Monthly Archives: April 2014

Offa’s Dyke: a springtime expedition

In a break from the usual science posts, we thought we’d give you the highs and lows of our recent Offa’s Dyke trek.

The first two days took us from Knighton to Kington and onto Hay-on-Wye, a lovely town with around 50 bookshops! By far, the toughest slog was the trek over Hatteral Ridge on the third day. This entailed walking through a cloud of hail for ten miles or so. We were very cold and very wet and would strongly advise against it if weather conditions are adverse. The path is pitted with black bogs and began to resemble something from Middle Earth!



The Dead Marshes: not a million miles off

We emerged soaked in the village of Pandy. Making a beeline for Wales’ oldest pub, The Skirrid, we pulled our chairs as closely as possible to the open fire while eating as much as possible.

The next day was much milder and brought us into Monmouth, another nice town with great cafes and pubs. Our knees and feet shattered, we collapsed in the corner of one coffee shop for about two hours.

ImageArriving triumphant at the end of the gruesome Hatteral Ridge

The final walk to Chepstow was by far the nicest stretch of the whole trip. Weaving in and out of Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire, we passed along river and through woodland. The walk along the Wye Valley offered great views, looking down the river and either side up the vale. This is a great walk even for a day trip and we highly recommend it!

Tintern Abbey is well worth the small diversion – a stunning ruin, though we mostly admired it from a beer garden while nursing out feet. I strongly recommend this hike for anyone keen on long hikes but would advise warmer weather than early April!

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