OFFA’S DYKE PATH is an amazing JOURNEY along the Anglo-Welsh border. Wales is the Celtic land of mystery, myth and magic. It has been host to mighty wizards and legendary kings. Poet, painter and walker alike have appreciated Wales’ dramatic landscapes and her moody vistas. Her borderland with England had been the arena for much turmoil over the past two thousand years since the Roman invasion.
Our Offa’s Dyke Journey – 304 km over 17 days. The Dyke is Britain’s longest archaeological monument and stretches for 80 miles (129 km) along the Anglo-Welsh border. The frontier is one of the oldest in Europe and is unique in its historical setting. Offa’s Dyke Path follows much of the ancient dyke and includes additional trails that allow the walker to completely traverse the border. (image – The Kymin near Monmouth)
After the Romans, the Normans, the Marcher Lords and the Tudors harassed and discredited the Welsh people, occupying their lands but never fully subjugating them. Offa’s Dyke was situated on the borderland in the Welsh Marches, pivotal in Anglo-Welsh history. Apparently built by King Offa in the 8th century to separate the Kingdom of Mercia from the rugged western lands of the Welsh princes, it formalised an earlier boundary. (image – Mud on the track)
LLANTHONY ABBEY: Tradition had it that St. David had come to this valley and lived here for a time. Llanthony is a corruption of the Welsh Llan-ddewi-nant-honddu, meaning the Llan of St. David on the River Honddu.St David converted Wales to Christianity in the sixth century. He persuaded the local soldiers to wear leeks in their headgear to distinguish them from the Saxons during a battle. (image – The ruins of Llanthony Abbey)
700 STYLES TO CROSS: From here there was an exhilaratingly steep descent over loose scree to the car park at the base of Moel Arthur. This next climb brought short sharp stabs to the lungs as volumes of clear spring air were breathed in and out again as we skirted the ancient hill fort. Moel Arthur was a perfectly formed green cone of a hill with concentric lines of earthen defences. (image – style number 625 near Bodfari)
We have put together a comprehensive, illustrated journal of the highlights of our journey along historic Offa’s Dyke. In this eBook you will find many of the places and sites of interest, both from a historical and a traditional perspective. Towns, such as Hay-on-Wye, the largest village devoted to second-hand books in the world and the marvellous Welsh countryside will encourage you to make this journey yourself. WALK Offa’s Dyke includes:
- Visit Chepstow Castle.
- Follow the ancient Anglo-Welsh border path.
- Learn about the history of the Marches.
- Cross the Pont Cysyllte Aqueduct.
- Sites to Visit.
- Explore Welsh villages.
- Discover and climb over 700 stiles.
- Learn Handy Travel Hints.
- Explore Monmouth.
- Visit Castell Dinas Bran.
Walk Offa’s Dyke