Martin Wood, Shona Wood , Cathy Edwards & Simon Edwards

Wedi ymuno â'r Oriel Enwogion: 5th December 2016
Llwybr wedi ei Gwblhau: 19th November 2016

Our 177 mile walk on Offas Dyke                                                   

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1st Walk Buttington to Four Crosses 17.04.2016

Starting @ Green Dragon pub Buttington

Other car parked at Four Crosses yard

Started walk about 11.30 and got back about 3.30  about 8 miles

Flat walk along fields and streams… lovely open countryside… underfoot quite heavy

Cath had a POORLY toe and Shona developed a blister.

Had a meal at the Green Dragon and a couple of pints

Dogs present Zac & Maisie

 

2nd Walk Buttington to Montgomery 30.04.2016

Starting @ Green Dragon pub Buttington

Other car parked on side of road just before Montgomery

Stated walk at about 12.00 got back about 4.30 about 9 miles

FLATISH walk along the canal for some part and across open farm land

Cath toes still poorly Shona’s blister a lot better with aid of compeed plaster

Got back too late for food had some crisps and a couple of pints

Dogs present Zac Maisie & Lola

 

3rd Walk Four Crosses to Trefonen  08.05.2016

Started from Four Crosses yard

Other car left at Barley Mow Trefonen (no food as kitchen is having a refurb)

Very SUNNY day, walking along field and then onto The Montgomery Canal which was lovely.

Lots of fish in the canal and many wildflowers out now, cowslips celandines bluebells primroses and wild orchids.

Saw a Coots nest with eggs….. swans & ducks.

We had a steep climb towards the end of the walk through pasture, with horses.

Ending @ Barley Mow,  where a couple of pints were very well received.

We had a meal @ Cross Guns, sitting outside in the sun, the meal wasn’t too good.

Dogs present Lola & Tiffney

 

4th Walk Montgomery to Churchtown 15.05.2016

Started from Montgomery (Side of main Road)

Other car left @ where we thought was Churchtown

This was most challenging walk so far with much STEEP up and steep down,

through lovely bluebell woodland. Some lovely open countryside with fabulous views.

We walk along the actual Dyke for much of this walk.

Took a wrong turn Nr Mellington Hall and walked quite a bit on main road, rather than turn

back… we managed to get back onto the Offa’s Dyke via a different route, missing a small amount out, but still doing about 11 miles.

There were also lot of Badger sets along one stretch.

We saw a hare and lots of lambs and calves.

We went through Chuchtown on the way back to the car…we found the car after a very long steep climb through woodland and the open farmland.

Stopped off @ Lowfield for a lovely meal on the way home

Visitors Joel & Demi

Dogs present Lola Tiffney Zac & Maisie.

 

5th Walk  Trefonen To Frontcyllte  22.05.2016

Started walk from Trefonon… parked @ The Barley Mow.

Other car left @ The Canalside Frontcyllte

We knew this was going to be the longest route so far.

We had lovely walking through open countryside and along the old racecourse, which had lovely LUSH grass and blue bells, with views across to Oswestry & beyond.

We saw some odd sculptures including the Horse with two heads, which Cathy & Shona were photographed on. There was lovely walking through paths with high wild flowers & cow parsley.

We came upon some viewing points where we could see all the high hills in the distance

 Cader Ideris Ben Nevis etc.

There were quite a lot of ups & downs. We realised that we had left our poles by the car @ Trefonen.

We took a wrong turn @ Bronygarth and walked through and into the grounds of Chirk Castle… we should have turned left before we got here. We carried on and righted ourselves and eventually got back onto the Canal path that would get us back to Llangollen… it started to missle.

We were quite shattered having done about 15 miles which was further than we intended.

We drove back to get Martin’s car from Trefonen and the poles were still there too.

We had a meal at the Highwayman

Dogs present Zac Maisie Tiffney & Lola

 

6th Walk Bodfari to Rhaullt Nr Mold  19.06.2016

Started walk from Downing Arms @ Bodfari

Other car left @ White House Rhaullt

Nice looking place to eat, but it was Father’s Day & fully booked.

We have missed out 2 sections of the south dyke as the weather was poor and decided to do a shorter walk and come back to them at a later date.

