Offa's Dyke Path
This is the Offa's Dyke Path Page. It features an interactive map that is intended to help anyone planning a hike along the walk to plan the each days walking. To this end the path is clearly marked with alternating red and orange sections. Each section is 2 miles long except the last section into .
Planning a walk on the Offa's Dyke Path
The Offa's Dyke Path Trail starts in Sedbury Cliffs and ends at Prestatyn, 177 miles in all.
The starting point of the offa's Dyke Path is best reached by getting the train to Chepstow, it is a short journey from here to Sedbury. At the far end Prestatyn also has a railway station in easy walking distance from the Offa's Dyke Centre.
The trail is typically divided into the following sections, each section representing a day's walking. There is obviously no obligation to stick to this breakdown, and with this in mind the map below indicates the trail in two mile sections (alternating red and orange lines). This allows you to quickly choose a day's walking by counting sections up to the distance you feel comfortable with. This will depend on the type of terrain, but cumulative climb and walking time estimates based on Naismith's Rule have been included with each standard section (for walking North or South) to help give an idea of the nature of the section.
Sedbury to Monmouth, 17.5 miles
From Sedbury Cliffs just North of the Severn Bridge the trail starts by making a bee-line for the river Wye. The Wye is a constant companion for the day, as the trail snakes along beside it, mostly along (and up and down) wooded hills to the East of the river. The initial 4.5 miles climbs steadily to about 180m and then stay at this height for another 2.5 miles. Then it drops about 70m above Brockweir. Here there is an alternative route along the river bank from Brockweir to Bigsweir bridge (15m) that avoids St. Biavel's Common and a climb to 245m. After Bigsweir bridge the trail climbs to about 170 and then back down to Redbrook (26m) where it again climbs to 250m after which it descends sharply to Monmouth (25m).
Cumulative climb heading North: 1060m. Cumulative climb heading South: 1050m.
Naismiths Rule, Northwards: 7 hours, 36 mins. Southwards: 7 hours, 35 mins.
Monmouth to Pandy, 16 miles
The trail makes it's way to the Western outskirts of Mommouth where it leaves the road at a sharp bend on Watery Lane and climbs steeply, first through fields and wooded tracks then into the woods proper, peaking at 145m and then descending through the woods into farm laneways, passing Old Hendre Farm (50m). The next 5 miles to Llantilio Crossenny is even walking through fields, briefly peaking at 100m, with some short stretches on roads. After crossing the B4233 the farmland gets higher again, peaking at White Castle (160m) and dropping back to 79m before climbing again to 235m over 3.75 miles where it then drops rapidly to Pandy (118m).
Cumulative climb heading North: 580m. Cumulative climb heading South: 490m.
Naismiths Rule, Northwards: 6 hours, 18 mins. Southwards: 6 hours, 9 mins.
Pandy to Hay-on-Wye, 16 miles
This is a real hump day with the vast majority spent walking the slightly sinuous ridge of the Black Mountains. It starts with a steep ascent up Hatterrall Hill (519m) over about 3.75 miles, followed by a tramp along the slowly climbing ridge for 7.5 miles to the highest point Black Mountain (702m). This is followed by a descent over 4.75 miles past Hay Bluff (677m) to Hay-on-Wye (100m).
Cumulative climb heading North: 750m. Cumulative climb heading South: 760m.
Naismiths Rule, Northwards: 6 hours, 35 mins. Southwards: 6 hours, 36 mins.
Hay-on-Wye to Kington, 14.7 miles
The trail heads North through farmland to the West of the Wye for 2.5 miles where it turns West and starts to climb. Not long into the climb the trail turns back North and peaks at 269m. From here it drops slightly, then climbs again (still on lanes and fields) to 335m before dropping into Newchurch (257m). From Newchurch the trail goes over Disgwylfa Hill (370m) and back to farmland as far as Gladestry (240m). A good climb to the Nort-East over Hergest Ridge (416m) is followed by a descent into Kington (187m).
Cumulative climb heading North: 680m. Cumulative climb heading South: 600m.
Naismiths Rule, Northwards: 6 hours, 2 mins. Southwards: 5 hours, 54 mins.
Kington to Knighton, 13.6 miles
This is a 3 hump day. The first is a 4 mile section from Kington to Lower Harpton (170m) winds past Bradnor Hill and Herrock Hill, peaking at 375m. The next hump is 3.75 miles and peaks at 366m, dropping back to near Maes-Treylow (166m). The last hump is 5.85 miles and climbs Furrow Hill (317m) followed by Hawthorn Hill (396m) and then descends into Knighton (193m).
Cumulative climb heading North: 760m. Cumulative climb heading South: 750m.
Naismiths Rule, Northwards: 5 hours, 48 mins. Southwards: 5 hours, 47 mins.
Knighton to Brompton Crossroads, 15 miles
From Knighton the trail passes Panpunton to climb steeply up Panpunton Hill (344m) and then on to Cwm-sanaham Hill (396m) before descending to 270m and then climbing back up 427m and passing by Llanfair Hill. A steep descent passes near Newcastle (path bottoms out at 204m) and climbs to 348m near Craig Hill, 368m near Hergan. Moving on over another short hill and hitting 417m near Edenhope Hill, and one last hummock (384m) before dropping shrply into the Brompton Crossroads (141m) near Pentreheyling.
