Offa's Dyke Path North10 Days & 9 Nights
- Walk the northern section of the Offa's Dyke, a classic National Trail
- Unspoiled landscapes of the Clwyd and Shropshire Hills and the Vale of Llangollen
- An ancient earthwork built by King Offa which marks the Welsh-English border
- Try the Welsh fruit cake, Bara Birth in a cafe en route with a strong cup of British tea
- Castell Dinas Bran, a defensive site where a hillfort and medieval castle once stood
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: 5 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 North passes through such a vast amount of varying landscapes, rolling hills, 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, especially in the Vale of Clwyd.
The grade of this walk is moderate. Most walks are between 18 and 30km per day, but with average daily walking distance at 22km. 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 Knighton
- 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 Knighton by rail as it has a train station. The closest large hub to Knighton is Birmingham which you can reach in approximately 2H. Please check the National Rail website for more details.
The closest airport to Knighton 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 just over 3H with 1 change.
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
The Griffin Inn has been welcoming travelers and locals since the middle of the 19th century. It was built in Gothic style, as part of a series of estate buildings for the Llanbedr Hall estate. The nearby Gatehouse is in a similar style.
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. One 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. Finished in 1310 it was Edward the I's final show of power over the Welsh after having sucessful campains in North Wales. With its formidable defensive walls it is easy to see why it has become a statement of dominance.
Overnight in in the Chirk area. If you have time explore this delightful border town.
Elevation Gain/Loss: +470m/-440m
Bryn Ceiriog B&B is a cosy B&B in Chirk that has renovated all their rooms and offer a boutique yet comfortable home from home experience for walkers on the Offa's Dyke.
After a sustaining breakfast 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. As you approach Llanymynech see the bare limestone cliffs of Llanymynech Rocks, a Nature Reserve, which straddles the Welsh and English border. Enjoy the profusion of wildflowers here with varieties such as cowslips and orchids.
Arrive in Llanymynech, a small village which straddles the Welsh and English border.
Elevation Gain/Loss: +645m/-780m
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.
Depart from Knighton. The closest large hub is Birmingham which is accessible by train in approximately 2H
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