It RAINED from start to finish… Shona had a bad back & Cath had a bad temper (not for long though)

Once we were out and wet we were ok…. Only a 5-6 mile walk… Simon kept our spirits up with his singing.

We started with a climb up a road…quite steep… then progressed onto some lovely little paths through woodland with ferns and wet grass that soaked our bare legs.

 A couple of climbs and the landscape opened up to a grassy plateau with sheep. We could see the sea from here.

We had some tea and cake on a lovely path by woodland sheltered from the rain.

A mixture of field with long wet grass & wet leafy paths got us back Rhaullt, where we collected the car.

We called at several places to try and get a meal but all were busy or closed.

We eventually found The Druid Inn @ Llanferres on the Ruthin Road where we had a lovely meal, although a little expensive.

Dogs present Very wet Zac Lola Tiffney & Maisie

 

7th Walk Churchtown to Knighton 31.07.2016

Started walk from side of road in Churchtown other car & ending at visitors centre in Knighton.

This was about 13 miles

This was an UNDULATING walk and the most long and challenging so far… with many steep ups & many steep downs. The walk took us through lots of open fields and high plateaus and very steep down hills with patches of lovely blue harebells and masses of fern.

We came across the halfway point of the walk 88 ½ miles each way sign.

We could stand with one foot in England & one in Wales.

We had a meal @ the Crown in Knighton and sat outside with a few pints of peronni.

Dogs present Maisie Tiffney & Lola

 

8th Walk Froncysyllte to Llandegla 14.08.2016

Car left @ The Crown on Llandegla and Stated walk from the canalside in Froncysyllye

This was about 12 miles

We started off nicely, along the canal passing moored boats… then progressed to fields and paths.

This was the most INTERESTING of the walks as the landscape changed so much throughout.

We continued and dropped back to the canal and aqueduct….which Cath wasn’t looking forward to crossing… although we did see people who looked even more scared. We carried on through countryside…eventually coming to the part that took us across the side of hills along narrow paths covered in loose slate type rock with steep drops to the left of us…to the right fantastic rock faces were visible and impressive, finishing at Worlds End.

We continued into field and countryside & through some lovely forest tracks.

We arrived back at the Crown @ Llandegla about 7… they had just stopped serving food.

So we found a lovely pub called the Britannia where we enjoyed some nice pies and some beer.

Dogs present Lola Tiffney & Maisie

 

9th Walk  LLandegla To Clwyd Gate 21.08.2016

Left the car @ The Clwyd Gate restaurant and started walk from The Crown @ Llandegla

This was a SHORT walk of about 6 miles. Although it seemed a lot longer.

The route was quite tough with lots of sharp ups and downs.

We walked over lovely moorland covered with heather& windberries… quite a few stiles along this route adding to the knee pain.

As it was only a short walk … we got back quite early so had a beer @ The Griffin Inn

We were too early for dinner so went back to Shona & Marts for a spag bol & some beer.

Dogs Present Lola Tiffney & Maisie

 

10th Walk Clwyd Gate to Bodfari 04.09.2016

We left the car @  Downing Arms Bodfari & started our Walk from Clwyd Gate

This was a CHALLEGING 11 mile walk according to the books.

We had 3 big Moels to go over Eithinen, Famau & Arthur.

We had lunch in the rain @ Jubilee Towers which is an old fortress with FABULOUS views all around.

There were quite a few people up here… which was unusual as mostly we are on our own for lunch.

There were quite steep ups over vast expanses of open heathland covered in heather, windberries & gorse… the views were stunning in every direction all along this walk.

We had some lovely walking over soft grassy paths and through bracken covered hills.

We were quite tired when we got back to Bodfari so though a pint @ The Downing Arms was in order.

Stopped off on the way back @ the White Horse in Ruthin for a meal and a few drinks and

the jukebox played what it felt like playing regardless of our selections.

Dogs present Maisie Tiffney & Lola.

 

11th walk Knighton to Kington  24.09.2016

We left a car @ the square in Kington

We started our walk from The Knighton  Offas Dyke Centre

We started on our 13 ½ mile walk  through via small walkway behind some houses… taking us up  sharply to part of the golf course. We encountered a farmer herding his sheep through a gate.

