In April 2010, Alex and I (and my dog) undertook an epic adventure to walk the Offa’s Dyke National Trail in aid of MS Society. This is my account of Day 7 walking from Pool Quay to Brompton Crossroads on 11th April 2010 (15 miles).
We had spent the previous night camping in the Powis Arms beer garden, and fortunately their BnB rooms were vacant, so we were able to grab a proper shower (with proper towels!), followed by a full breakfast! My feet appeared to have once again recovered so, after Alex finally won the coin toss, we followed Offa’s Dyke South towards Buttington Bridge.
Whilst it was interesting to see the route of the original Offa’s Dyke compared to the since eroded meandering bends of the River Severn, this flat stretch quickly lost it’s excitement, and we were quite glad when we reached the quite steep hill up to Long Mountain. Climbing the hill really showed us how much fitter we both were from the last 6 days hiking!
Halfway up the hill we encountered this stile which amused us!
There was a crooked man
who walked a crooked mile
he found a crooked sixpence
upon a crooked stile
At the top of Long Mountain, the Offa’s Dyke path follows the ramparts of the Beacon Ring, a pre-Roman Iron Age fort, with stunning views into the Severn Valley.
From this point on, the rest of the day was a bit of a blur – to be honest I am surprised Alex did not strangle me. The pain in my feet kicked in earlier than on previous days, and after finding the only pub on our route did not do food, my spirits were pretty low. We had only just crossed the half way point of our challenge, and I struggled to imagine how I would be able to finish it.
Needless to say, I was very grateful when we finally reached Mellington Hall – predominately a hotel, static caravan and tourers park, although due to their location (Offa’s Dyke cuts through the grounds) they do have a small flat camping field for hikers.
It this point I had to call in medical advice for my feet – my dad, part of the support team, happens to also be a doctor! The diagnosis… damage to my metatarsal bridge. The treatment… rest! Obviously, on a hiking challenge (with a tight timescale) this was out of the question, so as a short-term measure my dad strapped up the feet with supports to ease the pain.
Mellington Hall is a real nice place to stay. The site is hidden amongst the trees which echo to the sound of woodpeckers and campers have use of the hotel bar (something else I was very grateful for!). The toilet block, although a slight trek from the camping field, has hot power showers – the best I have ever found on a campsite!