Offa's Dyke - 14 Days & 13 Nights14 Days & 13 Nights
- The Offa's Dyke Path, a classic British long-distance walk and a National Trail
- Unspoiled landscapes of the Clwyd Hills, the Welsh Marches and Black Mountains
- An ancient earthwork built by King Offa which marks the Welsh-English border
- Hillforts, norman castles, ruined monasteries that weave a rich historical tapestry
- Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty such as the Wye Valley and Shropshire Hills
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.
Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night
This trip is suitable for:
As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 12 Years
Ideal if you have an interest in:
- Personal Growth
- Historical Journeys
- National Parks & Trails
- Most Popular
Activity Level & Terrain
The Offa's Dyke Path passes through such a vast amount of varying landscapes, rolling hills, escarpments, ridges, countryside, canal towpath's, wooded areas, riverside trails and moors. There will be long quite remote stretches, especially in the Welsh Marches. You will find that whilst there are not areas of very steep climbs that the accumulation of elevation gain and loss may prove tiring on some days. The most challenging parts will be the sections in the Black Mountains and the Vale of Clwyd.
The grade of your walk will depend on which itinerary you choose to do. The 20 day itinerary is the easiest simply because the daily distances are not too challenging. In contrast to this is the 14 day itinerary where on most days you will be walking between 20 and 30km and occasionally more than this.
You will be walking on a combination of terrain. The majority of the walking however will be on dedicated countryside trails. Sometimes you will walk on paths that are rooty and uneven and at other times they will be smooth. Canal towpaths are generally dirt trails but sometimes tarmacked. "Green Trails" will be part of the way too, so small roads usually with grass in the middle.
The Offa's Dyke Path is well waymarked and should be relatively easy to follow most of the time. Navigation is also straightforward as you can use the Macs Adventure Smartphone App which has maps and the GPS tracks. Simply download the GPS tracks for offline use and follow the route on your phone with the assurance that navigation on this tour will be made simple and you cannot get lost. You will find more information on downloading the app in your Macs Adventure Account.
We will provide a guidebook, which you can also refer to.
You will experience a wide variety of accommodations, from simple B&B's to small hotels. However, wherever you stay, you will be well looked after and warmly welcomed. Because some of the areas on this route are very remote, we have specifically designed the itinerary to provide you with the best accommodations available. As a result of this on occasion some overnight stops are off the trail. These dsitances off the trail can be anything between 1-5km, but we have calcluated the daily distances with this in mind. So, for example, when you walk to Llangollen, which is off the trail, the distance from Ruthin or Llandegla is incorporated. By arranging the distance walked this way, there will be no surprises, although the km amounts in the guidebook will vary from what you will find on our itineraries.
Single Rooms & Solo Walkers
If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.
We welcome solo walkers on the Offa's Dyke, although you should, of course, take extra care in the outdoors when walking solo and you must have the ability to read a map and compass.
- Overnights in B&B's, guest houses, small hotels
- Luggage Transfers
- Detailed Information Pack, guidebook and maps
- GPX tracks and access to our GPS Macs Adventure smartphone app
- 24/7 telephone support from our UK office
- Travel Insurance (required)
- Travel to Prestatyn
- Travel from Chepstow
- Lunches, dinners, snacks & drinks
- Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
- Personal Equipment
- Additional Nights, before, during or after the walk
When To Go
This walking tour can be booked between March and October, although most people choose to walk from April onwards as the weather can be quite cool and unpredicable in March. If you have walked in the UK before however, you will know that anytime of year can be unpredictable, so you should always be prepared with the right gear. Autumn can be a great time to walk as the path will not have as many people walking on it as the summer months. Spring and early summer are best times to see the flora along the way.
Weather and Climate
During the early Spring and late Autumn there is the potential of light snow cover in the Black Mountains, Clwydian Hills and in other areas on higher ground. At these times of year please come prepared for this.
