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Offa's Dyke

In the time of Covid

ByStephen Platt

Offa’s Dyke runs along the border between England and Wales. I walked from south to north, from Chepstow to Prestatyn and it took me 12 days. The Path was opened in 1971 by Sir John Hunt, leader of the 1952 Everest Expedition and for over a third of its 177 miles it closely follows the earthworks of Offa’s Dyke. It falls naturally into 5 stages, all different and equally interesting and challenging. It begins by following the course of the River Wye past lush water meadows and limestone cliffs from its mouth in the Severn Estuary as far as Monmouth. It then crosses farming country to reach the Black Mountains and the long ridgeway to Hay, where the Wye is joined, before embarking on one of the tougher sections, the Shropshire Hills, where the Dyke is at its most evident. The Severn floodplain provides a flat respite of canal towpaths and river banks until the land rises again at Llanymynech to the finale of the Eglwyseg Mountain north of Llangollen and the Clwydian Range from Llandegla to Prestatyn In June, Offa’s Dyke is a joyous river of bird song, a green abundance of meadows and magnificant ancient trees – oak, ash and lime trees in new leaf. Walking, you sense the generations that have settled, farmed and fought over this land and how places harbour the memories of the people that lived and died here. There is little tarmaced road and most of the way is along tracks and grassy paths. None of it is demanding, but for me it was a challenge, not least because I contracted Covid at the start of the trip. Some days were long and tiring but I enjoyed every bit and highly recommend it.


Publication Date
Aug 17, 2022
Travel & Adventure
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Stephen Platt



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