital east to west supply route, now known as the Stanegate. Some 40 years later when Hadrian’s Wall was built, Vindolanda became a Wall fort. Visitors can view a range of excavated remains include a bath house, barracks, officer’s residence and temple. Vindolanda is half a mile south of Old High Shield.

The museum displays a vast range of Roman artefacts including leather goods, textiles, wooden, bronze and iron objects, as well as the slivers of wood covered in spidery ink writing. The translation of these findings is providing primary evidence of everyday life in this area.

For more information visit: Vindolanda Official Website

Steel Rigg and Cragg Lough

Approximately 1 mile east of Old High Shield this is a stunning view with spectacular views of water and cliffs at Old High Shield.
Off the B6318 road opposite to National Park Centre, Once Brewed. Both the Hadrian’s Path National Trail and the Pennine Way National Trail close by. The closest bus stop for the Hadrian’s Wall Bus (AD122) is located at National Park Centre, Once Brewed Pub is 750 metres south of the car park.


Haltwhistle is a market town situated 5 miles from Old High Shield next to the South Tyne river. The town has a market day on Thursday's. Geographically it claims to be the exact Centre of Britain. During its turbulent past the area suffered from feuding and raiding from the Border Reivers and many buildings in the area were heavily fortified. Just behind the Market Square is Holy Cross Church, a fine example of early 13th century architecture with a Burne-Jones painted chancel roof and William Morris windows. The town has a leisure centre and heated outdoor swimming pool in the summer months.

For more information visit: Haltwhistle Partnership.


The bustling market town of Hexham is situated in the Tyne valley 12 miles from Old High Shield. Hexham Abbey dates from 674AD and is a must for any visitor. The town's market is held every Tuesday. It has a wide variety of pubs and restaurants, the Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, a museum, library, cinema and theatre. It has a good variety of shops including Waitrose, Tesco’s and Marks & Spencer and food can be ordered online for delivery to Old High Shield.

For more information visit: Hexham Tourist Website.


The area boasts a wide variety of walks ranging from the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail and the Pennine Way to short circular routes. For example the wall itself is only a short half mile walk away where it joins the circular route around Cragg Lough. Burndivot Common provides the right to roam over 400 acres of wild remote countryside and is of special scientific interest and where High Shield has Common grazing Rights.

Rock climbing

The cliffs of High Shield Craggs and Steel Rigg provide perfect bouldering opportunities for competent climbers.

Bird watching and wildlife

At Old High Shield curlews, swallows, owls and buzzards can be seen. Grindon Lough is a popular spot situated two miles east for taking pictures. Also look out for deer,badgers and boxing hares during springtime.


There are numerous local routes for cyclists and the Stanegate route is popular.


The North Tyne river provides first class salmon and sea trout fishing. Many clubs sell day permits to visitors.

For further information and attractions and things to do in the area visit the websites of Northumberland National Park and English Heritage.

Book online or make direct contact with Old High Shield on the contact page.