This self-guided walking holiday is along the northern section of Offa's Dyke Path between Knighton and Prestatyn.
The Offa's Dyke Path National Trail was opened in the summer of 1971, linking Sedbury Cliffs near Chepstow on the banks of the Severn estuary with the North Wales coastal town of Prestatyn. The Trail is named after, and often follows, the spectacular Offa's Dyke, a great frontier earthwork, which Offa the King of Mercia from 757 to 796 A.D. ordered to be constructed. This holiday covers the 97 mile Northern section of Offa's Dyke Path from Knighton to Prestatyn.
Offa's Dyke Path is the most attractive and varied of the National Trails. The route crosses high wild moorland, attractive, well cultivated wide river valleys and ancient woodland. It passes through historic towns and isolated hamlets. En route can be seen hill forts, castles, abbeys and surviving remains of the habitations of former occupants of the beautiful corridor of the path. The flora and fauna are as rich and as varied as the scenery. This section of the trail passes through two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – the Shropshire Hills and the Clwydian Hills.
Each night on the trail you stay in a different location in prebooked selected accommodation, with breakfast provided. Your luggage is transferred daily between your overnight accommodation.
Book with Northwestwalks and you can be confident of a personal, professional and well organised service. You can be assured we select quality walker friendly accommodation and provide a reliable daily luggage transfer service, plus a holiday pack which includes route information, accommodation details, route map, guidebook and the reassurance we can always be contacted should you need assistance.
This walking holiday is available from April to October. You can book your holiday to start on any date of your choice.
Start of route
End of route
Direction of walk
South to North.
This is a moderate to challenging trail with varied landscapes and terrain. The trail follows river valleys, lowland fields and crosses rolling hills and mountains.
The terrain varies from riverside paths, country lanes, farmland, rolling hills and mountain paths.
The route is sensibly waymarked and generally easy to follow with the aid of a map and guidebook.
Carefully selected walker friendly accommodation.
Breakfast each day.
Luggage transfer between overnight accommodation.
Route information and itinerary.
Detailed instructions to find your accommodation.
Guidebook and route map.
Not included in the price of your holiday
Evening meals, packed lunches, drinks and snacks, travel insurance, travel to Chepstow and from Prestatyn, souvenirs, laundry services, etc.
Accommodation is provided in carefully selected walker friendly B&Bs, Guest Houses, small Hotels and Inns. We aim to book rooms with ensuite or private facilities every night, however in a few villages ensuite accommodation is limited and we may have to book rooms with shared facilities for one of your holiday.
We provide detailed instructions to find you accommodation.
Breakfast is included.
Packed lunches can be readily purchased from your overnight accommodation or local shop.
Evening meals can be purchased in local village pubs or overnight accommodation when a pub is not available.
For the duration of the holiday your luggage is transferred from accommodation to accommodation by a luggage transfer agent. Luggage allowance is 1 bag/person weighing not more than 20kg (44lbs).
Guidebooks and Maps
A guidebook and route map are included.
We can be contacted 24 hours a day if required.
The weather in Wales and England is varieds. You should be prepared for all possibilities as weather, particularly in the mountains, can change quickly. Weather statistics are available from the Met Office at www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/climate
Good outdoor clothing and waterproofs are essential, please see equipmement list for further details.
Comfortable walking boots which provide good grip on multiple terrain and ankle support are recommended.
Please see equipmement list for further details
Some accommodation owners provide a laundry service for a small fee.
The Offa's Dyke Path National Trail was opened in the summer of 1971, linking Sedbury Cliffs near Chepstow on the banks of the Severn estuary with the North Wales coastal town of Prestatyn. The Trail is named after, and often follows, the spectacular Offa's Dyke, a great frontier earthwork, which Offa the King of Mercia from 757 to 796 A.D. ordered to be constructed. This holiday covers the 97 mile Northern section of Offa's Dyke Path from Knighton to Prestatyn. The following is intended to provide further information about the route. Please note that all distances and heights are approximate and along with all the other information are provided as an aid to describe the route.
Knighton (175m) to Brompton (140m).
The section from Knighton to Brompton is generally regarded to be the toughest. This is the ‘switchback’ section and the ODP rises and falls through the Shropshire Hills an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. However the views make the effort worthwhile. Shortly after leaving Knighton the ODP climbs into the Shropshire Hills, the highest point is 430metres as the ODP crosses Llanfair Hill alongside some of the best preserved sections of Offa’s Dyke. Just above Newcastle on Clun you are at the true midpoint of the the full route ODP, with its midway marker. The ODP descends into the Clun Valley. The ODP climbs into the hills again and at Hergan there is what seems to be a natural break in the Dyke, where the Shropshire Way joins the Dyke for a short distance. There are very few villages on this section but a number of hidden gems await the walker, one of these is Churchtown - at the foot of a narrow valley you find the church, but no sign of a town. Within a couple of miles the ODP crosses the Kerry Ridgeway trail from this point on it is level or downhill. Shortly before Brompton the ODP goes through the hamlet of Cwm and passes Mellington Hall, areas with a scattering of accommodation.
Brompton (140m) to Buttington Bridge (70m).
For the next couple of miles the ODP follows the Dyke across fairly level terrain as it passes to the right of Montgomery. The ODP then rises to pass Nantcribba and over the next few miles continues to rise to Beacon Ring (408m), the earthworks of the ancient hill fort on the summit of Long Mountain, with views down to Welshpool. The ODP then descends to Buttington Bridge where you meet the River Severn, from where it is a short walk into the busy market town of Welshpool.
Buttington Bridge (70m) to Trefonen (175m).
