Offa's Dyke - Central Section
The most challenging section of the entire Offa's Dyke route. We walk approximately 66 miles of the central section south from Chirk to Kington.
Tour code: 78717
Last Modified: 26th March 2020
See what's planned
- An historical trail following 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
- Hike the most challenging section of the entire route
- Follow the path for 66 miles south from Chirk to the traditional town of Kington
- Climb the cliffs of Llanymynech Hills, ascend Beacon Ring and walk on the highest point of the trail
- Take in the views of Montgomery and Corndon Hill
- Discover rolling countryside and market towns along the way
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 Central Section
The most challenging section of the entire Offa’s Dyke route. We’ll walk approximately 66 miles of the central section south from Chirk to the traditional English town of Kington. We will walk the cliffs of Llanymynech Hills, ascend Beacon Ring and walk on the highest point of the trail before reaching our destination at Kington.
- Half board en suite accommodation
- Breakfasts and dinners are taken in the hotels
- All local transport to and from the walks
What's not included?
- Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
- Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
- Discretionary tips
- Optional excursions
- Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)
This is a Grade 6 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent with walks in some remote areas. 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. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.
Our bottom line is happy travellers, and to that end we trust our tour leaders to use the itinerary below as a basis for providing you with a great holiday. We expect our leaders to make adjustments to the itinerary if the weather, group ability or other local conditions make that necessary. There are normally more options available to our leaders than those listed below and one or more of these options may well be chosen. All distances, heights & timings are approximate.
Arrival day - Welshpool
The Royal Oak Hotel
Independent travel to the Royal Oak Hotel in Welshpool. Check in is from 3pm. Meet your tour leader at approximately 6:30pm in the hotel bar for a briefing before dinner.
Chirk to Porth-y-Waen
The Royal Oak Hotel
This walk takes us through varied countryside with woods, farmland and open heath plus an introduction to the type of terrain that led Offa’s Dyke to be called ‘not the longest, not the highest, but the best' long distance path.
Porth-y-Waen to Buttington
The Royal Oak Hotel
We start at Llanymynech Hill where copper ores were mined over 2000 years ago. Subsequently its limestone was quarried for agricultural and industrial uses with production boosted hugely in the 19th century when the canal and railway were built. The site is now a nature reserve with a variety of butterflies, plants and bird life.
Buttington to Brompton Crossroads
The Royal Oak Hotel
Today’s walk is packed with variety as it tracks through border country. We ascend Beacon Ring gradually over 4 miles.
Brompton via Churchtown to Newcastle
The Royal Oak Hotel
We begin by passing through lush rolling countryside and the route becomes hilly as we traverse a series of river valleys flowing across our path.
Newcastle to Knighton
The Royal Oak Hotel
Leaving the small village of Newcastle, this walk is made up of fairly gentle hills. Although a hilly walk, there are excellent views to finish overlooking Knighton.
Knighton to Kington
The Royal Oak Hotel
Leaving an area overlooking the small town of Knighton, this walk is made up of fairly gentle hills, finishing in Kington. Offa’s Dyke is your constant companion today. Although hilly the final stretch of the walk is relatively straightforward with excellent views. You will see some of the best examples of the whole route of the dyke in today’s section.
Departure after breakfast. Check out of the hotel is by 11am.
Walks & Excursions
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.
We’ll walk 66 miles (approximately) of the central section of the route southwards from Chirk Castle on the edge of England, reaching the highest point of the trail before reaching the traditional English town of Kington. The central section will be completed in six sections over your 7-night stay, 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.
Tour Leaders & Local Guides
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.
Your Travel Details
Welshpool is one of the best served towns in its region for transport. There are regular rail services from Shrewsbury and Birmingham to the East and from Aberystwyth to the West. By road, when travelling from the midlands, Welshpool is within one hour of the M6 Motorway via the M54. It can easily be reached from the north-west via the A483, while travellers from the south can have a beautifully scenic route via the A49.
You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the accommodation; www.rome2rio.com
The AA and RAC both offer free and detailed on-line route planning facilities on their websites which may help you find the hotel. Details can be found at: www.theaa.co.uk and www.rac.co.uk
Meeting your tour leader and fellow walkers: Please check the time of dinner (approximately 7pm) on arrival at the hotel and aim to be in the hotel bar half an hour beforehand for an introduction to your leader, an outline of the planned programme for your holiday and the chance to meet your walking 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.
Passports and Visas
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.
Meals are included on a half board basis and will be served primarily at the hotel. Lunches are at your own expense and not included.
Footwear & Kit List
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:
- Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
- Lightweight quick-drying trousers
- Walking T-shirt/shirts
- Walking socks
- Fleece or jumper
- Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
- Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
- Swimwear (if appropriate)
- Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
- Day sack liner
- Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
- Basic first aid kit
- Walking poles (should you find them useful)
- Sit mat
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
National Trust & English Heritage
If you’re a member of either of these organisations don’t forget to bring your membership cards as this holiday may include sites relevant to these memberships or you may wish to visit any local sites on a free day should they be nearby.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
- Holiday money
- Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
- Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
- Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
- Holiday booking confirmation document
- Travel insurance details (if applicable)
- Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about
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
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 & Other Information
Maps, Guidebooks & More
Our intended route is covered by the following maps:
Ordnance Survey Explorer series (1:25,000 scale maps):
216 Welshpool and Montgomery
201 Knighton and Presteigne
Harvey’s maps: Offa's Dyke Path National Trail
Trailblazer Guides: Offa’s Dyke Path (Keith Carter) www.trailblazer-guides.com
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:
Staying Healthy On Holiday
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 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
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.
Staying In Touch
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.
We welcome all comments about our holidays and value ideas for the future. If you have provided us with an email address we will invite you to complete an online questionnaire or to add feedback to our page on the independent review site 'Feefo'.
Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.
In most cases the revisions will be minor and the overall nature
of the holiday will remain unchanged. Should we make a major change
to your holiday arrangements between you booking your holiday and
your date of travel we will notify you to specifically draw your
attention to any significant change.
You may wish to review the latest version of this Holiday Information Sheet online prior to travel.
Please note that any advertised offers, benefits or initiatives may be discontinued at any time.
Ramblers Walking Holidays
Our office is open and our Sales & Reservations team are available to speak to you from:
- 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday
- 9.15am to Midday on Saturdays
- 9.15am to 3pm on Saturdays in January & February only
Please quote your Booking Reference number and Tour Code whenever contacting us.
We wish you an enjoyable holiday!
Our holiday walking grades
Full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent.
These walks are in more remote areas such as Andorra or northern Portugal.
Similar to Grade 5, but with most of the walks at the upper level of ascent/descent, time and distance.
Discover more about our walking grades