About the Trail
Offa’s Dyke Path is a 177 mile (285 Km) long walking trail. It is named after, and often follows, the spectacular Dyke King Offa ordered to be constructed in the 8th century, probably to divide his Kingdom of Mercia from rival kingdoms in what is now Wales
The Trail, which was opened in the summer of 1971, links Sedbury Cliffs near Chepstow on the banks of the Severn estuary with the coastal town of Prestatyn on the shores of the Irish sea. It passes through no less than eight different counties and crosses the border between England and Wales over 20 times. The Trail explores the tranquil Marches (as the border region is known) and passes through the Brecon Beacons National Park on the spectacular Hatterrall Ridge. In addition it links no less than three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – the Wye Valley, the Shropshire Hills and the Clwydian Range / Dee Valley.
Exploring the Trail
The Trail passes through many different types of landscape. The upland stretches in the Brecon Beacons and Clwydian Range can be hard going in poor weather or visibility. The flattest stretch is the section which largely follows the River Severn and the Montgomeryshire Canal. Elsewhere it is largely a case of gentle ups and downs.
The National Trail is very well way-marked so following the route is easy. But it is always a good idea to take a guidebook or map.
Offa’s Dyke Path can be walked right through the year. Most people walk between April and October. Spring and early summer are best times to see the flora along the way.
What is special about the Trail?
The journey of the Offa’s Dyke Path through the borderlands of England and Wales truly offers something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a gentle stroll for an hour or two, or wish to undertake the whole Trail over a couple of weeks or more, a memorable walk amid spectacular countryside is guaranteed.
The landscape is always stunning, from the riverside meadows of the Wye and Severn valleys to the peaceful rolling hills of Shropshire and Powys and the dramatic heather clad uplands of the Black Mountains and the Clwydian Range / Dee Valley.
The Path passes through or near to many historic towns, including Chepstow, Monmouth, Hay-on-Wye, Kington, Presteigne, Knighton, Bishop’s Castle, Montgomery, Welshpool, Oswestry, Llangollen, Mold, Ruthin, Denbigh, and Prestatyn. Along the way you will discover majestic castles, quiet country churches, enigmatic Iron Age hillforts and enticing country pubs.
And, of course, 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.
This National Trail passes through the very best landscapes – places you may want to explore for several days at a time. From cosy country inns to characterful cottages, we’ve got your accommodation near Offa’s Dyke Path covered.