Offa’s Dyke Path is a walking trail that roughly follows the full length of the border between Wales and England for 285 km from the Severn Estuary in the South to the Irish Sea in the North. The dyke is an earthen wall along parts of the border, built about 1000 years ago by the Saxons perhaps to help keep out the Welsh and Nordic invaders, or perhaps as a show of power. Offa was a Saxon king of that period, construction of the dyke is attributed to him, but there are no records and no one really knows why or by whom. It is a popular National Trail.
The route is hilly and traverses farmland as well as some low mountains. I’m doing the walk in 12 days staying at small hotels and B&Bs.
Arriving from Scotland was going from winter to summer. The weather in Wales is wonderful. Spring in Wales was cold and unusually wet; everyone is rejoicing that warm sunny days have arrived. Unfortunately the trail is wet and muddy in places, but it will dry in the next few days.
The first two days have been a mix of forest and farmland. Both days have been long, about 30 km each, with climbing. But the rewards are good views, the intense green of new leaves, fresh grass, wildflowers and the smells of spring.
A few photos:
The Severn Estuary, South end of Wales
Start of the walk
I stayed In Chepstow before starting the walk. It has a big ancient castle.
Tintern Abbey ruins seen from above the River Wye
Wildflowers carpeting the forest
Fortified gate over the river at Monmouth
Walker on a country road with hedges on both sides
Horses grazing on a hill