is it? Offa's Dyke Path is a National Trail that stretches through
the border country of England and Wales, from the Severn estuary near
Chepstow in the south to the Irish Sea at Prestatyn in the north.
The trail includes the lower Wye valley, the Black Mountains, the Shropshire
Hills, and the Clwydian Range of montains.
How long will it take ? : The walk is approximately 177miles /
285 kilometres and the time taken to complete the Trail can vary from
four days to the more typical two weeks, depending on your fitness
and your intentions.
Directions : [ Map
of Offa's Dyke Path location ]
A fantastic walk from sea to shiny sea. The Offas Dyke National Trail
from the Severn Estuary to the Irish Sea.
Offa's Dyke is a great frontier earthwork built by Offa, King of Mercia
from 757 to 796 A.D. However the Offa’s
Dyke Path is of rather more recent origins being first listed as a long
distance route in 1949 then being officially opened on behalf of the Countryside
Commission as the Offa's Dyke National Trail in 1971.
Offa was arguably the most powerful and successful of the Anglo-Saxon
kings and was often in conflict with the Welsh. There was a battle between
the Mercians and the Welsh at Hereford in 760 AD, and Offa campaigned
against the Welsh in 778, 784 and 796. Understandably Offa would wish
to stop the Welsh incursions and thus came about the massive linear earthwork,
now known as Offa's Dyke. The trail roughly follows some of the current
border between Wales and England (and indeed crosses from one country
to the other 9 times) and in places it is up to 65 feet wide and the height
from the bottom of the ditch to the top of the bank is up to 20 feet.
The Path runs for 177 miles from Sedbury Cliffs on the Severn Estuary
near Chepstow to the North Wales resort of Prestatyn where it dips it's
toes into the Irish Sea. For 70 of these miles it follows the course
of the Offa's Dyke earthwork.
Remarkably much of the Dyke is still traceable along the route from
the Wye valley in the south to Wrexham in the north, and in places
it still retains most of its original impressive dimensions.
But the walk is not just about Offas Dyke. In the south
you will enjoy fabulous views of the meandering River Wye and the limestone
escarpments, leading to the Black mountains of Wales. Some say that the
earth bank is at it's most impressive close to the border town of Knighton.
Further north, on the home run so to speak, the path climbs the beautiful
purple heather covered rolling hills of Shropshire, those blue remembered
hills. And then on to the Clwyd
with fantastic views of the Cheshire
plain and the beautiful Vale of Clwyd.
And all the while passing an abundance of historic market towns, ancient
churches and mediaeval castles.
Unlike the other walks on the www.walesdirectory.co.uk I will not
be giving directions for this walk. Firstly because it would need a
book to describe the complete route and secondly because I have not
actually walked the Offa's Dyke Path..... yet !
I will however be posting a map of the route on this page very soon.
The map, beside showing the route, has links to holiday cottage
and hotel and bed and breakfast accommodation along the walk where
you may make instant online bookings. I would strongly advise planning
the stages and booking accommodation well in advance for this walk
as it is just not worth the risk of attempting to find accommodation
on the day.
Being a National Trail the Offa's Dyke Path is well sign posted but it
is common sense to take an OS map to guide you on your way.
Should you be considering a holiday in the Welsh Border country but
don't fancy walking the whole of the Offa's Dyke Path then please go
to this page for a map showing cottages to let in the Borders and with
further information about the Castles
and history of the Welsh Borders and the Offa's Dyke Path >