"Offa's Dyke, the 1200 year old England border" England Things to Do Tip by aaaarrgh

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  • border lands - England
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  • dyke - England
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  • kington - England
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King Offa was a 9th century cheif of the ancient kingdom of Mercia and is credited as being the first actual King of all England. He had strong alliances and family connections with the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Wessex, East Anglia and Northumbria.

During Offa's reign a massive ditch and earth bank, 170 miles long, was constructed along the boundary between his kingdom and unruly lands of Wales. The earth banks were 8m high and, in some places, are still impressivelly tall and steep today, 1100 years later!

The route of Offa's Dyke is now a national trail through some of the most picturesque countryside in Britain. The most popular stretches of the Dyke seem to be around the town of Knighton, where there is also an Offa's Dyke Visitor Centre. The footpath is clearly signposted. The small towns along the route seem prepared for walkers, with pubs, friendly churches and accommodation available.

I walked for two days, between Hay-on-Wye and Kington, then from Kington to Knighton. It was fairly strenuous, with plenty of hills! I stayed overnight at "The Swan" pub in Kington, a popular place with wholesome food (though mediocre beer). If the weather is in your favour you can happily walk for days in idyllic countryside shared only with sheep and the ghosts of 1200 years of history.

Address: Herefordshire, Powys, Shropshire etc.
Directions: Public transport infrequent, though there is a bus service from Hereford to Hay, and a railway station at Knighton.
Website: http://www.offasdyke.demon.co.uk/trail.htm

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 23, 2009
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