Author Topic: Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help  (Read 3454 times)

peapod21

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 555
Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help
« on: 18:35:18, 04/10/18 »
Hi all,


I'm looking to undertake my first long distance walk next year and have decided upon the Offa's Dyke Path. Having never undertaken a long distance walk before I was hoping you good folks could give me some assistance in planning, minimum gear/equipment, recommended accommodation, camping or B&B, all the things you can't find in the guide books or websites.


My initial thoughts are to camp over B&B based on cost alone. I plan to walk North to South. I live in Monmouth, so this provides me a free stop before the end in Chepstow. Ideally I would like to complete the distance inside 10 days, so looking to average 20 miles a day. Is this realistic or do the hillier sections provide a greater challenge requiring shorter day distance.


Like I said, this is a whole new experience for me. I've done numerous day walks, but its time to go long!


Thanks in advance, Chris
You have one life, make the most of it.

phil1960

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2933
Re: Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help
« Reply #1 on: 18:47:04, 04/10/18 »
I believe Sussamb on this forum has fairly recently walked Offas Dyke North to South, hopefully he will see this and be able to advise  O0
Touching from a distance, further all the time.

peapod21

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 555
Re: Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help
« Reply #2 on: 18:53:02, 04/10/18 »
Thanks Phil  O0
You have one life, make the most of it.

sussamb

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6812
Re: Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help
« Reply #3 on: 07:54:30, 05/10/18 »
Yep, I did it a few years ago North to South but b&b'd it so not much help on camp sites I'm afraid.  I did a TR which is at http://www.walkingforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=31217.15 but afraid the photos are no longer available thanks to photo bucket  >:(
« Last Edit: 07:57:50, 05/10/18 by sussamb »
Where there's a will ...

Dyffryn Ardudwy

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1536
Re: Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help
« Reply #4 on: 17:30:25, 05/10/18 »
The best thing to do first, is to buy one of the good guides to the entire walk, then you will know what to look out for on your journey.

Its also worth contacting the Offas Dyke Society.
They used to be located in the old school in Knighton, and they have an extensive acommodation list and nearby businesses that sell supplies.

You may be camping out, or using local b&bs, but either way, the information provided by the Offas Dyke association is more than useful for a first timer attempting the traverse.
I found that the middle sections, near Craven Arms and Clun, to be the most impressive, but their also the remotest sections as well.

Probably the best times to attempt it, would be in early summer, when you have more daylight, and hopefully more settled weather, but over the years, living mainly in South Wales, ive visited over half the entire route, and it is a stunningly beautiful Long Distance Walk.

At around 177 miles long, its a nice distance, but a lot of it traverses very remote countryside, sometimes along way from habitation.

My fondest memory, was getting my car stuck in very deep mud adjacent to the Hatterall Hill section in Mid Wales, back in 1983.

A kindly farmer pulled me out, otherwise i do not know what i would have done, i was stuck fast.

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2982
Re: Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help
« Reply #5 on: 17:55:14, 05/10/18 »
I think DA refers to https://offasdyke.org.uk/
They have accommodation information at https://offasdyke.org.uk/where-to-stay/accommodation-on-offas-dyke/
Cannot vouch for its accuracy or currency though.
Solvitur Ambulando

sussamb

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6812
Re: Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help
« Reply #6 on: 18:31:27, 05/10/18 »
At around 177 miles long, its a nice distance, but a lot of it traverses very remote countryside, sometimes along way from habitation.


Not sure which parts you're referring to but I'd hardly say a lot of it traverses very remote countryside. 
Where there's a will ...

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2311
Re: Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help
« Reply #7 on: 19:17:22, 05/10/18 »
Monmouth has a good camp site, right on the edge of town. I camped at Knighton, just 5 for the night, I had the site all to myself. Just walk to the railway bridge, turn left down a narrow road, (the railway line, on the left, is parralel to the road) after about a third of a mile a cottage on the left has a camping sign. Once on site its easy to walk back the way you came. At the railway bridge, this time turn right, woithin a couple of hundred yards good pub on right. Or come out of site, turn left at road then turn left again at Offas Dyke signpost into town alongside river. In the morning there is a good cafe to have breafast in the centre of town.

Also a good site at Hay, to the left out of the town centre. Plus, a few miles before Welshpool, you will pass a mobile homes site on your right with an old mansion at the entrance. A great site, I had a pitch by the side of an ornamental lake and a wonderful meal in the mansion, which is a restaurant as well.

There were others but can't remember them at the moment. I will send again when I do.

If you want to really lengthen your route why not try this. Get to Knighton then vere off on the Glynders Way, up to 9 days extra and it rejoins the Offas Dyke Path at Welshpool.

Mel

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7841
Re: Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help
« Reply #8 on: 19:23:36, 05/10/18 »
My fondest memory, was getting my car stuck in very deep mud adjacent to the Hatterall Hill section in Mid Wales, back in 1983.

A kindly farmer pulled me out, otherwise i do not know what i would have done, i was stuck fast.


You do know the Offa's Dyke Path is a walking trail don't you  :-\
No expense spared in pursuit of a bargain ;)
https://snailspacewalks.blogspot.co.uk/

Dyffryn Ardudwy

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1536
Re: Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help
« Reply #9 on: 10:47:03, 06/10/18 »
The very best sections of it, above Clun on the Shropshire border, is mainly agricultural land, owned and managed by local farmers.


I think it was around this area of the Dyke, that there was significant damage by 4x4 vehicles some years ago, using a right of way, actually destroying a section of the Dyke itself.

The llanfair Hill section is particularly impressive, and hellish boggy after heavy rain.


You can easily drive there and park your car, and walk for miles, often without speaking to anyone, its a stunning area of outstanding natural beauty, but heaven forbid if you get your car stuck, as the i did.
Had it not been for the local farmer out for a gaunt in his tractor, there would have been no way i could have got out of the mire. :-[
« Last Edit: 10:51:51, 06/10/18 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1251
Re: Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help
« Reply #10 on: 18:11:13, 06/10/18 »

I have no idea of your fitness level, but if you have not done a long distance walk before, 20 miles a day for 10 days with a heavy pack might be a bit ambitious; best to get some training in to get a feel for it.



I haven't done Offa's Dyke, but I walked from Swansea to Conwy many years ago, averaging about 15 miles a day.


PS - the Doethie valley was wonderful.
« Last Edit: 18:14:40, 06/10/18 by richardh1905 »

bricam2096

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3506
Re: Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help
« Reply #11 on: 12:44:04, 13/10/18 »
bumping this thread rather than starting a new one  O0

Offa's Dyke is on my "to do" list, very probably for next year but I'm trying to decide which direction to do it in so would welcome opinions.

As far as transport to the start/finish is concerned I can get to Prestatyn in the morning for a half day walk to Bodfari but at the other end I'd probably have to stay the night in Chepstow.

On the other hand I like the idea of finishing in Prestatyn early afternoon and being home for teatime. As anyone whow's done multi day walks knows, it's a nice feeling doing that last day knowing you are going home to your own bed that night  :D :D

Prevailing wind suggests South to North but what about the views? Ascents?

Opinions from those that have done it very welcome  O0
LDWs done - 29 in total including 13 National Trails and 3 C2C

Wainwrights 176
www.brians-walks.co.uk

peapod21

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 555
Re: Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help
« Reply #12 on: 13:00:25, 13/10/18 »
These were thoughts questions I had too Bricam. I'm only doing North to South as I'm essentially walking home (Monmouth), so I can ditch the gear for the last day to Chepstow.


Nearly all the guide books run South to North, the only exception I've found is the Trailblazer guide which runs North to South. Might be worth getting that and a comparitive guide to inform you.


Thanks to everyone for their info so far.  O0
You have one life, make the most of it.

barewirewalker

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2836
Re: Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help
« Reply #13 on: 13:52:52, 13/10/18 »
There is a little bit of not so generally known knowledge that you may feel amused to carry along with you. During my time on a Local Access Forum I became interested in the attitude of landowners and followed up on some articles written by a then vice president of the Country Landowners' Association, by name of Harry Coterrel from Herefordshire. A particular phrase he used has stuck in my mind, he stated in one article that Landowners were the people best suited to decide where visitors should walk in the countryside.

Having known a few of this breed, I immediately felt that there was a serious flaw in this statement and tracked down his location. His families estate is called Garnons, about 2000 acres, which he purports to manage. If you paste SO 39681 43846 into Streetmap then click up on the next bar of map size, which is the OS 1:50k Landranger series you will see Offa's Dyke clearly written above Garnons and marked on Garnons Hill.

It is 11 miles east of where the Offa's Dyke Path crosses the River Wye at Hay, this particular landowner, became a president of the CLA, which published it's first policy on access in 17 years in 2012. Curiously no mention was made that landowner's should be aware of important features within the boundaries of their holdings and have a responsibility to make them accessible to all. If we realise that the original Offa's Dyke ended abruptly against the north bank of the River Wye, near where a roman road had earlier crossed it's line and close to a ford, we may start to understand how poorly equipped those, who hold the freehold of our countryside, are in managing it.
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

bricam2096

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3506
Re: Offa's Dyke Path - Advice, Tips and Help
« Reply #14 on: 14:10:22, 13/10/18 »

Nearly all the guide books run South to North, the only exception I've found is the Trailblazer guide which runs North to South. Might be worth getting that and a comparitive guide to inform you.


Yes, I have that guidebook and it suggests walking that way because "the route improves in quality as you head South".

It will probably depend on what availability I can get when I get word of when my holidays will be next year. It could be late April or possibly June (at which point I might prefer the sun at my back)
LDWs done - 29 in total including 13 National Trails and 3 C2C

Wainwrights 176
www.brians-walks.co.uk