Getting to the Start
To reach the start of your Offa's Dyke tour in Prestatyn there are regular direct trains from Manchester Piccadilly (1H40) were you can connect from many UK destinations. It is also possible to get from Liverpool in 1H20 by train and Cardiff in 2H30. Prestatyn is accessible from London in under 3H by train. Check National Rail for more information.
If you wish to drive there are plenty of car parks in Prestatyn. You would need to pay for the secure ones but there is also on street parking as long as you are not expecting to leave your car in the town centre.
Manchester Airport is the closest airport to Prestatyn. The journey by train takes about 2H20 and usually a change in Chester is required. You can also fly into any of the London Airports and take a train via Crewe.
Getting from the End
When travelling home after your tour you can get from Chepstow by train. To London journey time is 2H30, to Cardiff 45 minutes and Manchester in 4H. These are all approximate times depending on the scheduling and how many changes there are. Please check the National Rail website for more details.
The closest airport to Chepstow is Cardiff. You can fly from Cardiff to most UK locations. You can also fly from any of the London airports which are accessible by train.
If you have parked your car in Prestatyn you can return there by train. The journey time is approximately 4H with about 2 changes, probably in Newport and Crewe.
Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.
Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen etc. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walk boots, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a daypack.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
This walking tour can be booked between March and October, although most people choose to walk from April onwards as the weather can be quite cool and unpredicable in March. If you have walked in the Uk before however, you will know that anytime of year can be unpredictable, so you should always be prepared with the right gear. Autumn can be a great time to walk as the path will not have as many people walking on it as the summer months. Spring and early summer are best times to see the flora along the way.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive Prestatyn and Overnight
Arrive in North Wales and in the resort town of Prestatyn. Its easily accessible from Manchester on the North Wales coast line train via Chester or Crewe in approximately 2-2.5H. This small town is located on the Irish Sea Coast and became famous for its beach and promenade entertainers. See the Welsh hills in the distance beckoning you into their dramatic landscapes.
Overlooking the Irish Sea, a warm welcome awaits you on the North Wales Coast. The Beaches Hotel creates a safe, friendly, and comfortable ‘home from home’ so that you can relax and make memories before hitting the Offa Dyke's path.
If you wish, and depending on how cold today is, dip your toe into the Irish Sea at the start of this epic walking journey. As you make your way south and inland the views of the Clywdian Hills and the panorama of Snowdonia become more and more impressive. Today is quite easy walking along lanes and field paths. At one point you will see St Asaph Cathedral in the distance which towers above the relatively flat landscapes, even though it is the smallest cathedral in England and Wales. Cross a main road and then you walk further into the Clwydian range of hills and the Dee valley, an Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Tonight overnight in the small hamlet of Bodfari, although (at the time of writing this) your accommodation here is not in Bodfari itself but in the countryside close to the trail.
Elevation Gain/Loss: +570m/-510m
Conveniently located on the Offa's Dyke path and set in five acres of woodland, Llety'r Eos Ucha is perfect for walkers looking for a relaxing stopover on their journey.
Today's walking journey takes you along the ridge of the Clywdian Hills and one of the highlights of the entire walk! Follow green lanes, or locally known as Byways Open To All Traffic (BOAT's). North Wales is littered with these overgrown lanes, enchanting forest tracks and unsurfaced rough roads. You then head into the hills rising to the ridge and Jubilee Tower on top of the iconic peak, Moel Famau and passing a string of hillforts along the way. The scenery is breathtaking and you will need to pause to take in this magnificent scenery.
Overnight in the medieval town of Ruthin, which is nestled within the twisting Clwydian Hills. Although a few kilometres off the trail (necessary as there is not accommodation on the trail in this area), it is a nice walk to get here and the town itself is layered with history and there little independent shops and plenty of pubs and restaurants.
