Offa's Dyke Path

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Offa's Dyke Path
Offa's Dyke Path signpost. - geograph.org.uk - 501938.jpg
Offa's Dyke Path signpost in Denbighshire
Length177 mi (285 km)
LocationEnglish / Welsh border
Established1971
DesignationNational Trail
TrailheadsSedbury 51°37′57″N 2°38′54″W / 51.6324°N 2.6482°W / 51.6324; -2.6482 (Offa's Dyke Path, Sedbury trailhead)
Prestatyn 53°20′32″N 3°24′45″W / 53.3423°N 3.4126°W / 53.3423; -3.4126 (Offa's Dyke Path, Prestatyn trailhead)
UseHiking
Elevation gain/loss9,085 metres (29,806 ft)
Highest pointHatterrall Ridge, 703 m (2,306 ft)
SeasonAll year

Offa's Dyke Path (Welsh: Llwybr Clawdd Offa) is a long-distance footpath loosely following the Wales–England border. Officially opened on 10 July 1971, by Lord Hunt, it is one of Britain's National Trails and draws walkers from throughout the world. About 60 miles (97 km) of the 177-mile (285 km) route either follows, or keeps close company with, the remnants of Offa's Dyke, an earthwork traditionally thought to have been constructed in the late 8th century on the orders of King Offa of Mercia.[1]

Walking trail[edit]

Offa's Dyke Path Monument at Prestatyn

Traveling south to north, starting by the Severn Estuary at Sedbury, near Chepstow, and finishing at Prestatyn on the north coast, the walk will take an average walker roughly 12 days to complete.[2] Roughly following the border in parts, and elsewhere the ancient monument of Offa's Dyke, as well as natural features such as the Hatterrall Ridge, the Dyke Path passes through a variety of landscapes. The route traces the eastern edge of the Black Mountains, traverses Clun Forest, the Eglwyseg moors north of Llangollen and the Clwydian Range.

The route passes through the counties of Monmouthshire, Gloucestershire, Powys, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Wrexham, Denbighshire and Flintshire. The Welsh Marches (Marchia Wallie) is a term used to describe this border region between England and Wales, since it was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086.[3][4] It passes through, or close to, the towns of Chepstow, Monmouth, Hay-on-Wye, Kington, Presteigne, Knighton, Montgomery, Welshpool and Oswestry, then in and around the North Wales towns and villages of Llangollen, Llandegla, Bodfari and Dyserth.

The half-way point of the path is marked by the Offa's Dyke Centre in Knighton (52°20′45″N 3°03′06″W / 52.3458°N 3.0517°W / 52.3458; -3.0517 (Offa's Dyke Centre)Coordinates: 52°20′45″N 3°03′06″W / 52.3458°N 3.0517°W / 52.3458; -3.0517 (Offa's Dyke Centre)).[5] There used to be around 600 stiles along the route, but many of these have now been replaced by kissing gates.

a certain vigorous king called Offa......had a great dyke built between Wales and Mercia from sea to sea.

— Asser

Route[edit]

Places on the route and highlights on or near the trail:[3]

Chepstow Castle from Offa's Dyke Path

Chepstow to Monmouth[edit]

Tintern Abbey from Offa's Dyke Path

Monmouth to Hay-on-Wye[edit]

Monnow Bridge at Monmouth
St Cadoc's at Llangattock Lingoed
The summit of the Black Mountain crossed by the Offa's Dyke Path

Hay-on-Wye to Knighton[edit]

Dyke near Clun

Knighton to Montgomery[edit]

  • Knighton: Offa's Dyke visitor centre
  • Panpunton Hill, 374 m (1,230 ft)
  • Cwm-Sanaham Hill 406 m (1,330 ft)
  • Llanfair Hill, highest point of the dyke at 430 m (1,410 ft)
  • Churchtown and Edenhope Hill
Knighton in Powys

Montgomery to Llanymynech[edit]

Llanymynech to Trevor[edit]

Path through Racecourse Woods
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Trevor to Prestatyn[edit]

Eglwyseg Crags from the Path
View from Jubilee Tower
Offa's Dyke Path
Prestatyn
 A55  near St Asaph
Bodfari
Moel Famau
 A495  near Ruthin
Llandegla Forest
Llangollen Canal over Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
 A5  near Llangollen
Chirk Castle near Chirk
Llanymynech
River Severn
 A458  near Welshpool
Montgomery
Knighton
 A44  at Kington
Hay-on-Wye
Hatterrall Ridge in the Black Mountains
Llangattock Lingoed
White Castle
 A40  at Monmouth
Tintern Abbey
 A48  at Chepstow
Sedbury Cliffs at River Severn

Sources[6]

Promotion and media[edit]

Various bodies on either side of the border are collaborating on a sustainable tourism partnership, a principal focus of which is Walking with Offa, both on the trail but also in what has been dubbed Offa's Country i.e. in a corridor along the border.[7]

The path was the focus of an episode of the Channel 4 program Britain's Ancient Tracks with Tony Robinson.

In June 2021, during the footpath's 50th year, an Offa's Dyke Rescue Fund was launched to restore eroded and other damaged parts of the route and to buy parts of the path at risk of sustained damage or negligence from local land owners. The fund is working in consultation with CADW and English Heritage and the National Trail Unit.[8]

On 22 August 2021 BBC's Countryfile programme celebrated 50 years of the path.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Long Distance Walkers Association". www.ldwa.org.uk. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Distances". Offa's Dyke Association. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  3. ^ a b Carter, Keith (2011). Offa's Dyke Path. Trailblazer Publications. ISBN 978-1-905864-35-5.
  4. ^ "A History of The Welsh Marches". www.ludlow.org.uk. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  5. ^ "The Offa's Dyke Centre". Offa's Dyke Association. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  6. ^ "Offa's Dyke Association". Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  7. ^ "Walking along an ancient border". BBC. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Rescue fund is launched to protect ancient monument, Heritage groups join forces to prevent 1,200-year-old Offa's Dyke from crumbling away". Shropshire Star. 21 June 2021. p. 3.Report by Charlotte Bentley.
  9. ^ "BBC One - Countryfile, Offa's Dyke Path".

External links[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML