Offa's Dyke Path Self Guided Walking Holidays

14-17 day holidays, 177 miles, Price from £895 per person



The 177 miles 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.

The Trail 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 Hatterall Ridge, the highest point on the route at 700m/2300ft. In addition it links no less than three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – the Wye Valley, the Shropshire Hills and the Clwydian Hills.

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.

We operate self-guided walking holidays along Offa's Dyke Path in either direction, North to South or South to North. Typically you travel to the start of The Path and overnight (accommodation is included in the price of your holiday) ready to start your walk the following morning. 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


Offa's Dyke Path Itineraries and Prices

Our self guided holidays are booked on an individual basis and therefore you can start your holiday on any date of your choice between April and October, and include rest days if required.
To book your holiday choose an itinerary that meets your requirements, then click Book Your Holiday


13 Nights/12 Days Walking
Offa's Dyke self guided holiday

  • 13 nights accommodation including breakfast

  • 12 days walking

  • Baggage transfer along the route

  • Total distance 177 miles

  • Average daily distance 15 miles

  • Shortest day 11 miles

  • Longest day 18 miles

  • Price £895/person (single supplement* £325)

Click here to view itinerary


14 Nights/13 Days Walking
Offa's Dyke self guided holiday

  • 14 nights accommodation including breakfast

  • 13 days walking

  • Baggage transfer along the route

  • Total distance 177 miles

  • Average daily distance 13.5 miles

  • Shortest day 8 miles

  • Longest day 18 miles

  • Price £965/person (single supplement* £350)

Click here to view itinerary


15 Nights/14 Days Walking
Offa's Dyke self guided holiday

  • 15 nights accommodation including breakfast

  • 14 days walking

  • Baggage transfer along the route

  • Total distance 177 miles

  • Average daily distance 12.5 miles

  • Shortest day 8 miles

  • Longest day 18 miles

  • Price £1025/person (single supplement* £375)

Click here to view itinerary


16 Nights/15 Days Walking
Offa's Dyke self guided holiday

  • 16 nights accommodation including breakfast

  • 15 days walking

  • Baggage transfer along the route

  • Total distance 177 miles

  • Average daily distance 12 miles

  • Shortest day 4 miles

  • Longest day 15 miles

  • Price £1080/person (single supplement* £400)

Click here to view itinerary


*Single supplement - There are very few single rooms along the route and therefore the accommodation owners generally allocate a double or twin room for single occupancy. We can accommodate one single occupancy per booking for the average supplement of £25 per night. If you require additional single occupancy rooms, they will be charged at the extra cost incurred. This can be up to full double/twin room rate.

If you want to follow an itinerary that is not listed please contact us on 01257 424889 or email nww@northwestwalks.co.uk

Extra nights/rest days can be added to your itinerary. Price from £50 per person per night.

Holiday Information


Holidays include

  • 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 Harvey map for the group Leader.

  • Emergency contact

Tour availability
This walking holiday is available from April to October. You can book your holiday to start on any date of your choice.

Accommodation
Accommodation is provided in carefully selected walker friendly B&Bs, Guest Houses, small Hotels and Inns. We try 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 or two nights of your holiday.

Meals
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.

Luggage transfer
For the duration of the walk you luggage is transferred door to door between overnight accommodation by baggage transfer service, so all you need to carry is a day rucksack and its contents.

Accommodation directions
We provide detailed instructions to find you accommodation.

Guide Books and Maps
A guidebook and Harvey route maps are included.


Offa's Dyke Path Route Description


The 177 miles 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. 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.

Start of route
Sedbury Cliffs, Chepstow

End of route
Prestatyn, Denbighshire

Direction of walk
We describe the holiday in a South to North direction but you can also walk from North to South.

Grade

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.

Terrain
The terrain varies from riverside paths, country lanes, farmland, rolling hills and mountain paths.

Waymarking
The route is sensibly waymarked and generally easy to follow with the aid of a map and guidebook.