Elevation Gain/Loss: +905m/-890m
A friendly pub in the heart of Ruthin with 4 Bedrooms. Each room has access to a shared kitchen & living room area, free WiFi and Sky TV (including Sky Sports), hypoallergenic bedding.
Pass some more hillforts today as you keep walking within the Clywdian Hills, including Moel Llanfair with its superb view of Ruthin and Moel y Plas. Then make your way to Llandegla, once noted for its cattle fairs and village blacksmiths. Here is the Church of St Tecla standing on a river terrace above the Alwyn, where there is an ancient well which was said to cure epilepsy.
After following the trail through Llandegla Forest, largely consisting of Sitka Spruce. Now ascend to World's End, a picturesque spot and once the site of a silver and lead mine. On your way into Llangollen which is about 3km from the trail, pass Castell Dinas Bran, long attractive as a defensive site where an ancient hillfort once stood and a medieval castle was contructed. It's ruins are still there and it remains an important site in the Vale of Llangollen.
Overnight in Llangollen a town of many highlights and seeped in myth and legend.
Elevation Gain/Loss: +750m/-725m
Plas Hafod is a substantial Victorian detached residence offering a high standard of Bed & Breakfast accommodation, with views over the picturesque vale of Llangollen. This elegant welcoming house has a wealth of original Victorian features, with a Victorian tiled hallway, an impressive staircase, marble fireplaces, high ceilings, original cornices, and beautiful stained glass windows.
Look forward to an extremely varied day of walking today as you leave the lovely town of Llangollen behind. Once you rejoin the Offa's Dyke Path you will have the choice of walking on the main path, or taking the route that brings you to Britain's highest navigable aqueduct, Pontcysyllte, set 40m above the River Dee. Only take this route if you have a good head for heights. For those without vertigo it can be an exhilarating experience, for those with it, terrifying! It is a World Heritage Site and serves to connect the Llangollen Canal, which is a dead end canal to the Shropshire Union Canal.
Now approach the regions of Chirk and to Castle Mill, where, if you turn around you can see the distant Peckforton Hills of Cheshire on a clear day. To the left is Chirk Castle as it stands dominant on the skyline.
The final part of your walk today is straightforward but with a variety of landscapes, from the gentle slopes and wild panoramas of Moelydd and Settalyn Hill to the twists and turns through the Oswestry uplands.
Elevation Gain/Loss: +1065m/-1075m
The Bradford Arms Hotel is situated on the Welsh border in the idyllic village of Llanymynech. Originally a coaching inn dating back to the late 17th century, the property was Victorianised when it formed part of the Earl of Bradford’s estate in the early 1900’s. Situated beside the 1200-year-old Ofas Dyke path, it is an area of outstanding beauty and historic interest.
Today's walk will not disappoint as you walk out of the North Welsh Hills and into the rolling landscapes of the Welsh Marches. There are delightful sections along the River Severn and a towpath walk along the Montgomery Canal which has exceptional ecological and historical interest. This is a day of truly relaxed walking and virtually no elevation gain and loss.
Welshpool your overnight stop is not on the trail so you will have to divert off it to your accommodation, but again, you will be lucky enough to be walking along the picturesque Severn Way. Welshpool itself, a medieval town has many attractions, including Powis Castle with its magnificent 17th century gardens.
Elevation Gain/Loss: +40/-35m
Traditional Farm House Accommodation once the principal farm house of Powis Castle. It has of character, including exposed beams and log-buring fires and provides spacious accommodation. It is set between the Montgomery Canal and the River Severn. Rooms are light and airy and all have en-suites, and full hospitality tray, TV, DVD, radio alarm clocks and hairdryers, bath robes, white fluffy towels, and traditional bedding, sheer luxury!
Make your way back to the path from Welshpool and start heading south once more. After a few kilometres reach the big circular hill fort of Beacon Ring and as you climb to the top the views just get better and better. The Dyke is in evidence throughout the walk through the Plain of Montgomery and onto the remote country of the River Camland, keep an eye out for the diverse birdlife.