We walked quite a lot along the Dyke itself through much agricultural land and over many styles.

We stopped for lunch not far from an obelisk to Sir Richard Green-Price

The three climbs were Hawthorne Hill Furrow Hill & Dolley Green, with the many styles making for a TOUGH walk.  In many places the hills were covered with spongey soft grass, gorse heather & winberries, with again, lovely views for miles.

We started our descent after a walk through field up to another golf course, then down into Kington

We stopped for a meal at The Stagg Inn Kington…. where they served some very nice G&T & good beers.

Dogs present Maisie Lola & Tiffney

 

 

12th Walk Hay on Wye to Chapel y Finn  22.10.2016

We parked a car @ Capel y Finn or Bed & Breakfast location (the Manor Trekking Centre)

We parked a car in pay & display @ Hay on Wye and started our walk from here.

We started off through some fields & lanes and found that we seemed to have gone wrong…. so doubled back and took the road…a very very steep and long road eventually got us up onto the beautiful lower moorland of the Black Mountains…. this was vast grassy area with gorse & bracken. Oh!! and several strange happy people picking MAGIC mushrooms. We continued up a short way before having some lunch amongst the gorse. With more ups ahead… we carried on through gorse bracken and windberry covered steeps until we eventually got on to the top of the ridge. From here the walking was a lot easier on tracks and along newly laid flag stones which made for quick walking. We made rapid progress along the ridge of marshy peaty heather covered landscape. It was quite foggy with low cloud… so visibility was poor, spoiling the lovely views that we were expecting. We saw lots of hill ponies and sheep along the way. Continuing our walk we eventually came to a long row of black sacks…(full of hardcore to improve the paths) which was near our turn left off the Black Mountains down to Capel y Finn.. this was a long hard decent through bracken and small sheep tracks and some slippy grassy areas, and took us quite a long time to get down to some fields which we crossed, then on to the road that took us up to our B&B. This was a query old place which we reached at about 6.00 pm after about 5 hours walking. Martin & Simon dropped us off and went back to Hay to collect the car. We struggled in with the dogs & luggage.

We found our way in through the back of the place and in the dark, found Mary… who said there were 2 rooms upstairs with lights on which were ours. We made ourselves at home and cleaned up and had a  drink…. before we went off to the Half Moon for food and a few drinks… which was down the windey narrow road again for about 3 miles.

The dogs were allowed to stay in the room and also allowed to come to the pub with us, where they got lots of attention.

Dogs present Lola & Tiffney

 

13th walk  Capel Y Finn to Pandy  23.10.2016

 

We rested up in this interesting B&B with chicken horses cats & dogs....real and many made of porcelain covering the shelves and every space and wall. Situated in sublime isolation surrounded by trees which were changing colour and looked wonderful…. this place could have been made fabulous with a bit of TLC and a lick of paint. We wanted to make an early start and wanted breakfast @ 9 it actually came at 10.00am after some coaxing…on a small plate served by a young man… Mary was in the kitchen.

We then drove to Pandy to park the car at the finish…down the narrow lanes and then back to Capel y Finn, to start the walk from lovely little church with some really big old headstones and massive old yew trees. We retraced our steps from yesterday, up the very steep couple of miles up to ridge again. With the aid of Lola,  Shona & Cathy were wizzing along….it was very cold by the time we reached the ridge and again and the fog & low cloud was on us again. We came out in a slight different place and had to recover some of the walk that we had done yesterday… visibility was poor and we couldn’t see far ahead. We continued on for several hours and miles on the ridge along flatish trails, some parts with flag stones laid… eventually the sun started to burn off the cloud revealing some of the amazing views that we had been hoping to see. Patches of fields like a patchwork quilt of greens as far as the eyes could see. We had some well-earned lunch at the start of the decent out of the wind. There were lots of hill ponies sheep & cattle as we descended down towards Pandy,  through open moorland grassy areas and tree lines woodland paths with autumnal leaves under foot, at last meeting the road where the car was parked. We were going to stop for a couple of beers…. but ended up driving home all completely shattered.

But satisfied with a job well done!!  Dogs present Lola & Tiffney.