Route description



Sedbury Cliffs/Chepstow (height above sea level 10m) to Monmouth (20m).
Offa’s Dyke Path (ODP) starts in England at Sedbury Cliffs (near to Chepstow) overlooking the Severn estuary. The Dyke itself is first met at the very start of the ODP, close to Sedbury Cliff. The ODP passes to the east of Chepstow with views of Chepstow Castle. From here the ODP continues its journey north on the eastern side of the River Wye high on the tree lined escarpment with a number of classic viewpoints, one of the most iconic being the view of Tintern Abbey from Devil’s Pulpit. The Wye Valley is one of the finest lowland landscapes in Britain and was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1971. Along this section the ODP offers several route options which meet at Bigsweir. The ODP continues through woodland and at Redbrook it makes the first of many border crossings between England and Wales, and continues to Monmouth, a Welsh border town situated at the confluence of the Rivers Wye, Monnow and Trothy and perhaps best known as the birthplace of Henry V.

Monmouth (20m) to Pandy (120m).
From the town centre the ODP crosses over the 13th century Monnow Bridge, the only remaining medieval fortified bridge in Great Britain. Leaving behind the River Wye the ODP crosses quiet rolling farmland, mainly sheep country. It passes through woodland on route to Hendre, it then crosses farmland to the church at Llanvihangel-Ystern-Llewern, and continues to the village of Llantilio Crossenny. Continuing across the rolling farmland the ODP passes alongside the medieval White Castle on route to the village of Llangattock Lingoed and the medieval St. Cadoc's Church. Approaching Pandy there are great views of the Black Mountains including Hatterrall Ridge over which the next part of the Trail passes.

Pandy (120m) to Hay-on-Wye (90m).
From Pandy a steady climb brings you to the first upland section of the ODP. It takes the route along Hatterrall Ridge in the Black Mountains, which are the eastern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Once the first summit has been reached the ODP follows a well-defined ridge walk for about 11 miles to Hay Bluff, with stunning views to either side. The highest point on the ridge is Black Mountain (703m) and much of the ODP follows the ridge at over 600metres. A few miles into the ridge crossing it is possible to descend from 500metres and overnight at Longtown (140m) with its 12th century Norman Castle, the following morning transport will take you a short way back uphill from where you follow a footpath for a 300metre climb back onto the ridge. Hay Bluff (677m) is the northern high point of the ridge from where the ODP descends into Hay-on-Wye (90m), famed for its numerous bookshops, the town also has the ruins of two Norman castles.

Hay-on-Wye (90m) to Kington (170m).
From Hay-on-Wye the ODP follows level paths alongside the River Wye, last seen in Monmouth. After a couple of miles the ODP leaves the river to begin a rolling route through farmland. The ODP climbs and contours around Little Mountain (approx. 320m) then descends into the village of Newchurch (240m) - the church here is always open and welcomes walkers and you can help yourself to a cup of tea for a small donation. The ODP climbs again into rolling hills before descending into in Gladestry (225m). The final stage across hill country before Kington is to follow the ODP over Hergest Ridge (426m) with wonderful views all-round. Crossing the ridge you pass an old racecourse which is exactly a mile around. This area was also the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles and Mike Oldfield’s second album Hergest Ridge. Descending from the ridge you join a road which leads to the historic market town of Kington.

Kington (170m) to Knighton (175m).
On this stage the ODP follows long stretches of well-preserved Dyke before it enters Knighton (Tref-y-Clawdd, meaning the town on the dyke in Welsh). On leaving Kington the ODP rise over Brandor Hill and its golf course. A high point of approx. 390m makes Kington Golf Course the highest in England. Soon after the ODP meets up with Offa’s Dyke on Rushock Hill (375m), from this point to Chirk Castle the ODP and Offa’s Dyke keep each other company for most of the journey. The ODP now continues its journey across the rolling countryside. The highest peak on this section is Hawthorn Hill (407m) a few miles before Knighton. There are stunning views from the hill and one of Owain Glyndwr’s (the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales) famous battle sites can also be seen from here where he fought the English at the Battle of Pilleth, with the square clump of trees that mark the burial site of the soldiers. The final decent brings you down into the historic market town of Knighton, almost the half-way point along Offa’s Dyke Path and the home of the Offa’s Dyke Centre.

