Walking Holidays in China - China - The Great Wall of China - Explore Beijing

Holiday Highlights
  • Set your sights on this incomparable feat of ancient engineering as you walk our carefully selected five contrasting sections of the Great Wall and Explore the spectacular East Qing Tombs and enjoy far-reaching views over the Great Wall
  • Visit the heart of Beijing with a trip to the magnificent Forbidden City and remarkable Tian’anmen Sqaure

Request A Quotation Send Us An Enquiry

Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Guided walking holidays          

  • Overview
  • Walking
  • Pricing
  • Map
  • Accommodation
  • Info

“He who has not climbed The Great Wall is not a true man.” Mao Zedong
Walking Great Wall of ChinaThe Great Wall of China has origins dating back over 2,000 years to the 7th century BC. From that time on it was added to with many sections being built and rebuilt until Mao Zedong caused further destruction by encouraging locals to use it for building material. Especially famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. The Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan by the sea in the east to Lop Lake in the west and measures approximately 13,000 miles in its entirety including all the branch walls and separated sections. Built to protect the Chinese Empire from undesirable warlike people and military groups, the Great Wall also acted as a border control and played an important part in the transportation and trade of goods especially along the Silk Road. The Great Wall is made up of actual ‘wall’, rivers, trenches and other natural defences such as hills and mountains to provide a continuous defensive barrier complete with regular watch towers and troop barracks. It is an incomparable feat of ancient engineering.
The present day state of the Great Wall varies and is mainly dependant on the materials from which each section was constructed as local stone, wood and brick was used. Some sections, mainly north of Beijing, have been restored and are known as Renovated Sections. The rest of the Wall comprises of un-restored sections known as Intact Sections and lastly the crumbling or non-existent sections are Collapsed Sections.

We have selected five contrasting stretches of the Great Wall which cover Restored and Intact Sections with safety a prime consideration. These sections offer a magnificent and unforgettable insight into the different features and surrounding landscapes to be seen on the Wall and along its boundaries. Views are superb as the Wall snakes its way into the distance with watchtowers topping every peak. It is not possible to walk the Great Wall continuously due to restricted or collapsed sections so you will be transferred by car between points.

A good level of fitness and stamina is required along some parts where gradients are steep or some scrambling is required. The height and lack of battlements in a few places may be dizzying but your guide will assist you and give good advice on what to expect.    

Independent guided walking 

Walking in China with New Experience Holidays is different from most companies which only feature group holidays with fixed itineraries.  We provide an experienced, English speaking hiking guide for individual clients with the support of a private driver. They accompany you throughout your stay and tend to everything in support of your trip.  With their extensive knowledge of the regions, you will eat in the most authentic local restaurants, have luggage transferred with you in the car, and have a personal guide around key historical sites. We are able to feature Chinese Homestays and special hotels which generally cater for individuals travellers.  

We feel that China has now developed tourism to the point where it is no longer necessary or as beneficial to be part of a group.  However, due to language difficulties and considerable cultural differences, a guide is still essential to ensure one receives the most out of a journey through China. This does increase the price, but actually not by a great amount and offers the traveller all the following benefits:

Flexibility can be introduced into your itinerary in the walking and places visited.

Walks can be modified according to weather or your energy levels!

The walking pace will be yours alone – no need to wait for others or speed up.

Dining can be in more select restaurants with dishes ordered to your specific tastes.

Road transfers (some up to 4 hours) will be by comfortable air conditioned car as opposed to mini bus or coach.

Your guide can explain about history, culture, flora and anything of particular interest to you with the opportunity to have personal conversations on his culture.

No chance of cancellation of a holiday due to insufficient group numbers.

Walk Grading 

Guided - Moderate to Challenging


Beijing, formerly known to Europeans as Peking, is the capital of the People's Republic of China and constitutes its nation's political, economic, cultural, educational and international trade and communication centre. Located in northern China, close to the port city of Tianjin and partially surrounded by Hebei Province, it also serves as the most important transportation hub and port of entry.

Since Communist rule under Mao Zedong, a time when rickshaws and bicycles crowded the streets with few motorized vehicles, Beijing is now a vast ever expanding modern city of 21 million people. Nevertheless, as one of the six ancient cities in China, it has been the heart and soul of politics and society throughout its long history and consequently there is an unparalleled wealth of discovery to delight and intrigue travellers as they explore the city's ancient past and exciting modern development.

At the very heart of Beijing is the Forbidden City, home to the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties, the largest palace complex of the nation and the world. The Forbidden City also hosts the Palace Museum with imperial collections of Chinese art and is a must-see site in Beijing. Also you should visit the Summer Palace and experience life in Old Beijing by wandering the narrow alley ways of the Hutong where the ‘old life’ can still be witnessed. Tian’anmen Square is also a special place to be with its history and impressive buildings. On the outskirts of the city, the Olympic site is offers a memorable visit.

We have allowed a full day in Beijing on our standard itinerary but this can easily be extended so you can fully explore this ancient and modern city.

Beijing Options

It is our suggestion to take a guided city tour in order to maximize your time in and knowledge of the city.  For the adventurous, it is safe and easy to travel around by subway to the main attractions.

You may also wish to consider a delicious Peking Duck dining experience!  We can either make restaurant recommendations or you can take a ‘guided’ Duck dinner at one of Beijing’s renowned Duck restaurants. 

Beijing Optional Additions

Extra Hotel Nights in City

Hotel Upgrade in City

City Tour of Forbidden City, Tian’anmen Square and more.

