Offa’s Dyke

“Challenging landscapes along the Welsh Borders following the 8th century Offas Dyke”

(176 miles, 9/12 days)

Offa’s Dyke Path parallel’s the border of England and Wales. The full route links Sedbury Cliffs, near Chepstow on the Severn Estuary with the coastal town of Prestatyn on the north Wales coast. The route passes through 3 areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the Clwydian Hills, the Shropshire Hills and the Wye Valley as well as such enticing areas as the Clun Forest, the Brecon Beacons, the Black Mountains and the Vale of Clwyd.

The path crosses the border no less than 20 times and for a good chunk of the way follows the great dyke that King Offa of Mercia built, to separate his kingdom from the Welsh ‘heatherns’. Offa came to the throne in 757 and dedicated his kingship to expanding Mercia’s south and east borders. To that end he wished to block off his western borders allowing him to concentrate on his weaker easterly neighbours.

Green valleys near the Wye

Green valleys near the Wye

The Route

Offa’s Dyke walk does not slavishly follow the route of Offa’s defensive position. There is a good chunk missing in the Wye Valley, probably due to it being thick forest 1200 years ago. However the line of the dyke is followed on either side and to particularly good effect around the Clun Forest. The actual construction of the dyke is of a built up bank with a series of disconnected spoil holes (not continuous) usually but not always on the west side. It is most clearly followed over the higher land where the drop from bank to hole can be 30 foot; it is great to walk and view in places but non-existent in others. Do not get the impression that Offa’s Dyke walk is a continuous walk on a high bank – this is rare indeed!

Good waymarking

Good waymarking

Suitable For:

As Long Distance footpaths go this is relatively straightforward. This is not to underestimate the amount of high, often exposed land it passes through. There are no long sections without accommodation.

Map

The route tends to be walked from south to north, I always suggest this on any long distance walk.

Offas Dyke map

Sedbury Cliffs to Monmouth 17.5 miles

Monmouth to Pandy 17 miles

Pandy to Hay on Wye via Black Mountains 17.5 miles

Hay on Wye to Knighton 25 miles

Knighton to Buttington 26 miles

Buttington to Llanmynech 11 miles

Llanmynech to Cloud Hill near Froncysyllte 16.5 miles

Cloud Hill to Llandegna 13 miles

Llandegla to Bodfari 16 miles

Bodfari to Prestatyn 12 miles

O/S 1.25,000 Maps which cover Offa’s Dyke (from south to north): 013, 014, 126, 137, 148, 161, 162.

Places to Stay

Coming soon…

Useful Links

http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/offasdyke/index.asp?PageId=1 The official and sanitised guide to Offa’s Dyke.

http://www.offasdyke.demon.co.uk/ An excellent guide from the independent voluntary Offa’s Dyke Association

Personal Journey

Coming soon…

Day-by-day

Day 1.
Coming soon…