Hampshire Hikes & Historical Sites
Bring intriguing coastal trails and history alive in South Hampshire
Walk the Northern Section of the Offa's Dyke Path. This covers the route's first 50 miles southwards from Prestatyn to Chirk Castle
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 78707
Full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent.
The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground.
Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding.
The Offa’s Dyke path runs for 177 miles from Prestatyn on the North Wales coast to Chepstow on the Severn Estuary. The route follows the ancient barrier which was built by Offa, the King of Mercia, in the 8th century to protect his kingdom from his rivals in what is now Wales.
We walk each section from north to south over six days, returning each night to our comfortable hotel.
The dyke transverses hugely diverse scenery along its route. To some the southern section through the Black Mountains past the ruins of Tintern Abbey and Llanthony Priory will be the highlight. Others might prefer the Clwydian Hills and the relatively modern aqueducts on the Llangollen canal. However, some who walk the mid section through the Welsh Marches may consider that more rolling countryside and appealing market towns offer a very different but equally appealing experience. We suggest you try all three sections before deciding on your favourite. If you walk all three routes the total walking distance is about 186 miles, which is slightly longer than the official path. This is due to short walks to and from the trail.
The Northern Section
We’ll walk the first 50 miles or so of the route southwards from Prestatyn to Chirk Castle on the edge of England, passing through the highest of the Clwydian Hills and crossing the Dee Valley. We’ll walk on heather clad hills, past iron age forts, before descending to World’s End and crossing the Pontcysyllte aqueduct towards Chirk, the end of our trail.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
Independent travel to the Springfield Hotel in Pentre Halkyn. Check in is from 2pm. Meet your tour leader at approximately 6:30pm in the hotel bar for a briefing before dinner.
The walk starts from the beach at Prestatyn and ascends up into the start of the Clwydian hills. Weather permitting there are splendid views from Great Orme Head to the Cumbrian Mountains if it’s clear enough. In the afternoon the coastal views are replaced by the sweeping expanse of the Vale of Clwyd. The terrain is undulating and the walk ends at the village of Rhuallt.
A day of heather clad hills and Iron Age forts. After the initial ascent from Rhuallt the trail offers lofty views of the surrounding valleys before dropping down to the village of Bodfari. After a steady ascent the trail stays mainly elevated and follows a series of hilltops towards Moel Arthur to meet the transport home. On some hilltops the remains of Iron Age forts can clearly be seen.
A day of traversing the grassy peaks and slopes of the lower Clwydian range. After the initial fairly steep but short ascent the trail stays mainly elevated to reach Moel Famau, the highest point on the Clwydian range. After this the trail follows the contours of the ridge of hills which form the southern end of the Clwyds. Here there are more hill forts and views of the Vale of Clwyd to the west and the Alun Valley to the east.
This is a generally easier days walking through gentle countryside and the Llandegla woods where refreshments can be taken at the Church. The walk ends at World’s End where we can see the start of tomorrows spectacular cliff walk.
From the start the trail hugs the base of the spectacular limestone escarpment before descending to Llangollen town. From the trail, known as the ‘Panorama Walk’ the first views of the beautiful Dee Valley can be seen. The walk will take in the atmospheric Dinas Bran Castle atop its imposing and commanding position in the Dee Valley. The castle was said to be a possible burial site of the Holy Grail of Arthurian legends. There should be time to explore the town which sits astride the tumbling River Dee and with its heritage steam railway.
From the town the trail takes us back up to continue the Panorama Walk until it descends to cross the Dee via the spectacular Pontcysyllte aqueduct which was built by Thomas Telford to carry the Llangollen canal. The aqueduct, which is a world heritage site, is over 1000ft long and stands 126ft above the River Dee. From here the rest of the walk is over fairly gentle countryside to reach Chirk. There will be the opportunity to visit Chirk Castle or even the Chirk aqueduct which also carries the canal over the River Dee.
Departure after breakfast. Check out is by 11am. We hope you have enjoyed your holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon.
Departure dates for your selected tour
4th Sep 2021 - 11th Sep 2021 (7 Nights)
7th May 2022 - 14th May 2022 (7 Nights)
2nd Jul 2022 - 9th Jul 2022 (7 Nights)
17th Sep 2022 - 24th Sep 2022 (7 Nights)
Private coach transport to and from the trailheads, is included.
Parking is available at the hotel.
The nearest railway stations are at Flint or Prestatyn. Flint is closer to the hotel.
There is a taxi rank at Prestatyn station and a taxi will cost approximately £30 to reach the hotel. A taxi can be pre-booked from Flint station for approximately £7. (Flint Cars 01352 731 000). The hotel can pre-book taxis for you for your departure.
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
We stay at the warm and welcoming three-star Springfield Hotel in Pentre Halkyn which has stunning views over the Dee Estuary. The hotel is based around an old hunting lodge which has now been extended and recently refurbished.
You can enjoy a drink at the Springfield Bar whilst taking in its beautiful views of the Wirral and the Dee Estuary. The hotel has panoramic views across the Dee, Wirral and Mersey to Liverpool. Its two cathedrals are easily visible on a clear day. The hotel has complimentary Wi-Fi with good connectivity in the lounge but a patchier signal in the bedrooms. The hotel also has a gym for residents to use.
This is a Grade 5 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent. The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding but equally rewarding. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' for more information.
The Offa’s Dyke path runs for 177 miles from Prestatyn on the North Wales coast to Chepstow on the Severn Estuary.
The route follows the ancient barrier built by Offa, the King of Mercia, in the 8th century to protect his kingdom from his rivals in what is now Wales. The trail covers one of the undiscovered jewels of the Welsh crown.
We’ll walk the first 50 miles (approximately) of the route southwards from Prestatyn to Chirk Castle on the edge of England, passing through the Clwydian Hills and crossing the Dee Valley, in six sections during the week, returning each night to our hotel.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
To reach the hotel…
By car: The Springfield Hotel is located close to Junction 32A of the A55.
By rail: The nearest railway stations are at Flint or Prestatyn. Flint is closer to the hotel and is therefore a shorter journey by taxi. There is a taxi rank at Prestatyn station and a taxi will cost approximately £30 to reach the hotel. A taxi can be pre-booked from Flint station for approximately £7. (Flint Cars 01352 731 000)
UK rail information: www.nationalrail.co.uk
By coach: The nearest bus stations are also at Flint and Prestatyn.
UK coach information: www.nationalexpress.co.uk
You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the accommodation; www.rome2rio.com
Meeting your tour leader: Please check the time of dinner (approximately 7pm) on arrival at the hotel, and aim to be in the lounge bar half an hour before dinner for an introduction to your leader, an outline of the planned programme for your holiday and the chance to meet your group companions.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
Passport Information for United Kingdom
Any non UK or EU citizens may be subject to passport, identity card or visa requirements to enter the United Kingdom.
Breakfasts and dinners are taken at the hotel, where you can savour the excellent food. Packed lunches are not included but can be purchased from the hotel or supplies can be purchased each day.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
Our intended route is covered by the following maps:
Ordnance Survey Explorer series (1:25,000 scale maps): 265 Clwydian Range and 256 Wrexham & Llangollen
Harvey’s maps Offa's Dyke Path North (1:40,000 scale) and Prestatyn to Knighton
Books: Trailblazer Guides: Offa’s Dyke Path (Keith Carter)
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for United Kingdom
No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
Although not compulsory for British and EU citizens resident in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in the event of eventualities such as unexpected cancellation, accident or illness before your holiday or the loss of personal possessions.
Visitors who are not British Citizens (or who are not EU citizens resident in the UK), must be adequately insured to join our holidays and will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
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