Knighton (175m) to Brompton (140m).
This next section of the ODP 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 ODP, with its midway marker, a good photo opportunity for all walkers. 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.

Travel


UK bus and train journeys can be planned online at www.traveline.org.uk

By train
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.

To/From Chepstow
Travel by train to/from Chepstow via connecting stations. The station is a short walk or taxi journey from your accommodation.
Approximate journey times – From London Paddington 2.5 hours
Approximate journey times – From Manchester 3.5 hours

To/From Prestatyn
Travel by train to/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

By bus
Bus timetables are available to view online at www.traveline.org.uk

To/From Chepstow
The bus stop in Chepstow is a short walk or taxi journey from your accommodation.

To/From Prestatyn
The bus stop in Prestatyn is a short walk from your accommodation.

By Air

London Heathrow
To/From Chepstow
Trains run from Heathrow to London Paddington where you change trains to Chepstow.
Approximate journey times 3.25 hours.

To/From Prestatyn
Trains run from Prestatyn to London where, depending on routing, you change to tubes or train to Heathrow.
Approximate journey times 4 hours.

Manchester Airport
To/From Chepstow
Trains run to/from Manchester Airport via connecting stations to Chepstow.
Approximate journey times 4 hours.

To/From Prestatyn
Trains run to/from Manchester Airport via central Manchester to Prestatyn.
Approximate journey times 2 hours.

Equipment List


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
Required
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
Waterproof jacket
Spare warm layer (to carry in your rucksack)
Warm gloves
Warm hat
Sunhat
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
Sunscreen
Insect repellent
Torch / flashlight
Whistle

Optional
Spare Laces
Gaiters
Shorts
Thermos flask for hot drinks
Antibacterial hand wash/wipes
Camera, film, batteries
Trekking poles
Sunglasses

Reviews

Hello Dean, A quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed the recent Offa's Dyke walk. At times the hills were hillier but the scenery soon made me forget about the legs. The very far distance views were always a bit of problem but that is what was dished up so, no complaints. Many thanks for Northwestwalks assistance with the ODP walk. Everything went well, as usual.
Regards, Ian Australia, Offa's Dyke Path Self-Guided, 2016

Hello Dean, We just returned from our ODP and 2-segment C2C walking holiday and wanted to drop you a note about the trips. Thank you for making the arrangements and allowing us to focus on the enjoyment of the walk. Again, we were most pleased with the arrangements which Northwestwalks made and encountered no problems with luggage transfer, and found the accommodations overall to be very good...So, just "a few words" about our wonderful walking holiday and, again, many thanks for arranging the details.
Kind regards, Ethel and Glen, USA, Offa's Dyke Path Self-Guided, 2014


Hi Dean & Corinna Have had a wonderful holiday in the UK. The walk was great with plenty of highs and very few lows. Probably harder than we expected (especially the northern half) and certainly more difficult than Coast to Coast. I guess we are all over 50 and slowing a little! Several comments about how good NWW are to deal with which is good. Baggage transfer was fine. As always we believe your walks offer good value for money. West Highland Way (and possibly Lakes circuit) next year.
Rob, Australia, Offa's Dyke Path Self-Guided, 2014

Just to let you know all went well on our trek along the Offas Dyke...we thoroughly enjoyed the walk and thank you for arranging the accommodation & luggage transfers so well.
Sheila & Ray, New Zealand, Offa's Dyke Path Self-Guided, 2013


I returned from the Offa’s Dyke trail last Saturday and have been meaning to write to thank you for the wonderful efficiency of all the arrangements – the accommodation and the luggage transfers all worked absolutely according to plan without a hitch. You did a brilliant job.
Tim, UK, Offa's Dyke Path Self-Guided, 2013

I very much enjoyed doing Offa's Dyke path, thanks for organising it for me. I had very good weather. The accommodation was very high standard and there were no problems at all. I am looking forward to my next holiday with you.
Susan, UK, Offa's Dyke Path Self-Guided, 2013



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