Sunday 4 March 2012

Offa's Dyke Path - Day 5: Llanymynech to Welshpool

Distance: 20km; Ascent: negligible; Solo

Today's section of the Offa's Dyke path was not one that I was particularly inspired by as it is entirely flat, mostly alongside a river and a canal, with no hills to climb.  However most long distance paths seem to have their less good days, and at least I should be able to make quick progress :)

I felt much better this morning after a good night's sleep and, after a big breakfast, I was raring to go! The overnight rain had yet to clear completely so I was wearing full waterproofs when I set off walking at 8:15am.  I retraced my steps from yesterday for around 100m, before picking up the Montgomery Canal towpath.

Carreghofa Locks
The rain soon eased and there was a dusting of snow on the hills in the distant south.  The canal side walking was pleasant enough, although it was clear that the canal was no longer navigable as it disappeared for a few metres at some of the road crossings.  I passed the attractive Carreghofa Locks before crossing the River Vyrnwy on an aqueduct.  I continued to follow the canal for around another kilometre to where the onward route parted company with the canal; here I had a brief rest on a conveniently sited bench.

Pont-y-Person: where the Offa's Dyke Path leaves the canal
The main A483 road had been re-routed since my map was printed, but there were plenty of waymarks to direct me through the smart new subway and along the now old road into the village of Four Crosses.  From here I picked up Offa's Dyke again, which I followed for the next few kilometres to reach the Severn Way and shortly afterwards the River Severn.

Offa's Dyke south of Four Crosses
I followed the Tirymynach Embankment, built as a flood defence, for the next five or so kilometres with views across to the Breidden Forest and getting occasional glimpses of the River Severn.  The ground was firm and grassy, which made for easy walking and I reached Pool Quay shortly after 11am.  From here I picked up the Montgomery Canal again, which I was to follow all the way to Welshpool.

River Severn from the Tirymynach Embankment
Lone blackthorn tree
Breidden Hills from Tirymynach Embankment
Having seen almost no other walkers since setting off the morning, I now began to see occasional other people as I neared Welshpool.  Around midday the sun came out and it stayed sunny for the rest of my walk.  Once in Welshpool, I left the canal to wander through a housing estate and past a Tesco to reach the station at 12:45, in plenty of time for the one o'clock train home.

Montgomery Canal near Welshpool
It had been a good few days walking, covering a wide variety of different terrain and scenery, and today's walk had been better than I had expected.  At some point I shall return to Welshpool to continue the Offa's Dyke path southwards, but I'm not too sure when at the moment.

Photos and route maps will follow in the next few days...


  1. Sir, I have only just caught up with your Offa's Tale, and jolly fine it is too.
    You appear to have had much better weather than we have had down here today.
    Indeed it would have been tough to get worse weather.
    I have had this walk on my to do list for about 15 years.
    I am mostly thinking I ought to actually get round to doing something about it.

    Maybe in the summer.
    Well after the Challenge anyway.

    Then again, there is the Cambrian Way and ......

    1. Yes, the weather was a pleasant surprise as it was initially forecast to be much worse on Saturday and Sunday.

      I've found the five days I've walked so far very enjoyable and I'll happily recommend the route to you! My favourite bits so far are: the crossing of the Clwydian Range and walking below the impressive cliffs of the World's End valley.

      I've just been looking at Cambrian Way, which does indeed also sound nice. Perhaps something to do if I don't get a place on next year's Challenge!

  2. Sounds really interesting. I did the Coast to Coast in 2010 and have been considering a new challenge for this year. You're doing a good job of selling this to me !!

    1. Ah the Coast to Coast, that's another one of those walks that I really want to do! Thanks for your comments - I've enjoyed the Offa's Dyke Path so far and from what I hear the rest is just as good too :)

  3. Post updated to include route map and photos.

  4. I'll try again!

    Good stuff again, Alistair. Looking forward to the next installment.

    For your next section the path stays fairly flat until you reach Churchstoke, then it's up into the hills once more, which I'm sure you'll enjoy.

    1. Thanks. I'm not too sure when I'll be walking the next section, but I definitely intend to do it at some point. Maybe sometime this summer or autumn...

  5. Yep.

    I am definitely going to have a go at some of this later in the year, after the Challenge.