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
Elevation gain/loss9,085 metres (29,806 ft)
Highest pointHatterrall Ridge, 703 m (2,306 ft)
Hiking details
SeasonAll year

Offa's Dyke Path (Welsh: Llwybr Clawdd Offa) is a long-distance footpath following closely the Wales–England border. Opened in 1971, 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, most of which was probably 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] Following a man-made border and the ancient monument of Offa's Dyke, rather than natural features, the dyke path crosses a variety of landscapes. The route crosses the Black Mountains, the Shropshire Hills, including the many ups and downs of the 'Switchback', 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, Abergavenny, Hay-on-Wye, Kington, Knighton, Montgomery and then in and around the North Wales towns and villages of Llangollen, Llandegla, Clwyd Gate, 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 Path

Chepstow to Monmouth[edit]

Tintern Abbey from Offa's 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-metre (1,227 ft)
  • Cwm-Sanaham Hill 406-metre (1,332 ft)
  • Llanfair Hill, highest point of the dyke at 430-metre (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

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.[6]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Long Distance Walkers Association". www.ldwa.org.uk. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Mileages along the Path (South to North)". Offa's Dyke Association. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  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 in Knighton, Powys". Offa's Dyke Association. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Walking along an ancient border". BBC. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2020.

External links[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX