25th July – Pandy to Hay-on-Wye

20180725 Ascent to the Hatterall Ridge
Ascent to the Hatterrall Ridge


Today was one of the red letter days of the trip so far.

20180725 Pandy from the Hatterall Ridge
Pandy from the Hatterrall Ridge

We left Pandy at 7.55 and immediately climbed 350m up onto the Hatterrall Ridge.  Once there we were blessed with amazing views as we gently climbed up to the highest point at 706m.

20180725 Trig point on Hatterall Hill
Trig point on Hatterrall Hill

The day was not without incident, as we met some soldiers on a navigation exercise, who were being assisted by medics on all terrain vehicles.  No lifts were offered despite serious hints!!  The parachutists on Hay Bluff also added some excitement to the walk, as did the ravens which accompanied us for much of the route.

From Hay Bluff the trail drops steeply to Hay mainly crossing farmland.


20180725 Wyn on the descent from Hay Bluff
Wyn on the descent from Hay Bluff

We arrived at Hay at 5.45 for a well-earned pint.  The Seven Stars was obviously once a pub but is now solely a guest house.

Tomorrow we will go over the Hergest Ridge to Kington.  The guidebook considers this possibly the best part of the entire Offa’s Dyke Trail.

24th July – Monmouth to Pandy

20180724 Monnow Bridge
The Monnow Bridge


We had an early breakfast and left Monmouth at 8.00 having stocked up with food at Waitrose.

After crossing the Monnow Bridge, the initial ascent into King’s Wood was quite pleasant as we had shade from the trees.

20180724 Sugar Loaf from the trail
Sugarloaf from the trail

After King’s Wood the trail mainly crossed fields. We picnicked at Llantilio-Crossenny before climbing up to White Castle.

20180724 White Castle
White Castle

The kiosk was closed so we continued to Llangattock-Lingoed and finally got some tea at the Hunter’s Moon, a fine 13th century pub. From there we made our way to Pandy and the Rising Sun Inn.

The accommodation was great as was the meal. The landlord kindly agreed to 7.00 a.m. breakfast in the morning. The Rising Sun also has a campsite and is highly recommended.

23rd July – Chepstow to Monmouth


For the first time on the trip I had some company today. My friend Wyn is going to accompany me for the next 4 days on the Offa’s Dyke path. We walked the northern section together in the spring.

20180723 Tintern Abbey on a hazy morning from the Devil's Pulpit
Tintern Abbey on a hazy morning, viewed from the Devil’s Pulpit.

We grabbed some breakfast at the station and lunch at a convenient Tesco’s before leaving Chepstow at 8.00.  The path climbs out of the town into the hills east of the Wye passing Wintour’s Leap, the impressive Tintern Quarry and the Devil’s Pulpit, before descending to the river at Brockweir.

It was great disappointment to find the pub closed and we continued our walk beside the Wye to Bigsweir.  From there we left the river to climb over the ridge in very pleasing woodland before dropping down to Redbrook.  Once again the pub was closed and the shop only has one teabag for their machine!  I enjoyed my tea while Wyn made do with Lucozade…

20180723 Naval Temple at the Kymin above Monmouth
The Naval Theatre at the Kymin

We climbed steeply out of Redbrook up to the Naval Theatre and Round House, a 19th century banqueting house, which overlook Monmouth.

20180723 Round House at the Kymin
The Round House at the Kymin.

We arrived at the Punch House at 5.45 to find a slight problem with our room.  The landlady could not have been more helpful in sorting things out.  We later had dinner in the pub, which is highly recommended.

20180724 Punch House Monmouth

Tomorrow we head off to Pandy in the Black Mountains.

20180723 Black Mountains and Monmouth
The Black Mountains and Monmouth