Running alongside the border between England and Wales, Offa's Dyke Path is a beautiful 177-mile National Trail. On average, fell-runners take five days to complete it while hikers take 12 days. For everyone else, Offa’s Dyke Path is a walk to tick off in stages.
Whether you have two hours, two days or two weeks to play with, you can discover why Lonely Planet names Offa's Dyke among the world’s greatest walks.
Britain’s longest ancient monument
We've got Saxon monarchs to thank for the Offa's Dyke Path. In the 8th century, King Offa of Mercia erected a wide border rampart to separate Wales and England: Offa's Dyke. Much later, in 1971, the path was placed alongside it so that everyone could enjoy the ancient monument and the places it cuts through as it works its way from coast to coast.
The Offa's Dyke Path passes through eight counties and two of Wales' Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (the Wye Valley and Clwydian Range). With excellent transport links to pretty market towns en route and plenty of accommodation (including obliging B&B owners who'll collect you from the trail), the path is the stuff walking weekends are made of.
Best walking routes along Offa's Dyke Path
Wondering whether to stride a windswept moor or stile-hop through forgotten valleys? Well, here are three of our favourite sections of the path for inspiration.
The Wye Valley, 16 miles
The Wye Valley walk starts at Chepstow and finishes at Monmouth, so it should be doable for most in a day. Between these two points is a fairly easy and uplifting walk through gorgeous, dense woods, stopping at numerous points along the way for views over the lower Wye Valley.
It passes through Tintern, home to the majestic Tintern Abbey. You'll see the Abbey from the Devil’s Pulpit, a limestone rock that juts out of the cliff side. Word has it that the devil once stood there as he tried to lure away the monks. With scenery like this, those monks were going nowhere.
Pandy to Hay-on-Wye, 18 miles
A day on the Pandy to Hay-on-Wye walk starts with an early section of upland drama that takes you into the Black Mountains on the Hatterall Ridge. Beneath this you'll spot the toothy ruins of Llanthony Priory, built in the 12th century in the Ewyas Valley.
Beyond this section are some of the peaks of the Brecon Beacons National Park, so the walk is understandably undulating. But, after all that walking, make sure to embrace the prize at the end: book-browsing, fine dining and a cosy overnight stay in lovely Hay-on-Wye.
Llangollen to Prestatyn, 42 miles
This is a challenging two-day walk that makes the most of the Clwydian Range's spectacular scenery. The route takes you past the dramatic Eglwyseg escarpment near Llangollen, over heather-laden hills, to Iron Age hillforts and to the literal highpoint of the Clwydian hills, Moel Famau. Once you reach Prestatyn, rest up then hit the seaside amusements.