Saturday, 18 March 2017

Offa's Dyke Path

Buttington → Llanymynech

buttington-fingerpost.jpg Distance: 10.70 miles
Ascent: 73 metres
Duration: 3 hours 24 minutes

The Severn
« Not walked | Not walked »

There was something very familiar about today's walk, right from the beginning. The fingerpost at the start is the first one I ever saw on Offa's Dyke Path thirteen years ago. Back then I started driving alternate weekends between Woodbridge and Aberystwyth, taking the road that crosses the River Severn at the same point as the Path.

severn-breidden.jpgToday's route follows the Severn and then the Montgomery Canal as they make their way across the plain. Initially the Breidden Hills provide the backdrop — another familiar sight from those east/west drives, although from this side the hills reveal that they're being slowly dismantled for aggregate. At the summit sits the obelisk of Rodney's Pillar and I can't help but think back to childhood party games involving keeping a cherry atop a mound of flour while excavating scoops.

lifting-bridge.jpgAlong this stretch I caught up with Gustavo, who I'd seen across the first field outside Hay four days ago. He's from Brazil, on holiday here, walking Offa's Dyke over two weeks before moving on to Hadrian's Wall. My schedule is tighter than his so I pushed on ahead.

Almost precisely when the drizzle started I came across a self-service home-made cake stall outside an isolated house on the river embankment. Perfect timing!

pentreheylin-salt-warehouse.jpgOf the entire Offa's Dyke Path, this is probably the section most capable of coping with rain. Once away from the Severn and a mile or two of Dyke across farmland, the route follows quiet roads and well-surfaced tow-paths to Llanymynech.

Notes for future walkers:

  • The embankments shown on the map crossing fields between Buttington Bridge and Strata Marcella Abbey aren't visible on the ground.
  • If starting from Welshpool it's probably more enjoyable to follow the Montgomery Canal all the way to Strata Marcella rather than walk down to Buttington Bridge.
  • Be sure to leave time to explore the Heritage Area at Llanymynech just beyond the north of the village.

    Posted by pab at 14:41 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!