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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in a mixture of hotels and guesthouses
Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$985USD

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Overview

Trip Code: WOF

Trip highlights


  • Walking the Boundary of King Offa’s Mercia
  • Historic Castles and Abbeys Dating From 1066
  • Border Country of England and Wales
  • Walking in the Wye Valley

Once upon a time in the 8th century, there was a ruthless King of Mercia called Offa. Such trouble had he from Welsh marauders nibbling at the toes of his kingdom, that once and for all he decided to define his territory and built a huge earthwork to do so, generally following the high ground with commanding views into the mountains and down into the valleys. Today the remaining 80 miles of embankment forms Britain’s longest archaeological monument and the basis of a famous walk: Crossing the border between England and Wales more than 10 times, the Offa’s Dyke National Trail path follows some of the finest scenery in both countries for 177 miles (285 km). Our walk follows the southern half of this trail from Chepstow to Knighton, (about half this walking distance in total). It is a journey packed with interest through patchworks of fields, over windswept ridges, across infant rivers, by ruined castles and into the old border market towns. Traditional farming methods have more or less remained intact and the hedgerows, oak woods and hay meadows form good wildlife habitats, home of buzzards and the rare Red Kite. You might even discover the even rarer Welsh Red Dragon!

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Make your own way to Chepstow. Located in Monmouthshire Wales, adjoining the border with Gloucestershire located on the River Wye, Chepstow is lovely to explore. If there is time, visit the ruins of Chepstow Castle, Town Gate and Wye Bridge, constructed in 1816. Accommodation: Beaufort House your first nightstop was a 16th century coaching Inn. The rooms are ensuite and there is an award winning restaurant offering Welsh menus. Bar meals are also available.

Meals:  Nil

This morning, the route starts from the mud flats of the River Severn at Sedbury. The trail then climbs quite steeply in places up to follow the sheer valley side of the River Wye with some fantastic viewpoints. As you head towards the Tintern Abbey meander, you will notice that you are actually walking on the Offa' s Dyke. You can really marvel at the meandering river, the cliffs and the little settlements. Descend to Redbrook, a 19th century industrial village, or up and over the hills again to the famous border town of Monmouth. Accommodation: We stay at Tesco Guesthouse a simple guesthouse in this village where there are two options for evening meals. You may also be staying in Monmouth, this 2* hotel (Riverside Hotel) is centrally located. If you would prefer to stay in Monmouth, please let us know at the time of booking.

Meals:  B

From Redbrook, climb up to “naval temple” for one of the best views of the entire route. Head down to Monmouth for a mid morning refreshment, crossing the 13th century gatehouse bridge. Next climb through boggy King’s Wood and then cross the Trothy River. The countryside becomes quite domesticated. The views to the north are dominated by the shapes of Skirrid and Sugfarloaf Hills. Stop in at Llantillo Crosseny village with its fine 13th century church. The village pub has features dating from the 15th century. The next stop is White Castle a 12th century Norman Castle built to protect the route from Monmouth into Wales. It is in a picturebook setting with intact walls and a little moat. Descending from the castle, bypass the village of Llanvetherine and undulate the last couple of miles along to Llangattock Lingoed. Accommodation: The Old Rectory is an attractive 17th century property which stands in an acre of garden, in this unspoilt rural hamlet that nestles in the Welsh border countryside.

Meals:  B

The trail continues via Pandy where you leave the lowland farms and rivers and climb up onto the Hatterrall Ridge and into the Black Mountains. The ridge in the main follows the border of England and Wales and the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Spectacular views all around. Accommodation: The Crown Inn is family run and dates back to 1751. All rooms are ensuite.

Meals:  B

Morning steep ascent to regain the Hatterrall Ridge and then over the Cats Back and up to the highest point to the path near Red Darren at 2306 feet (703m). The ridge ends at Hay Bluff, a great northerly viewpoint towards Hay and the Wye Valley, the Hills of Radnorshire and also the Black Mountains to the west and parts of the Brecon Beacons. Next drop off the ridge and stroll via a set of five kissing gates into Hay on Wye, the capital of the second hand book trade. The town with its 12th century Keep was the site of the Anglo – Welsh power struggles in the 13th century. Accommodation: We use a variety of accommodation in this busy town.

Meals:  B

Crossing the River Wye, today’s walk rises into the Radnorshire Hills. The walking undulates past sites of Roman encampments until you reach Glades try for a lunchtime pub break. For the last few miles today you have to climb up and walk along the Hergest Ridge amongst thyme, gorse and Welsh ponies. Eventually drop down to Kington, actually situated in Herefordshire with its 13th century church and the parallel lanes and long back gardens that may preserve the pattern of the strips in the former open field system. Accommodation: Relax when you arrive at the The Burton Hotel and take advantage of the facilities the swimming pool & spa.

Meals:  B

Some say this is the finest walk of the whole path, with Offa’s Dyke as your constant companion. First pass the highest golf course in England on Bradnor Hill. The trail then undulates spectacularly, but is never too steep. Beautiful westward panoramas open up across the Radnor Valley. On a clear day you get views 30 miles in each direction, over both the Brecon Beacons and The Malverns. The route climbs over a hill called Ffridd, before descending very steeply to Knighton (town of the horsemen) or Tref y Clawdd in Welsh (Town on the Dyke) as the town is on The Shropshire / Powys border. It is a very busy little market town. The market place has mainly 17th century shops and enough general entertainment to keep you amused for an evening. Accommodation: The Red Lion is a relaxed and contemporary pub.

Meals:  B

After breakfast make your way to the train station for your onward journey.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts
  • 7 nights accommodation in a mixture of hotels and guesthouses on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities where available
  • One piece of luggage per person transferred from Inn to Inn, not exceeding 20kg
  • Information pack including route notes & maps (1 pack per room booked)
  • Emergency hotline
  • GPX files

  • Lunch, Dinner and drinks
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip

Grading

moderate  

Moderate. Some long days and steep climbs and descents. Generally however undulating. Mixed weather can be expected. We would not recommend the route for first time walkers.


Departure dates

Daily from 7 Apr to 6 Oct

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$985USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$350
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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