Offa's Dyke Path: Chepstow to Knighton

Following the English/Welsh border alongside the 8th Century Offa's Dyke this National Trail takes you through changing landscapes offering amazing opportunities to catch a view of our native wildlife.

The journey of the Offa’s Dyke Path through the borderlands of England and Wales truly offers something for everyone. It is named after, and often follows, the spectacular dyke that King Offa ordered to be constructed in the 8th century.

The landscape is always stunning, from riverside meadows to peaceful rolling hills of Shropshire and Powys and the dramatic heather clad uplands of the Black Mountains.

The Trail frequently follows the impressive Offa’s Dyke itself. This amazing hand-dug bank and ditch was built in the 8th century by command of King Offa of the ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia. It was probably intended to divide Mercia from rival kingdoms in what is now Wales, and some sections still form the England/Wales border today.

Tour Overview

The icons below highlight the distance, difficulty and theme of this itinerary.

Distance

128.5km

Days

7

Grade

Challenging

Theme

History / Wildlife

Landscape Type

Rolling Countryside / High Hills and Moorland / Connecting Towns and Villages

Offa's Dyke Path: Chepstow to Knighton

Every step of the journey has been carefully planned to help you make the most of your walking adventure. Click on the blue tabs below for more information.

Tour Details

This itinerary is offered by Celtic Trails, They believe that there is no better way to see and appreciate the natural world around us than through walking it. For over 20 years, they have had the pleasure of helping walkers on their journey, with their distinctive personalised service and character accommodations.

This tour includes 8 nights accommodation with 7 walking days. Arrive in Chepstow on day 1, walk from day 2 and depart from Knighton on morning of day 9. The option to walk the Trail over less days is also available.

This itinerary can be walked any time between March and October. You simply choose which day you would like your holiday to start on.

Your holiday will include a good standard accommodation at a mixture of guesthouses, farmhouses, local inns and B&B’s with ensuite or private facilities wherever possible, breakfast, luggage transfers, personal transfer between accommodation and path where necessary, route planning and a Walk Pack including a Trail Guide and Harvey’s map.

To find out more about this itinerary and make an enquiry or a booking, click on the Enquire Now button at the top of the page. The Save to My Rucksack button allows you to save itineraries to view later, or to download them as a PDF.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Chepstow

Chepstow, very much the gateway to exploring Wales, is a convenient journey by both car, rail and coach. You can find the town just off the M4 by car and walkers travelling via rail can find regular trains that lead from London, with one short connecting service from Newport. There are also (typically) two direct coaches leaving London everyday.

Day 2 - Chepstow to Bigsweir Bridge

Leaving Chepstow town, you’ll find impressive views over Chepstow Castle (the oldest of its kind in Britain), where the River Severn meets the River Wye. Past Sedbury Cliffs is where the Dyke itself come into view with the path leading its way along from the limestone cliffs into a high escarpment through the forests of the Wye Valley AONB. This section features some truly stunning viewpoints over the valley below, capped off by the view over Tintern Abbey from Devil’s Pulpit – one of many sites steeped in mythology and local legend situated on the Welsh border.

14.24km / 8.9 miles

Day 3 - Bigsweir Bridge to The Hendre

Here the river becomes a more frequent companion to your journey as you make your way over the distinctive cast-iron Bigsweir Bridge onto a route that wanders back and forth over England and Wales meeting the village of Redbrook, where a steep climb up past the 17th century Naval Tower of the Kymin is rewarded with panoramic views over the surrounding area. Here the route leads you over a medieval gatehouse into the bustling market town of Monmouth, where the landscape shifts from the rivers and forests of the Wye to the beautiful hills and valleys of rural Monmouthshire, taking you though the Kings Wood to the end of today’s section.

17.6km / 11 miles

 

Day 4 - The Hendre to Llangattock Lingoed

This section takes you through an area of Wales largely unchanged through history, a very green and secluded stretch of countryside where your route takes you though the gentle, rolling hills, paths through cider orchards and open, expansive countryside that skirt the edges of the Black Mountains. Here, the Dyke fades out of view, but your route contains many historical sites of interest including ruined abbeys, quaint chapels as well as ancient forts and castles, one of the most notable being the impressive 12th century White Castle, forming part of the neighbouring Three Castles circular route.

16km / 10 miles

Day 5 - Llangattock Lingoed to Longtown

Today’s route takes you out from the small Welsh Marches village of Llangattock Lingoed further into the Black Mountains towards Hatterrall Ridge. On your way you’ll notice some of the more distinctive peaks of the Welsh Marches including the Skirrid, the Sugarloaf as well as the Brecon Beacons.

