The Offa’s Dyke Path
The Offas Dyke Path runs for 177 miles following the Welsh/English border and passes through a wide variety of dramatic scenery from mountainous ridges, valleys and farmland to undulating hills and pleasant woodland. The changing landscapes also present an opportunity to spot some of the native wildlife and to enjoy the historical sights and pretty villages and towns along the way.
Offas Dyke refers to an ancient earthwork that approximately follows the current border between England and Wales dating from the 8th century. It is traditionally thought that Offa, the king of Mercia in the 8th century, ordered the construction of the dyke which measured up to 65 feet wide and up to 8 feet high. The dyke was built over all terrain including hills and rivers. Today, the Offa’s Dyke path follows the remnants of the dyke.
Beginning at Chepstow in the South of wales and ending at Prestatyn on the coast of North Wales. Along the journey you will be close to or pass through Monmouth, Abergavenny, Hay-on-Wye, Knighton and Montgomery and Llangollen, Llandegla and Bodfari in North wales. The path goes across the Black Mountains, the Shropshire Hills, Valleys of Mid-Wales and the Clwydian range.
Chepstow to Redbrook-on-Wye. 13 miles (21km)
Starting in Sedbury, close to the River Severn, the path then follows the River Wye along the steep valley. As you head towards the excellently preserved 12th century Tintern Abbey enjoy the river and cliff views. You then descend into Redbrook.
Redbrook-on-Wye to Llantilio Crossenny. 15 miles (24km)
The path climbs out of Redbrook giving a sweeping view of the route, before shortly arriving at the border town of Monmouth. Continuing through woodland and crossing the river, the countryside gives way to rolling farmland whilst the famous sugarloaf hill can be seen in the North. The routes next stop is in the pleasant village of Llantilio Crossenny where you can admire the church dating from the 13th century.
Llantilio Crossenny to Longtown. 11.5 miles (18.5km)
Shortly you will come to White Castle, dating from the 12th Century it still has intact walls and a moat. The route descends, passing the villages of Llanvetherine and Llangattock Lingoed and continuing past Pandy, the farmland and rivers give way to a more mountainous landscape as you climb The Hatterrall Ridge, the highest point of the Offas Dyke path. The ridge runs along the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park and offers fantastic views. Drop into Longtown for the overnight stay.
Longtown/Llanthony to Hay-on-Wye. 13 miles (21km)
The route climbs steeply to get back onto the Hatterrall Ridge before proceeding to the highest point of the route at 2306 feet (703m). At Hay Bluff, excellent views are on offer over the Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons and also the Hills of Radnorshire and the Wye valley. The ridge ends at this point and the path descends into Hay on Wye.
Hay-on-Wye to Kington. 14 miles (22.5km)
After crossing the River Wye, the path climbs as you head into the Radnorshire Hills, the path rolls through the hills, passing Glades before climbing to the Hergest Ridge. Enjoy the walk amongst Gorse and Thyme. The path then descends into Kington.
Kington to Knighton. 14 miles (22.5km)
One of the most scenic sections of the route, the path passes Bradnor Hill and winds its way through hills, there are superb views over the Brecon Beacons, the Malvern hills and also the Radnor valley. A further climb over a hill then leads to a descent into the town of Knighton with its pleasant market area and historical architecture. This is approximately the half way point of the path.
Knighton to Brompton Crossroads. 15 miles (24km)
One of the more challenging sections of the path, the route undulates through hills with a series of climbs and drops. The scenery on offer is excellent and goes someway to distracting you from the climbs. Llanfair hill offers particularly good views to the surrounding areas, and also of the dyke itself.
Brompton Crossroads to Welshpool. 12 miles (19km)
After the tough climbs of yesterday, this section is somewhat flatter with more gradual climbs. With views of Long Mountain to the North, the route heads towards Long Mountain where it then winds through woodland and taking you to Beacon Ring, an Iron age hill fort. The path then descends into Buttington. Accommodation is in Welshpool, a market town close-by dating from the 13th Century.
Welshpool to Trefonen. 16.5 miles (26.5km)
Resuming the path from Buttington, the path runs alongside the River Severn over reasonably flat terrain, and takes you onto Llanymynech where the English/Welsh border is marked by the main street. After passing through the villages of Port-y-Waen and Nantmawr the path begins to climb up Moelydd with accompanying views before arriving in Trefonen.
Trefonen to Llangollen. 15.5 miles (25km)
Descending out of the hills, you pass various points of historical interest such as Chirk castle, the Wrexham line railway viaduct, Llangollen Canal and also the impressive 19th century Pontcysyllte canal aqueduct with its large arches before arriving at Llangollen.
Llangollen to Clwyd Gate. 13.5 miles (21.5km)
Leaving Llangollen the route quickly takes you into more rural areas as you traverse the Eglwyseg ridge. After another climb the route then passes into Llandegla forest before dropping into Llandegla. A further climb over Moel y Plas and then Moel Llanfair where there is a good view of Ruthin into the valley.
Clwyd Gate to Bodfari. 11.5 miles (18.5km)
The Path takes you through moorland of the Clwydian range of hills. The route climbs up Moel Famau with the remains of the Jubilee tower at the summit and this is also the high point of these hills. The route undulates through some more hills, passing ancient hill forts along the way before descending into Bodfari.
Bodfari to Prestatyn. 12 miles (19km)
On the final day of the walk the route climbs as you head towards the coast. Past Rhuallt and there are superb views across the sea, perhaps the highlight of this section is the path that takes you across the top of a cliff before the final descent to Prestatyn. The walk ends on the beautiful North Coast of Wales and its Sandy Beaches.
Depart from Prestatyn after breakfast
Accommodation with breakfast in guest houses, small hotels or B&Bs in rooms usually with private bathroom based on two people sharing (if we need to book a room without a private bathroom we would liaise with you first). Daily luggage transfers and transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
Map/guide book on the Offas Dyke Path
Extra nights can be booked along the route
An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night
Getting to and from the start and end of the walk, Meals and transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
Difficulty Of The Walk:
Strenuous – however this walk can be adapted with transfers to shorten the walk – please ask.
We have carefully selected our accommodation from the best bed and breakfast and farmhouse accommodation in each area. Your hosts are local people, who know about the surrounding countryside, and you are guaranteed a warm welcome. Normally, your room will have en-suite facilities. However, this cannot always be guaranteed, particularly at busy times and in the more remote locations. Please let us know if you require en-suite rooms every night. We can also arrange accommodation upgrades at an additional cost.
Trains from London Paddington, Gatwick and Heathrow airports run regularly to Chepstow. Trains also run regularly to Prestatyn from Gatwick and Heathrow and also to/from London Euston.
The most convenient major airports for travelling by air are Manchester and Birmingham International airports.
Chepstow railway station is a short walk from the majority of accommodation, this is also the case in Prestatyn. The simplest way to return to the start of the walk would be to get a train from Prestatyn to Chepstow or vice-versa.
When To Go
Mid-April to mid-October. Accommodation will be difficult to obtain on UK national holidays unless booked well in advance (and may require an alteration to the programme).
We recommend that you take out appropriate holiday insurance covering you against illness, injury, and loss or damage to luggage. This insurance should also cover the possibility of your having to cancel your holiday for whatever reason.
What To Take
Sturdy walking boots and walking socks (with a change of socks in rucksack), rucksack/day pack, 1 x water bottle with 1 litre capacity, insect repellent, sun glasses, sun hat, sun block/cream, compass, torch, first-aid kit