Arrive in Montgomery, a border town with an old fashion feel and a mix of Georgian and Victorian architecture such as its Town Hall. It's 13th century castle towers over the town on a rocky spur.
Elevation Gain/Loss: +485m/-385m
The Old Stores is a stunning Georgian house, in the heart of historic Montgomery. With two uniquely designed, deluxe guest rooms, retained period features alongside contemporary art and handwoven antique carpets, the house is full of personality and charm. The drawing room and courtyard garden are available exclusively for our guests to use.
Set off for the town of Brompton from where the the path undulates through an area known as the Switchbacks. Today's walk is probably one of the most challenging with plenty of ups and downs. It is well worth it though as you will be following the line of the Dyke and walking on top of it gives you a chance to follow in the footsteps of Offa’s workers who built it. See the great views to the hills of south Shropshire in all of its glory; green and rolling scenery, Long Mynd and Stiperstones.
Finish in the town Knighton, Tref Y Clawdd in Welsh, which means ’the town on the dyke’.
Elevation Gain/Loss: +1040m/-1015m
A relaxed and contemporary B&B set among the rolling hills of the Welsh Marches. Our four spacious rooms provide a comfortable base from which to explore the delights of Knighton and the Marches.
A little pocket of the Olde Worlde still survives here at the Castle Inn where a warm welcome awaits you and our friendly staff will always endeavour to make your visit as enjoyable as possible. You can enjoy the peace and quite, the fresh air, quality home cooked food, all locally sourced wherever possible. Not forgetting our guest rooms are seperate from the main pub area ensuring a good nights sleep.
The Welsh Marches are at their finest today and there are wide-ranging views, all magnificent. The walk is varied and starts off walking atop the Hawthorn and Furrow hills with open views across the surrounding countryside. A steep forested slope hides the massive hillfort of Burfa Bank but you pass Burfa Bog a low-lying piece of grassland which attracts lovely butterflies. Reach the common at Bradnor Green and and cross Kington Golf Course, supposedly the highest course in in England, because you are now in England and not Wales!
Elevation Gain/Loss: +645m/-670m
Kick-off your boots and relax in the communal lounge or by the fire as Ali welcomes you with a hot drink and treats. Cosy rooms with a super comfortable bed for a restful nights sleep. Recharge your batteries in the morning with a healthy breakfast and enjoy the relaxed, friendly atmosphere and quirky interior (circa 1700), before heading back out on the trail again.
Church House is a beautiful Georgian town house with a spacious garden in the old part of Kington, a quiet and ancient market town in the lovely rolling hills of west Herefordshire, just 2 miles from the Welsh border. The house faces south-east, and all the rooms have fine views over the garden. The house is largely furnished with furniture in keeping with the house’s 18th century character.
The next part of the trail sends you on a traverse over Hergest Ridge where animals graze wild and you are afforded spectacular views over the Black Mountains and Shropshire Hills. This part of the Offa's Dyke Path is classed as one of the finest. Then as you approach your overnight destination there is easy riverside walking and you can spot Castle Clifford above the River Wye.
Reaching the town of Hay-on Wye which was founded by the Normans after the Conquest, you will be delighted by its quaint and charming streets. It is famous for its numerous book shops and there are plenty of pubs and restaurants in which to spend the evening.
Elevation Gain/Loss: +510m/-580m
Situated right in the heart of Hay on Wye, this property is a Grade 2 listed house and was The Old Post Office many years ago. Guest rooms are individually styled rooms, all ensuite and all with a unique look and feel. All rooms have crisp bedlinen, fluffy towels, TVs with DVD player, homemade biscuits and lovely local toiletries. Breakfast is all locally sourced from our fantastic butchers and bakers. There is wifi available throughout the house, a laundry service on request and a licensed bar.
