A challenging long-distance walk, Offa’s Dyke Path meanders for 285 km (177mi.) following portions of the 1200-year-old earthwork known as Offa’s Dyke, crossing the English-Welsh border more than 20 times along the way. The length may seem somewhat daunting, but don’t let that put you off. From its start at the marker stone at Sedbury Cliffs above the Severn Estuary near Chepstow, to its end at the seafront monument in the seaside resort of Prestatyn, the Way passes through three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (the Wye Valley, the Shropshire Hills and the Clwydian Hills) as well as Brecon Beacons National Park. In the process, walkers cross over a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Site at the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and follow portions of Offa’s Dyke, Britain’s longest ancient monument.
Over the course of the walk, hikers can expect an incredible diversity of terrain as it follows ancient drover’s tracks, crosses paddocks filled with sheep and winds through woodlands full of bluebells and birdsong. Along the way, walkers will clamber over many wooden stiles, climb to the dramatic, windswept high point on Hatterrall Ridge in the Black Mountains and savour the prospect from the splendid ridges of the Clwydian Range. The Reverend Lord Sandford declared, “It’s not the longest, nor the oldest but it’s certainly the best footpath in Britain.” As a long-time member of the Offa’s Dyke Association, Sandford may have been somewhat biased in his opinion. Still, it is hard to argue with a Lord!
Photo of bluebells by D. Larraine Andrews
Photo of wooden stile along the path by Rob Dingle, Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail Officer