This self-guided walking holiday is along the southern section of Offa's Dyke Path between Chepstow and Knighton.
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 80 mile Southern section of Offa's Dyke Path from Sedbury Cliffs, Chepstow to Knighton.
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. In addition it passes through the Brecon Beacons National Park on the spectacular Hatterall Ridge, the highest point on the route at 700m/2300ft, and through the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
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
Sedury Cliffs, Chepstow
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 80 mile Southern section of Offa's Dyke Path from Sedbury Cliffs, Chepstow to Knighton. The following is intended to provide further information about the route. Please note that all distances and heights in this document are approximate and along with all the other information are provided as an aid to describe the route.
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, home of the Offa’s Dyke Centre.
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 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
Travel by train from Knighton via connecting stations. The station is a short walk from your accommodation.
Approximate journey times – To London 4 hours
Approximate journey times – To Manchester 2.5 hours
Bus timetables are available to view online at www.traveline.info
The bus stop in Chepstow is a short walk or taxi journey from your accommodation.
The bus stop in Knighton is a short walk from your accommodation.
Trains run from Heathrow to London Paddington where you change trains to Chepstow.
Approximate journey times 3.25 hours.
Trains run from Knighton to London where, depending on routing, you change to tubes or train to Heathrow.
Approximate journey times 5 hours.
Trains run from Manchester Airport via connecting stations to Chepstow.
Approximate journey times 4 hours.
Trains run to Manchester Airport via connecting stations from Knighton.
Approximate journey times 3 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
Dear Dean, Now I am back in Australia I’m just writing to say how much we enjoyed the Offa’s Dyke Path South and thank you for your organisation. All the accommodation was excellent and luggage arrangements worked well.…This was my third walk with North West walks and I continue to appreciate your efficient service and guidance.
With thanks, Sue Byrne, Australia, Offa's Dyke Path South Self-Guided, 2016
Hello everyone. My name is Bonnie and I was one of the party booked through …. that did the southern portion of Offa's Dyke last month. Just wanted to thank you all for the great arrangements, everything was excellent. We enjoyed the walk and all the interesting accommodations and the very kind hosts and hostesses. Your notes on reaching our evening accommodation, instructions for phoning re lunches and rides etc were very helpful for us…Thank you again for all your assistance and expertise, hope to do another hike through you in the future.
Bonnie, USA, Offa's Dyke Path South Self-Guided, 2016