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Camping and walking Offa’s Dyke

Now we are under a month away, it is time to work through how we are breaking up the route, and where we will be staying.

This post details our plan, which keeps most days around fifteen miles and ensures that every night we have somewhere confirmed to sleep (hopefully with warm showers!).  We are walking Offa’s Dyke North to South and in most cases we will be staying on campsites, with a few exceptions, that are dog friendly and easy to access from Offa’s Dyke.

Leg 1 – Mon 5th April – Prestatyn to Rhaullt

8.7 miles – 1493 ft

We are travelling up to North Wales on Bank Holiday Monday, and I was keen to make a start on the first day to clear Rhaullt (the first mile or so is through the town, which would be a nightmare with the dog, plus the local campsites seem quite expensive).

So on the first day we are having a gentle start and walking to Rhaullt.  We will be staying at the Penisar Mynydd Caravan Park (£22 for two people in two tents with a dog), which is about a mile off the route. This was the only campsite to ask for a deposit – but then it is a bank holiday!

Leg 2 – Tue 6th April – Rhaullt to Bodfari

8.7 miles – 2012 ft

Our second day is also quite short to the other side of Bodfari. I believe there may be a campsite near Bodfari, but we will be camping in the garden of @gwenoldy, who runs a holiday cottage nearby, who has kindly offered her hospitality (showers and a cooked breakfast 🙂 ).

Leg 3 – Wed 7th April – Bodfari to Gweryd Lakes

13.8 miles – 3302 ft

On our third day, the mileage starts cranking up, as we head out into the Clwydian Range. We will be staying at Gweryd Lakes (£4.50 pp + £2 for the dog), tucked between the hills near three lakes. There is an on-site cafe, and the owners suggested they would be happy to open slightly earlier for us to have a cooked breakfast before leaving in the morning!

Leg 4 – Thurs 8th April – Gweryd Lakes to Llangollen

13 miles – 2140ft

On the fourth day we will be walking through the last bit of the Clwydian Range, before weaving between the mountain peaks into Llangollen. We will be staying at Tower Farm (£5 – about a mile from Offa’s Dyke (and slightly below).

Leg 5 – Fri 9th April – Llangollen to Trefonen

15.8 miles – 2974ft

The fifth day, where we pass through the grounds of Chirk Castle, leaves us stuck in Trefonen. There are several bed and breakfasts locally, but no campsites! Fortunately @JabberingJude has kindly come to the rescue and has offered us space in her garden – she lives about 6 miles from Trefonen, so this is the only day on the walk when the support team will be needed to give us a lift!

Leg 6 – Sat 10th April – Trefonen to Pool Quay

15.4 miles – 1242 ft

After getting a lift back to Trefonen, and following the course of the River Severn, the sixth day ends at Pool Quay – a historical hamlet just North of Welshpool. Again there are no campsites within walking distance however, after an email to the local pub – The Quay, it transpires that they are happy for people to camp on the grass outside the pub (and they are even happy for us to use the pub showers!).

I can almost taste the ale and home cooked food!

Leg 7 – Sun 11th April – Pool Quay to Brompton Crossroads

15 miles – 2087 ft

Just South of the Brompton Crossroads there is the Mellington Hall Caravan Park, just off Offa’s Dyke. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, they aren’t currently taking bookings over weekends. Fortunately they have very kindly offered to open especially for us on the Sunday!

Leg 8 – Mon 12th April – Brompton Crossroads to Knighton

13.5 miles – 3370 ft

Day 8 covers the hardest part of Offa’s Dyke – the ‘Switchback’  section in the Shropshire Hills. So we will be quite grateful, as we come down the final hill, to get to Panpwnton Camp Site (£4 pp), just North of Knighton on Offa’s Dyke.

Knighton is the official half way point of Offa’s Dyke.

Leg 9 – Tue 13th April – Knighton to Kington

14.2 miles – 2484 ft

After following the Dyke through hills and valleys, day 9 finishes in the centre of Kington at the Fleece Meadow Caravan and Camping site. Apparently we don’t need to book as we don’t require electric.

Leg 10 – Wed 14th April – Kington to Hay on Wye

15.2 miles – 2175 ft

From Kington we climb the Hergest Ridge, and then walk through moorland to Hay on Wye, staying at the Radnors End campsite (£5 per person), about 3/4 mile from Offa’s Dyke.

Leg 11 – Thurs 15th April – Hay on Wye to Pandy

17 miles – 2581 ft

This is the day I am most looking forward to (although it will be very hard) – Offa’s Dyke enters the Black Mountains, at the eastern side of the Brecon Beacons, passing high over the 1000ft Hatterall Ridge for almost 10 miles.

In Pandy, we will be staying at The Rising Sun (£5 pp + £1 for the dog), a campsite attached to a pub (I can’t help but feel we will be in need of beer and warm food when we come down from the Black Mountains!)

Leg 12 – Fri 16th April – Pandy to Monmouth

16 miles – 1627 ft

Our penultimate day brings us to Monmouth, the only place where I haven’t quite finalised our camp site. The Monmouth Caravan Park books up every weekend, and require a minimum stay of 2 nights, but I am waiting to hear if they will make an exception for us.

Leg 13 – Sat 17th April – Monmouth to Sedbury Hills

19.6 miles – 3654 ft

Our longest, but apparently the easiest, section of Offa’s Dyke, brings us to our finish on the Sedbury Hills.

To celebrate, we will be staying in the dog friendly hotel, The Beaufort Hotel, in Chepstow. I can’t help thinking we will sleep well 🙂


So… about 185 miles (including the extra miles to get to the campsites), and climbing a total of almost 30,000 feet (the height of Everest).

Please don’t forget we are doing this to raise money for the MS Society – you can donate at http://www.justgiving.com/offasdyke4ms

Comments

Elaine Danter
Reply

Keep up the good work guys! You’re doing great!!

Emma D'sylva
Reply

Hi,
I am going to be walking offas dyke next month. I am aiming to do it in 12 days with my dog Skye in order to raise money for Animal Lifeline dog rescue centre. I was just wondering how your dog coped with the walk and if it got stiff from all the walking. If you have any recommendations for making her more comfortable on the walk I’d love to know.

Emma

Dave
Reply

Hi did you need to phone ahead and book a camping slot or what is ok just turning up?

Thanks

Phil Sorrell
Reply

Hi Dave – when we went in April (albeit back in 2010) you could probably get away with turning up without booking and still get a pitch. This might well be different in peak summer though. Given the limited number of sites on route, I would be tempted to book in advance just in case.

Dave
Reply

Ok did most have shower facilities?

Thanks for the info looking forward to wild camping it this June. Your article above is most helpful.

Phil Sorrell
Reply

Hi Dave – from memory most did (again this was back in 2010).

Roy
Reply

Hi phil, i walked the southwest coast path from minehead to poole. In 2015 at 70 yrs young, along the way i needed to do some rough camping & was wondering could i. Do the same if i walk offas!! …i don’t want to break any by laws.

Phil Sorrell
Reply

Hi Roy – thanks for your message. A good achievement walking the Southwest coast path at 70! Like anywhere in England and Wales (except Dartmoor), rough (or wild) camping without permission is officially illegal. There are a number of well placed campsites along the way, so wild camping might not be necessary anyway (or you could try and get permission from a local farmer to camp along the way – we even camping a pub beer garden!)

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