Offa's Dyke

Map: OS (1:25K) Explorer 13 Brecon Beacons East (1:50K) Landranger 161 The Black Mountains

This is a circular walk, taking in a stretch of the historic defense known as Offa's Dyke around Llanthony Priory.

Suggested Start Point: Llanvihangel Crucorney (SO326207)

Distance: 21.6km Ascent/Descent: 820m

Walking Directions

Starting in Llanvihangel Crucorney, the initial stages of the walk are on the minor road which passes through Stanton (SO311216) towards Llanthony Priory. After Stanton, there is a crossroads at SO311221. Turn left and head uphill, following the road until it becomes a track at SO297221. Head along the centre of the ridge by one of the many paths available, past Garn-Wen (SO280256). After passing the disused pits (SO277264), several paths converge in the dip before Bal-Mawr (607m). Turn right and follow the footpath down the valley (Cwm Bwchel) into the Vale of Ewyas. On a clear day, the view of Llanthony Priory from the top of Cwm Bwchel is very good from this angle, if a little small without a camera! Continue towards Llanthony and the footbridge at SO288275. Cross the footbridge and head to the road and up to Llanthony Priory itself. This is a good spot for lunch.

Afterwards, take the footpath that starts along the westward side of the priory, before circling behind and heading due east through the fields and uphill through the wood until the path junction below the sharp incline at SO295279. Head south-eastwards on the footpath which joins the Offa's Dyke path at SO308269. Follow the Offa's Dyke path until the fort remains at SO321230.

Head down the road, until a short distance past the crossroads at SO321223. Take the bridleway that heads southerly along and through fields until Great Llwygy farm at SO321215. From here, take the footpath that crosses the railway and heads directly to Llanvihangel Crucorney.

Hike Profile

Hike Gradient

Variations

If the proposed route sounds a little challenging, it is possible to reduce the ascent/descent by undertaking the walk in reverse (until Llanthony Priory) and then keeping to the Vale of Ewyas rather than heading up onto the next ridge. See the 2011 recounting for more information on this.

Maps provided by www.openstreetmap.org under a Creative Commons license

Notable Features and Highlights

Offa's Dyke

Offa's Dyke is named after a King of Mercia who supposedly constructed an earthworks to defend Mercia's western border. The earthworks supplimented the natural defenses already present.

Llanthony Priory

The Priory dates from approximately 1100AD and is said to have been established by a Norman noble called William de Lacy. It was dedicated to John the Baptist.

© Rhodri L T Bevan