Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Offa's Dyke Path

Hay-on-Wye → Kington

red-lane.jpg Distance: 15.40 miles
Ascent: 748 metres
Duration: 5 hours 1 minute

« Not walked | Not walked »

"Where are you walking to today?" asked the landlady, as I settled up this morning. "Just Kington," I replied sheepishly (after all it was to be a shorter walk than yesterday). "Kington!" she exclaimed, as if it was in a different country... which actually, it is.

border-hergest-ridge.jpgAfter two days in Wales, I returned to England towards the end of today's walk. Not that it was easy to tell. There's nothing on the ground to mark the border; no sign, no boundary stone, not even a fence. I think this indicates just how fully England assimilated the Principality. While there's a definitively Welsh culture, the lines are blurred and without prior knowledge you'd be hard pressed to guess which side of the border Kington lies on. Only the monolingual road signs give the game away.

whetstone.jpgBorders on our island continue to fascinate me. Just what will happen if Nicola Sturgeon gets her way and a second independence referendum for Scotland results in a new nations' frontier on our shores? Will Wales eventually seek the same treatment? What will happen then to these border towns and common grazings that straddle the line?

newchurch-refreshments.jpgMy favourite moment of the walk was at the halfway point. The mizzle was descending as I dropped into Newchurch, so a welcoming notice on the church gate offering "Tea, coffee and biscuits" was all the encouragement I needed. Inside, self-service facilities were left out on trust. This is how to get people back into churches! Why are so many locked these days when they could be centres of hospitality?

Posted by pab at 18:27 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!