Elmsleigh is situated in Thirty Acres, Cusop, a pleasant stroll from the characterful book town of Hay-on-Wye on the Welsh/English border. Located in an area of outstanding beauty, Elmsleigh is moments from the Offa's Dyke Path and the Wye Valley Walk and conveniently situated for the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons National Park.
Today you begin crossing the Black Mountains, a sublime range in the Brecon Beacon National Park. The climb up to Hatterall Ridge, the highest point on the trail but surprisingly easy with its gentle ascent. You are rewarded with some of the best views on a clear day. The open moorland gives a real sense of space and freedom.Today you begin crossing the Black Mountains, a sublime range in the Brecon Beacon National Park. Drop down from the ridge to spend the night in Llanthony where there are the ruins of the an Augustian monastery in a tranquil yet dramatic setting surrounded by the mountains and in the Vale of Ewyas.
Elevation Gain/Loss: +610m/-495m
They have now been at the pub for several years and with the amazing support of everyone, The Crown Inn is once more the central meeting place for the local populace. They pride themselves on being able to cater to everyone's needs and on having close links with local groups such as The Young Farmers Club and our local school. They have seven rooms available upstairs from the Crown Inn pub which is accessible via a separate private entrance outside which is accessible 24 hours. All the rooms have en suite bathroom/shower, tea/coffee making facilities & TV with all linen & towels provided. Free wi-fi.
Take a last look at the impressive priory ruins in Llanthony before making your way back up to the ridge. The village of Pandy is certainly a welcome sight in the distance. It consists of just a few cottages and farms but of particular interest is Cwm Farm, a cider house built in 1754 which is virtually unchanged but which has also been completely restored to its former glory with a cider press and mill.
The path then continues through farmlands with patchwork fields, wide hedgerows and apple orchards, passing through pretty small villages towards the Wye Valley. The riverside town of Monmouth in the heart of this valley is delightful, with its 13th century fortified bridge and small museums.
Elevation Gain/Loss: +700m/-910m
Ebberley House is situated in the historic town of Monmouth and has been successfully run as a guest house for many years. It has two comfortable en-suite guest bedrooms. Each bedroom is tastefully furnished, non-smoking and has colour tv, a hairdryer and a hospitality tray. There is also free Wi-Fi. The house is situated in a pretty square just a 5 minute walk from the town centre. A delicious full traditional English breakfast is served in the Dining Room. This is a large comfortable room overlooking the hundred year old Catalpa tree in the centre of St James Square.
Myrtle Place is a quiet bed and breakfast in the historic town of Monmouth. Surrounded by stunning scenery
The final section of your journey is an epic one as you are walking through the Wye Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Cross the wide bridge in Monmouth where the trail diverts off the River Wye for a while, then meets it again in Redbrook. It is hard to imagine that this small village was once a bustling river port exporting copper products and where, at one time, corn and paper mills stood, plus a malthouse and brewery. Continue on to the Devil's Pulpit where you will have amazing views over the ruins of the Cistercian Tintern Abbey, a Gothic masterpiece.
Continue on through the Hudnalls, a large and well-wooded common, or take the alternate trail alongside the River Wye if you wish which takes you to Brockweir village where you can see the whitewashed 19th century Moravian Chapel. For those of you who wish to complete the Offa's Dyke in its entirety you can walk all the way to Sedbury Cliffs on the Severn Estuary, the official finish point. Or cross the bridge and walk straight into Chepstow where you will spend your final night.
Elevation Gain/Loss: +880m/-885m
A family-run guest house located in the heart of Chepstow at the foot of the main shopping and restaurant street and a short walk from the town’s famous Norman Castle. It has been completely refurbished and updated to the standards of a modern boutique hotel. It has 12 guest rooms, a breakfast room, a warm and cosy snug/lounge and a lovely communal garden patio.
Today depart from Chepstow which had a train station and is therefore easily accessible to Londonand Cardiff. You can also take trains north which will involve a changeover.
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