Driving Hadrian’s Wall: the Minor Car Parks IV (Thirlwall View)

Thirlwall View (NNP)

Location: N54.986259, W2.536535 Facilities: none

This tiny car park (no charge, room for 5 cars) lies midway between the village of Greenhead and the hamlet of Longbyre. It is intended to provide the motorist with parking for a visit to Thirlwall Castle but can also be used to explore neighbouring components of the Wall.


As ever, be aware that there are car thieves operating, as there are at all of the car parks along the Wall. Stout footwear is advisable.

Thirlwall View car park planZone 2 (500m)

Cross the road and follow the Pennine Way westwards onto the golf course to see part of the Vallum (1). Alternatively, head north along the road to see a short length of curtain wall (2) perched on the top of the cutting.

Heading north and then east and crossing the railway line brings one to Thirlwall Castle (3) with vague hints of the ditch (4) just visible in the field to the west. At Holmhead guest house there is a tribal corvee inscription (5).

Zone 3 (1 km)

Venturing further westwards is rewarded with another fine length of ditch (6). albeit one that is abruptly truncated by medieval and later agricultural activity.

To the east, a stiff climb up Greenhead Bank has the ditch to the right (7) and, near the site of Milecastle 46 (8), a fine view back across Gilsland towards Birdoswald and (on a good day) even further to the Solway Firth. You might prefer to drive to Walltown Quarry car park for a shorter walk to see these.