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Family-friendly things to do at Hadrian's Wall and Housesteads Roman Fort

Three boys running at Hadrian's Wall
Visitors at Hadrian's Wall and Housesteads Fort, Northumberland. | © John Millar

Fresh air, wide open spaces with room to explore, dramatic landscapes, a 1900 year old Wall and a Roman Fort with the best preserved Roman toilets in Britain. What's not to love?

Planning your family visit

  • Walk in the footsteps of the 800 Roman soldiers who lived here
  • Peer into the oldest toilets you'll ever see
  • Picnic with views over Hadrian's Wall and the miles of countryside beyond
  • Run wild in five acres
  • Spot some special wildlife
  • Climb a crag
  • Tick some things off your 50 Things to do before you're 11 3/4 list
  • Cafe with indoor and outdoor seating
  • Baby change within accessible toilet

Spot some special wildlife

Hadrian's Wall has lush green fields, plenty of watering holes and lots of nooks and crannies - an ideal home for a range of wonderful wildlife, including some rare species such as the large heath butterfly.

Birds to look out for include the house martin, wheatear and meadow pipit. You will also see swallows, who return each year after spending the winter in Africa.

Climb a Crag

Crag Lough dominates the wall's landscape and can be seen from miles around. It's almost always in shade of the towering Whin Sill. The Lough is home to mute swans, busy coots, mallards, tufted ducks and goldeneyes, and you can even climb the Crag if you fancy it.

Listen to the National Trust Kids' Podcast

Stumble back in time with Tillie, who's exploring Hadrian's Wall when she accidentally goes back 2,000 years. Discover the history of the Romans who once guarded the border, learn some Latin insults and meet some ancient pets as Tillie works out how to get back home.

Tillie's time tales

'50 things to do before you're 11¾'

Run off some energy or work up an appetite with an adventure through Roman times. Imagine the lives of the Roman soldiers, stationed at Housesteads almost 2,000 years ago with a trip around the Fort. Take a walk along Hadrian's Wall or stop for a picnic and admire the views. You could also tick off some of the '50 things'. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • No. 33 Go cloud watching: Find a patch of grass, lie back and watch the clouds go by. With a little imagination you can create whole worlds from the shapes you see in the clouds.
  • No. 44 Watch a bird: There are lots of birds to spot at Hadrian's Wall - look out for house martins, wheatear and meadow pipit. You will also see swallows, who return each year after spending the winter in Africa. See if you can spot some butterflies too.
  • No. 50 Take a friend on a nature adventure: It's double the fun when you share a nature adventure with a friend of family member. What will you discover together?
Two girls exploring the woodland trails at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire

‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’

Have fun exploring nature and the great outdoors with our list of ‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’.