Tour to the Summer Palace

Peking Duck Dinner 

Group departure dates

We have group departure dates in addition to our Independent guided walking offerings for the Charms of China which includes Beijing and The Great Wall. Please go to the Charms of China page for more information.

Day 1  Depart from the UK or from another Chinese module.

Day 2  Arrive in Beijing – met and transferred to your hotel. Rest of the day free or take one of the Beijing options. Dinner in the hotel or nearby restaurant (not included). B.

Day 3  Day in Beijing – free or take Beijing options. Overnight Beijing. B

Day 4  After breakfast, depart by car with your guide to the spectacular East Qing Tombs – the resting place of the Qing Emperors. After lunch, join the Great Wall at Taiping Zhai and walk 2 hours to your hotel in Huangyaguan.  If you wish you can continue further along the Great Wall to Heaven’s Ladder. Overnight and dinner at the hotel. Ascent 145m Descent 355m 2 hours 2.5 miles. BLD

Day 5  In the morning a scenic drive of about 2.5 hours takes you to the next, and our favourite section of the Great Wall – from Gubeikou to Jinshanling. Before the walk commences, enjoy a delicious early lunch in a local restaurant. The walk is along an intact section with several diversions onto mountain trails through cultivated fields and with the outline of the Great Wall dominating the sky-line. Overnight and dinner in Jinshanling hotel if standard grade, or Gubei Water Town if higher grade. Ascent 330m Descent 260m 4 hours 5 miles. BLD

Day 6  Your walk today from Huanghua to Xishuiyu is the most challenging but worth it! Following restored and intact sections you walk high above the Huanghua reservoir. Here you often have the Great Wall to yourself as you go up and down from tower to tower descending by mountain path to the reservoir. Here you can take a relaxing boat ride to see the Wall underwater before taking a late lunch and drive to the village of Lotus Fort, your overnight stop. Ascent 430m Descent 400m 2.75 hours 2.5 miles. BLD

Day 7  After breakfast, a short drive will take you to the next section Xizhazi and today’s walk takes you to the highest point of this part of the Wall - to Nine Eye Tower. Views are simply incredible! Overnight and dinner in Lotus Fort. Ascent 515m Descent 515m 4 hours 4 miles. BLD

Day 8  Today you walk to Mutianyu – a fully restored section. Option to go via Jiankou Great Section or from Lotus Fort. Either way, once at Mutianyu, you may continue walking with a picnic lunch or go to your hotel and take lunch then have a free afternoon. Overnight and dinner in hotel near Mutianyu. Ascent 395m Descent 330m 2 1/2 hours 2 1/2 miles. BLD

Day 9  Departure to the UK or to another China module.

Day 10  Arrive home.

This map is for illustration purposes only and we cannot be held responsible for its accuracy.

Beijing - Grand Hotel Beijing - 5 Star

../../holiday-hotels/?HolidayID=115&HotelID=151&HolidayName=China-China+%2D+The+Great+Wall+of+China+%2D+Explore+Beijing-&HotelName=Beijing+%2D+Grand+Hotel+Beijing">Beijing - Grand Hotel Beijing

This is a superb 5 star hotel often used by diplomats due to its proximity to Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City.


Beijing Traditional View Hotel - 3 Star

../../holiday-hotels/?HolidayID=115&HotelID=153&HolidayName=China-China+%2D+The+Great+Wall+of+China+%2D+Explore+Beijing-&HotelName=Beijing+Traditional+View+Hotel">Beijing Traditional View Hotel

For a glimpse into the ‘old Beijing’ The Courtyard is the prefect traditional hotel within the narrow streets of the Hutong area. 


Beijing - Hotel Jade Garden - 4 Star

../../holiday-hotels/?HolidayID=115&HotelID=152&HolidayName=China-China+%2D+The+Great+Wall+of+China+%2D+Explore+Beijing-&HotelName=Beijing+%2D+Hotel+Jade+Garden">Beijing - Hotel Jade Garden

This 4 star hotel is just a short walking distance from the major sights of the Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square. The Jade Garden is a comfortable Chinese style hotel.


The Great Wall Trek

../../holiday-hotels/?HolidayID=115&HotelID=154&HolidayName=China-China+%2D+The+Great+Wall+of+China+%2D+Explore+Beijing-&HotelName=The+Great+Wall+Trek">The Great Wall Trek

We feature Chinese Hotels and Homestays in close proximity to the Great Wall.  Due to their rural location standards may not be as high as city hotels and some features such as bathrooms may be unusual to us. Although most do, some homestays may not provide towels, soap or toilet paper. A sample of accommodation is as follows with changes as necessary when space is limited. Private bathroom is always provided. We also offer a higher grade option everywhere except in Huangyaguan.


Availability Information

Travelling to the north of China is at its very best from mid April to early June and mid September to mid November.  Up to early April it is still very cold and the land bare of anything green.  As Spring progresses, late April sees blossom trees covering fields and mountainsides as trees begin to leaf. After mid June it is very hot and walking the Great Wall is shadeless therefore not recommended. From mid September to early November the landscape changes from green to beautiful autumnal colours and temperatures soften.

Please note our best to go information is generally referring to the walking which may fall in the early or late season in some places. This may mean that not all tourist facilities will be open at the time you visit.

When to book your walking holiday in China - China - The Great Wall of China - Explore Beijing

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
N/A N/A Good Best Best Good OK N/A Good Best Good N/A

Request A Quotation Send Us An Enquiry