 

14th walk Kington to Hay on Wye 29.1.2016

We left a car in the pay and display @ Hay on Wye and started our walk from Kington, where we had parked the car in the square…. we walked steeply up through and out of the town… eventually reaching a gate that took us up again on through bracken flanked soft green grass paths. After some while the hill flattened to wide open moorland with a lot of bracken sheep & wild ponies.

We came across half a dozen Monkey puzzle trees planted in a circle dedicated to a lady who loved this place. We had a photo taken here by a couple of girls, dog walking. This was Hargest Ridge, with

views in all directions which should have be glorious, if it were not for the continuous MISSLE

that was with us all day. We walked on the road for a way and came across The Royal Oak @ Gladestry… luckily it was closed. We carried on with the same sort of landscape up and down into Newchurch, which was just over halfway. We decided to stop for lunch in the Chapel, quaint little place with wooden benches… but no tea making facilities!! which we could have found in the Church a few hundred yards further on. We walked on through open farmland passed trees of beautiful autumn gold and reds… we walked through some lovely tree lined paths and kicked our feet through the crispy fallen leaves. Coming down to the busy main road A438 which we had to walk along for a while…turning off into fields…from which Hay on Wye was nowhere to be seen.

We marched marched & marched all day long… through several fields which seems to last for ever, then came to the river which we followed for some while before coming out in Hay on Wye at the bridge. We stopped for a swift pint at the Three Tuns… enabling us to take off some wet cloths and comb our very messy wet hair. We collected the car and picked up car from Kington.

We stopped off at The Station @ Marshbrook for a meal.

Dogs Present Lola Tiffney & Maisie

 

15th walk Hendre to Bigsweir Bridge 05.11.2016

We drove to Bigweir Bridge where we left a car near the bus stop. Then we drove to our B&B stop at Hendre Farm. We stated ourt walk from here up the road for a short way before entering the KIngs Wood through lovely woodland of wonderful autumn colours and fallen leaves. This was going to be the theme of the day. Coming out through onto open farm land and ploughed fields. Walking on we came to some lovely houses set back off the road with large drainage ditches in front of them. Very soon we had reached Monmouth town a busy little place with lots of lovely shops, which tempted us, but we did not succumb. We saw a Masie look-a-like on the way through to the other side of town, where we started our climb out of Monmouth, again we were instantly in a woodland glade over overhanging trees and fallen leaves under our feet. This was our PRETTIEST walk, which was made ever nicer by the sun shining on us. We carried on through more woodland and fields. stopping for lunch @ Redwood where we stopped by a very large Oak tree which we all hugged, next to us was a semidetached badger hole!!

After lunch the terrain was much the same with super view in all directions followed by more beautiful beech woodland. We had no styles on this walk, but instead lots of kissing gates. We reached the busy road and could see the bridge where we had left the car. We drove back to Hendre Farm…and were very pleased with our accommodation… which was in a modern barn type building.

We had our own rooms immaculately clean and modern with en-suite. There was a social area down stairs with a big TV where the lads  were able to watch a bit of rugby. We enjoyed a couple of drinks before cleaning up and going up to the farm house for dinner.

Dogs present Lola Maisie & Tiffney.

 

16th walk  Pandy to Hendre 06.11.2016

 

We woke up to a very frosty morning, after enjoying a great breakfast of fruit bacon & eggs etc… we set off to Pandy and parked the car where we ended our walk last time, in a small lay-by.

We crossed the road and were soon walking on long grassy fields, uphill. The profile of this walk was

much flatter than previous walks…. so we were expecting quite an easy day after this initial small

climb. This walk took us through mostly open farm land of newly planted crop or grazing animals. 

We saw several types of rare breed sheep including some large faced Shetlands and some with very fluffy legs. We also saw a donkey and many horses and cows also some Ancient White Park Cattle with long horns and black ears & noses… very pretty. We thought that the marking on this walk was excellent and the absence of styles was great for our knees and Lola (who hasn’t mastered styles yet) …walking on we saw a Castle looming ahead, this was called White Castle, a very IMPRESSIVE specimen of a castle and open to visitors…. we decided to stop a cuppa here. We sat in the open ground of the castle, enjoying the views and lovely trees including a splendid heavily berried Holly.