Your route become gradually more undulating, as well as remote as you find yourself out in open meadows punctuated only by the occasional old farmhouse and small village, each with their own old chapels and churches that are more than worth a passing visit. Here, the route begins to climb as you meet the Iron Age fort of Pentwyn and the first leg of Hatterrall Ridge, where you’ll find a steep, winding ascent before joining a well-defined route along the top that takes you down into the village of Longtown for the end of today’s route.

14.4km / 9 miles (including a 2-mile steep descent to your accommodation)

Day 6 - Longtown to Hay-on-Wye

Here you’ll find more uphill sections on this route as the path brings you back over Hatterrall Ridge, as well as the highest elevation of this route, standing at 2300ft (700m). Following the high-level route over the ridge, you’ll find some of the more stunning views of this walk as well as arguably one of the most beautifully remote stretches of countryside for miles, where it’s not uncommon to come across wild horses grazing.

As the route descends back into the valley, you’ll see the impressive Llanthony Priory, which can be reached (1.5 miles) and offers a peaceful place to pause and take in the views of the Black Mountains surrounding as well as a place to stop for a drink and a bite to eat in the popular Priory Cellar Bar.

20.8km / 13 miles (including a 2-mile steep ascent from your accommodation)

Day 7 - Hay-on-Wye to Kington

Today’s route starts back along the banks of the river Wye, climbing towards the edge of a route through woods and back out into open fields through the parish of Newchurch and up over Disgwylfa Hill, with views stretching over the old Welsh county of Radnorshire from here and Hergest Hill. Kington is one of the more renowned ‘walker towns’ in Wales, and the area retains much of its original charm in its 16th century architecture, welcoming taverns and the old, winding streets that lead through the town.

23.2km / 14.5 miles

Day 8 - Kington to Knighton

On this section you’ll notice the Dyke becoming more prominent again and starting to build in height as you make your way over Rushock Hill, sticking to a route that gives you an unrivalled view over the surrounding countryside, no doubt originally designed to offer a good vantage point for spotting ‘trouble’ from afar. Towards Knighton, the route takes you along a gentle climb through the Granner Wood to Knighton and the Offa’s Dyke Centre, where visitors can pick up a bit of insight into the history of the area, the Dyke as well as collect an Offa’s Dyke Passport to mark off completed sections of the route.

21.6km / 13.5 miles

Day 9 - Depart Knighton

Take a few hours to explore the lovely market town of Knighton before heading home. Rich in history with half-timbered houses from the 17th century and narrow winding streets the town sits midway on the border between England and Wales.

Accommodation

Celtic Trails pride themselves on a good standard accommodation. You will be staying in a mix of accommodation including guesthouses, farmhouses, local inns and B&B’s with ensuite or private facilities wherever possible. Breakfast will be provided. Wherever necessary transfer between your accommodation and the path is included.

This tour includes 8 nights’ accommodation.

Travel

Bus

Local buses call at points on or near Offa’s Dyke Path.

Check Traveline for latest timetable information and journey planning.

Rail

Both ends of the route can easily be reached by train. Chepstow station is about 2 miles / 3 kilometres from the southern end of the Trail.

Knighton station is on the Heart of Wales line with regular services northbound to Shrewsbury and southbound to Swansea.

Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for rail information and journey planning.

Advice

Steep ascents and descents are not a common occurrence on this route, although walkers may find that the repeated rising and falling of the route can prove quite strenuous. Arguably, the most challenging sections are found between the Black Mountains, Knighton and Cwm, where there are several steep ascents and descents – though it almost goes without saying that the view from the Black Mountains is particularly memorable, and worth the climb.

Food & Drink

In Wales there is a strong tradition of living off the land, stretching back as far as the ancient Celts. Food has historically been simple wholesome fare – thrifty dishes made with just a few simple, quality ingredients. Today Wales has a wealth of organic farmers’ markets, artisan producers, food festivals, and award-winning restaurants, all waiting for you to enjoy.

The prime natural resources of Wales have shaped the country’s culinary tradition. Welsh lamb is justifiably world famous, farmed on the lush mountains and valleys. Cheese has long been a traditional food of Wales and award-winning varieties grace the cheese boards of homes and restaurants alike. Look out for Welsh specialities such as laverbread, bara brith and cawl – you might not get these at home!

If you’re gasping for a drink at the end of a long day on the Trail then you won’t be disappointed – Wales is well known for its beer. From the UK’s biggest family owned independent brewery, Brains, to small boutique breweries, most areas of Wales have a local brewery. You’ll also find local ciders and wines – there are over 20 Welsh vineyards, producing award winning wines.

Maps, Guidebooks and Merchandise

The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.

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