Offas Dyke is a 177 mile (285 kilometre) footpath that was officially opened on 10th July 1971. It is one of Britain's National Trails and is also Britain’s longest ancient monument. In the 8th century, King Offa of Mercia erected this wide border rampart to separate Wales and England. Much later, in 1971 Offa's Dyke path was placed alongside it, from Sedbury Cliff, Chepstow to Prestatyn, Denbighshire.
Ten Facts about Offa's Dyke
Offa’s Dyke is a large earthwork, which roughly follows the border between England and Wales. It is Britain's longest ancient monument.
During the 8th century, it became the border between the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia in England and the Welsh kingdom of Powys.
England at that time was divided into several independent kingdoms. Mercia was the largest and the most powerful and covered an area from the Yorkshire coast to the English Channel.
The dyke stretches for 285 km from Prestatyn in North Wales to the river Severn estuary. In places it is 20 metres wide and up to 8 metres deep.
It was a considerable engineering achievement for the 8th century.
It may have been built for defensive reasons, or simply as a visible dividing line between the two kingdoms.
The Offa’s Dyke long distance path was opened in 1971. In twenty places it crosses the England and Wales border and it passes through 8 different counties in England and Wales.
It takes the average walker about 12 days to walk the length of the path from one marker to the other.
The Offa’s Dyke path is flat in places - the highest point on the path is 700 metres at Hatterall Ridge.
In 2012, the historian Michael Wood ran the entire length of Offa’s Dyke in just over 2 days and 16 hours.
Offa's Dyke Map
Offa's Dyke path from Sedbury Cliff, Chepstow to Prestatyn, Denbighshire.
Sedbury Cliffs, near Chepstow to Monmouth – 18 miles (28 Km)
Monmouth to Pandy – 17 miles (27 Km)
Pandy to Hay-on-Wye – 18 miles (28.2 Km)
Hay to Kington – 15 miles (23.3 Km)
Kington to Knighton – 14 miles (21.7 Km)
Knighton to Brompton Crossroads – 15 miles (24 Km)
Brompton Crossroads to Buttington Bridge – 12 miles (20 Km)
Buttington Bridge to Llanymynech – 11 miles (17 Km)