Offa's Dyke Path

  • Offa"s Dyke - The bank and ditch - © William Mackesy
  • Offa"s Dyke -  - © William Mackesy
  • Offa"s Dyke -  - © William Mackesy
  • Offa"s Dyke -  - © William Mackesy
  • Offa"s Dyke -  - © William Mackesy
  • Offa"s Dyke -  - © William Mackesy
  • Offa"s Dyke -  - © William Mackesy
  • Offa"s Dyke - Autumn berries - © William Mackesy
  • East from Hatterrall Ridge - © William Mackesy
  • From Hatterall Ridge - © William Mackesy
  • North along Hatterall Ridge - © William Mackesy
  • To Hatterall Ridge looking down on Llanthony - © William Mackesy
  • East from Hatterrall Ridge - © William Mackesy
  • Hatterall Ridge - © William Mackesy

Key information: Offa's Dyke Path

  • One of Britain's great long-distance paths, running beside the ditch-and-bank defence built be Offa, the late 8th century King of Mercia, along the ridges of the Welsh border.
  • Gorgeous views of rolling hills, farmland and the sculpted treeless ridges of the borderland mountains (British definition).
  • Walk between inns and hostels in pretty country villages and towns.
  • Drop down to the castles and beautiful ruined monastic buildings of this ancient border countryside.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating84
  • Beauty30
  • Natural interest13
  • Human interest12
  • Charisma29
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating84

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate
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Offa's Dyke -  - © William Mackesy

WALK SUMMARY

The remarkable Offa's Dyke was built by Offa, king of Mercia, in the late 8th Century as a ditch-and-bank defence against marauding Welsh tribes. It formed a fairly brief frontier between his kingdom and the wild lands to the west.

Offa's Dyke Path follows - not always exactly - the course of the Dyke from the resort of Prestatyn in North Wales to Sedbury Cliff overlooking the Severn Estuary near Chepstow, some 275 kms (177 miles) south.

It is invidious, with a path so consistently beautiful and interesting, to select "best" sections - but Walkopedia never shirks its task, so here goes:

  • Walkopedia's favourite walk in the Black Mountains has to be the fantastic Hatterrall Ridge , the long (11 or so miles) ridge from the ancient hill fort above Pandy to Hay Bluff above Hay on Wye. This is the easternmost ridge of the Black Mountains  and accordingly has huge views across the green beauties of western England, as well as westward over the beautiful Vale of Ewyas to the range's central ridges. The ridge is both the England-Wales border and possibly the finest stretch of Offa's Dyke Path. You can walk the entire ridge in a longish but not difficult day, or create a circuit (which manages to combine the charming and the dramatic) from tiny Capel-y-Ffin or the atmospheric ruins of Llanthony Priory in the Vale of Ewas, climbing onto Hatterrall Ridge to join Offa's Dyke Path for a way before circuiting back.
  • The section from Knighton to Montgomery follows magnificent ridges through the beautiful "mountain" section (British definition); the dyke is at its best here - well preserved, with both the dyke and ditch in a splendid state for much of its course. This is said to be because the Mercian capital of Tamworth (north-east of Birmingham) was east of here and this was an area [of easy access along] the ridge paths.
  • The high, moorland ridge near Kington has wonderful views over the surrounding countryside. Popular and can get a bit crowded.

This page is at an early stage of development. Please help us by making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!


Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

See also expedition planning, including our universal expedition checklist. Walkopedia encourages responsible travel.

Guidebooks/maps/background reading

Suggest books and maps

 

Guidebooks

The Offa's Dyke Path - Cicerone

Other books

 

A very good chapter in The National Trust Book of Long Walks in England, Scotland and Wales by Adam Nicholson (now out of print)

Maps

 

UK Ordinance Survey maps cover the whole route.

 

Stanfords: www.stanfords.co.uk.  An excellent (and user-friendly) online specialist source of worldwide maps (it is also good for guidebooks).

 

Best times to walk/weather

 

Best times to walk

 

May to September (but can be beautiful – and empty – at other times of year

Weather

At the damp end of the British climate: can be wonderful but come prepared for unpredictable weather, especially in the Black Mountians.

 

For detailed weather information, have a look at: www.worldweather.org or www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/country-guides

 

Getting there/transport/permits/fees

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Depends on which section you want to walk.

No permits are needed to do this walk.

 

Route(s)

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Around 170+ miles long, well marked, mapped and documented. All of it is fine walking. (We will be expanding on the best sections over time.)

 

Possible problems, health, other warnings

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Weather: lots of it – rain, cold and wind are possible at any time of year. Come prepared.

 

See also the websites in our useful links page for more detailed, and up-to-date, information.

 

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk. Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

 

Get appropriate insurance.

Guided or independent?

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While most people do this walk independently, you can have your bags carried between night stops.

 

Expedition organizers include:

 

·        Sherpa Expeditions – www.sherpa-walking-holidays.co.uk

·        Celtic Trail Walking Holidays – www.offasdyke.com

·        Explore Britain tours – www.xplorebritain.com

Accommodation

 

There are hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts and campsites along all the route, as well as some Landmark Trust edifices.

·        The Riverside Inn at Aymestry (www.riversideinn.org) is 25 minutes drive from some of the best sections, around Knighton; it is pleasant with good food, and reasonable value.

·        Springhill Farm, near Clun: B&B and camping in a delightful ridge site. 01588 640 337

 

We will be expanding this section over time. In the meantime, Add a comment

 

Other information and tips

 

Add a suggestion

 

Useful websites and information

 

There are many websites with relevant information. Here are some that we think are useful or have been recommended to us.

 

•            http://www.ramblers.org.uk/info/paths/offasdyke.html

 

•            http://www.walkingenglishman.com/ldp/offasdykepath.htm - this provides links to websites both for practical information and for description and photos from other walkers.

 

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Other things to do in the area

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Other walks

Wye Valley walks.

Brecon Beacons and Black Mountain walks.

Other activities

Castles, monasteries and abbey ruins in spectacular settings

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Offa's Dyke -  - ©William Mackesy

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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Offa's Dyke -  - ©William Mackesy...
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