This walk to Llanymynech is almost flat throughout and is the easiest section of the ODP. Leaving Buttington Bridge the ODP follows the Montgomery Canal and then River Severn for several miles before crossing fields to the village of Four Crosses. The ODP then follows the Montgomery Canal to the town of Llanymynech (75m) where the Wales – England border is the main street! After the flattest section the ODP, it returns to rising and falling via Llanymynech Hill (226m) and Moelydd (285m). The summit of Moelydd is one of the surprises of the day - the 360 degree views are stunning and a topascope helps you identify the many hills you see. Trefonen is just a short walk away.
Trefonen (175m) to Llangollen (100m).
Continuing its way north across the rolling countryside the ODP passes a few miles from the town of Oswestry. Oswestry, or "Oswald's Tree", is generally thought to be derived from Oswald's death there and the legends surrounding it. Oswald lived in the 7th century and was the powerful King of Northumbria. He spread Christian religion in Northumbria and soon after his death came to be regarded as a saint. The 97 mile route from Holy Island to Heavenfield, in Northumbria, is named after St Oswald. The ODP continues across the rolling countryside then descends to the River Ceiriog at Castle Mill, close to Chirk. From the river the summer season path leads past Chirk Castle, set in 480 acres of parklands. With over 700 years of history, and as the last castle from this period still lived in today, you can visit if time allows. From the castle the ODP crosses a few miles of farmland towards Trevor where you have the option to cross Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, now listed as a World Heritage Site it is the largest aqueduct in Britain. It is now only a few miles to Llangollen, a town situated on the River Dee, and there are two possible routes to take.
Llangollen (100m) to Clwyd Gate (286m).
The ODP is above Llangollen where it passes medieval castle Dinas Bran (320m), overlooking the town, at Trevor Rocks. A climb up from the town brings you to the route. This area is now part of the Clwydian Range, the series of hills and mountains before the ODP arrives at Prestatyn. For the next few miles the ODP contours round below the crags of Eglwyseg Mountain to the well named ‘World’s End’ (300m). The ODP then passes over the moorland (475m) before descending through Llandegla Forest, to Llandegla (250m). For a short distance the route stays close to the River Alyn then climbs bank into Clwydian Range and for much of the time you are following the heather clad ridge that is so prominent in this area to Clwyd Gate.
Clwyd Gate (286m) to Bodfari (40m).
From Clwyd Gate the ODP continues along the ridge over the hills and mountains of the Clwydian Range. It passes over or beside a string of ancient hill forts on its journey including Foel Fenlli, Moel Arthur and Penycloddiau. The key landmark on this section of the ODP is Jubilee Tower on the top of Moel Famau (554m). The tower was built to celebrate the 50th year of the reign of George 3rd in 1810. The summit of Moel Famau is also the high point on this section of the ODP. This section affords magnificent views westwards across the Vale of Clwyd to Snowdonia and eastwards to the English border and beyond. The ODP descends from the hills into the valley and the village of Bodfari.
Bodfari (40m) to Prestatyn (5m).
For the next few miles the ODP continues over the last remaining, but lower, hills of the Clwydian Range to Rhuallt village. The ODP continues over the rolling countryside and views of the sea open up as you approach journeys end. Fabulous views of Snowdonia and the North Wales coast are seen from Prestatyn Hillside before you descend into the town and onwards to the end of the ODP at Prestatyn beach. Traditionally at this point boots and socks are removed and a walk into the Irish Sea marks the end of your journey and gives some relief to those tired feet.
UK bus and train journeys can be planned online at www.traveline.info
Train timetables can be viewed and tickets purchased online at www.thetrainline.com
Prices can vary greatly and reduced price ‘Advanced tickets’ are sometimes available and can be purchased from approximately 12 weeks prior to departure.
Travel by train to Knighton via connecting stations. The station is a short walk from your accommodation.
Approximate journey times – From London 4 hours
Approximate journey times – From Manchester 2.5 hours
Travel by train from Prestatyn via connecting stations. The station is a short walk from your accommodation.
Approximate journey times – From London Euston 2.5 hours
Approximate journey times – From Manchester 1.5 hours
Bus timetables are available to view online at www.traveline.info
The bus stop in Knighton is a short walk from your accommodation.
The bus stop in Prestatyn is a short walk from your accommodation.
Journey from Heathrow to London, via train or tube depending on routing, where you change to trains to Knighton.
Approximate journey times 5 hours.
Trains run from Prestatyn to London where, depending on routing, you change to tubes or train to Heathrow.
Approximate journey times 4 hours.
Trains run from Manchester Airport via connecting stations to Knighton.
Approximate journey times 3 hours.
Trains run to Manchester Airport via central Manchester from Prestatyn.
Approximate journey times 2 hours.
Please remember to
1. Keep the weight of your day pack and walking/hiking equipment to a comfortable weight for you to carry
2. Keep your suitcase/luggage under the maximum transfer weight (Maximum: 20kg (44lbs)).
The following checklist is an aid to help you with your packing
Walking/Hiking boots (worn in before your holiday)
Technical walking socks e.g. liner and thick outer socks
Trekking trousers (not jeans/denim)
Waterproof over trousers
Baselayer T-shirts and/or casual shirts
Fleece or warm jumper
Spare warm layer (to carry in your rucksack)
Rucksack (25 to 35 litres) and waterproof cover
Rucksack liner e.g. large plastic bag
Water bottles 1 litre (x2)
Basic First Aid Kit and personal medication
Torch / flashlight
Thermos flask for hot drinks
Antibacterial hand wash/wipes
Camera, film, batteries
Hello NWW, We returned from our Offa’s Dyke walk two weeks ago. Once again, we really enjoyed the walk, the scenery really beautiful all the way......Thank you again for your care and attention , it was really lovely.
Many thanks again, Ruth, UK, Offa's Dyke Path North Self-Guided, 2018