It had started to get a little cooler so we wrapped up and marched on down some tracks for a while, before again we were in open farmland. From this walk we had fabulous views, but especially the views looking back over to the Back Mountains and seeing the distance that we had already walked. A couple of hours later we stopped in a field under an old oak tree and had lunch. We were aiming to be back quite early as we had started at 9.30am….similar landscape continued with more ups than we thought there should have been!!….and it had started to missle. We walked through a Bulmers orchard and ate apples from the trees and also saw some cyclamen growing in lovely patches among the fallen leaves. We also saw evidence of wild boar, that had rutted up the path in some parts. Soon we could see some building that were to be our B&B at last. We loaded up and headed off back to Pandy to collect the other car.

We stopped for a drink on the way back at The Squirrels in Ludlow.

Dogs present Lola Maisie & Tiffney.

 

17th walk Bigweir Bridge To Sedbury Cliffs 13.11.2016

After our stay at the Gateway hotel…. we left Newport and headed off to Monmouth where we had a full English/Welsh breakfast each, which set us up for the day.

Parking our car at Bigweir Bridge by the bus shelter, we crossed the bridge and started our first climb up… through the fields of long grassy pasture…. We could have taken the flatter walk along the river…but NO we were doing the correct route! After climbing though a couple of steep fields and seeing some huge old Oak trees, we entered the wood continuing steeply up through the moss covered rocks and colourful trees with wet fallen leaves underfoot. It was quite warm & the steep climb had us stripped down to one layer…amazing in the middle of November. We walked on through much woodland and down leafy lanes, where we stopped for a drink.... we were still full from breakfast.

Marching on for several miles through trails and up again onto the ridge which looked down onto Tintern Abbey… from the place marked Devils Pulpit…close to a big Yew tree growing out of rock. We saw more walkers on this stretch of the Dyke than in the whole of the previous walks.

We then started down to Chepstow passing some lovely houses on the road with formal gardens. We walked steeply down a tarmac lane with overhanging clematis,  we could see the cliffs at the bottom…. but we had gone too far and had to retrace our steps back up and turn off by a concealed ACORN. It wasn’t long before we arrived in Sedbury, a little housing estate which we picked our way through and out the other end … once more in fields and countryside up until we reached the Stone plaque at Sedbury Cliffs. We could see the bridges on the over the Severn. We had reached the Southern end of the Offas Dyke walk.

From here we called a taxi and walked back up to the main road, where he had just arrived to collect us… to take us back to Bigweir Bridge via the scenic route with commentary. We headed off and stopped for a very nice meal at The Selway Arms just outside Ludlow.

Dogs present none.

 

18th walk  19.11.2016  Rhaullt to Prestatyn    our final walk

We parked our car at by Jones 4x4 in Rhallt and set off up and onto the climb of tracks lanes and tarmac roads…we met a group of walkers as we crossed the. We reached more open countryside with some stone terracing showing through as though they may have been dwellings in time gone by. Simon could have given the old Landrover, that had been left to decay a home. We walked on through the lovely countryside. We stopped for some lunch near and old watermill, where we had a celebratory “Slow Gin”

We walked along some tracks and fields, with glimpses of the sea and end now visible. The terrain was not so steep from here and we could see where we were aiming.

We walked through an old quarry area and walked along some narrow trails, with Prestatyn clearly visible now. We sat on the bench and looked out to sea and at the many wind turbines.

The tracks were narrow & slippy and we though “is all downhill from here” but no… King Offa had a few more climbs for us yet, taking us steeply up and away from our destination for a short while.

Once we started our descent it was through narrow paths which were very muddy and slippery. We were at the bottom, with just a short walk through the surprisingly nice town of Prestatyn.

We ordered a Taxi in the town to meet us at the beach. We took some photos at silver sculpture

@ the breakwater. Saw the sign which said OFFAS DYKE 182 miles. We were very pleased with ourselves. The taxi had arrived for us, so we went to collect the car from Rhallt. The driver was very nice obviously proud of the area, pointed out places of interest to us.

We checked into the Beaches Hotel, which was very nice too.

With a Spa, Rugby on the TV and a bottle of Champagne, there was something for everyone.

We had a lovely meal in the Hotel and as lovely breakfast on Sunday.

Dogs present: None

THE END

 

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