Cumulative climb heading North: 1030m. Cumulative climb heading South: 1080m.
Naismiths Rule, Northwards: 6 hours, 43 mins. Southwards: 6 hours, 48 mins.
Brompton Crossroads to Buttington Bridge, 12.2 miles
The first 6.25 miles of this days walking is fairly flat through fields and laneways to Kingswood (144m). The trail then climbs through woodland up and over a hill topped by Beacon Ring Fort (408m) where the trail returns to farmland and descends to Buttington Bridge(67m).
Cumulative climb heading North: 500m. Cumulative climb heading South: 570m.
Naismiths Rule, Northwards: 4 hours, 54 mins. Southwards: 5 hours, 1 mins.
Buttington Bridge to Llanymynech, 10.4 miles
This section is pretty flay, spending a great deal of time following either canals or the river Severn. It starts out from Buttington Bridge on the Severn) and vaguely follows the Severn before meeting the Shropshire Union Canal after about a mile. It follows this for about another mile to Pool Quay and then strikes out back to the Severn which it follows for about another 3 miles. Here the trail heads cross country to Four Crosses, shortly after which it comes along side the Montgomery Canal and remains beside it for the next 3 miles into Llanymynech (78m) by which time it has turned into the Ellesmere Canal
Cumulative climb heading North: 90m. Cumulative climb heading South: 80m.
Naismiths Rule, Northwards: 3 hours, 37 mins. Southwards: 3 hours, 36 mins.
Llanymynech to Chirk Mill, 13.8 miles
From Llanymynech the trail climbs up by Asterly Rocks onto a wooded hill (208m) and back down to Porth-y-Waen (104m). Then it is over farmland to Nantmawr (129m) where a steep climb up Moelydd Uchaf (271m) is followed by a slow descent to Trefonen (190m) and on through more fields to the foot of a wooded hill (167m). An initially stepp climb through woods opens up at the Old Oswestry race course (327m) The trail continues through farmland at roughly this elevation (some slight up and down) for about 4 miles and then descends steeply to Chrik Mill by the B4500 (112m) near Bronygarth.
Cumulative climb heading North: 780m. Cumulative climb heading South: 750m.
Naismiths Rule, Northwards: 5 hours, 54 mins. Southwards: 5 hours, 51 mins.
Chirk Mill to Llandegla, 16.3 miles
From Chrik Mill the trail climbs up a hill (254m) and then descnds gently to the Llangollen Canal where it turns sraply to follow the canal past Froncysyllte and on to Trevor. From Trevor (75m) it climbs through woods to the base of the Llangollen limestone escarpment (255m). The trail follows the base of the escarpment for about 4 miles to World's End (339m) where it then climbs through a wood and onto moorland pealng at 494m just as the trail returns to woodland where it descends to flatter farmland and on to Llandegla (253m).
Cumulative climb heading North: 890m. Cumulative climb heading South: 740m.
Naismiths Rule, Northwards: 6 hours, 55 mins. Southwards: 6 hours, 40 mins.
Llandegla to Bodfari, 17.5 miles
This days walk runs North up and down along a string of hills. The trail side-steps most of the actual hilltops except for one. From Llandegla the trail passes through mostly farmland before skirting Moel y Plas where the trail peaks at 412m, it then goes around Moel Llanfair and Moel Gyw. Returning to farmland for a time the trail then skirts the top of Foel Fenli where the trail peaks at 454m. A track across moorland then climbs to Moel Fammau and the Jubilee Tower (542m). The trail then continues over moorland for about 5 miles, past Moel Arthur and over Penycloddiau (432m) where it then descends to Bodfari (51m).
Cumulative climb heading North: 1040m. Cumulative climb heading South: 1240m.
Naismiths Rule, Northwards: 7 hours, 34 mins. Southwards: 7 hours, 54 mins.
Bodfari to Prestatyn, 12.1 miles
This is essentially a 2 hump day. The foirst hump out of Bodfari climbs steeply to 262m and then back down to cross the A55 (85m). It consists of a roughly 5 mile stretch througfh farmland. There follows another steep climb to 262m followed by a descent to cross the A5151 (114m), this is another 4 mile stretch though fields and along stretches of road. The trail then continues at roughly this elevation for 2 miles, finishing with a short climb through moorland to 181m followed byt a sharp descent to Prestatyn and some urban trecking to the Offa's Dyke Centre (5m).
Cumulative climb heading North: 680m. Cumulative climb heading South: 720m.
Naismiths Rule, Northwards: 5 hours, 10 mins. Southwards: 5 hours, 14 mins.
Having decided how far you want to walk on a given day (taking into account the terrain descriptions given above) the next thing to do is arrange accomodation. Except where the trail passed through or close by villages and towns it is inevitable that you will have to deviate a fair bit from the trail to find a bed for the night.
While the trail is not too hard going it is far more pleasant to leave the heavy lifting to someone else, and a couple of services exist to help in this regard.
- Offa's Dyke Association
- National Trails Offa's Dyke Path
- Baggage transport and services on the offa's Dyke Path
- A nice account of walking Offa's Dyke
It is also hoped to eventually provide a gallery of photos to help give an impression of the scenery on various stages of the walk.