27th July – Kington to Knighton

20180727 Offa's Dyke near Rushock Hill
Offa’s Dyke near Rushock Hill


I left the campsite at 7.05 intent on reaching Knighton before the forecast rain arrived.  The trail rises steeply from Kington to Rushock Hill via the golf course.  As normal there were no signs at the course and I wasted 10 minutes trying to sort things out.  Crossing Herrock Hill I went down to Ditchyeld Bridge, before climbing again to cross the ridge to the next valley and Dolly Green.

20180727 Hawthorn Hill
Hawthorn Hill

From there it was a long pull up the ridge to Hawthorn Hill and then the descent into Knighton.  I reached the George and Dragon just after 2.00 p.m.

26th July – Hay-on-Wye to Kington

20180726 Looking down to Newchurch
Looking down to Newchurch


Another hot day was expected so we left Hay at 8.00. A short section walking next to the river was followed by a long climb up to the border before descending into Newchurch.

20180726 Disgwylfa Hill
Disgwylfa Hill


At the church there were hot and cold drinks and biscuits with an honestly box. Replete with tea we ascended over Disgwylfa Hill before going down to Gladestry for a late lunch.

20180726 Wyn descending towards Gladestry
Wyn descending toward Gladestry

Wyn ideally wanted to catch a bus to Hereford to start his journey home at 5.10.  As we were concerned about the time we decided to give the pub a miss.  This proved a good decision as it was closed!

20180726 The Hergest Ridge
The Hergest Ridge

Next came the Hergest Ridge which was a disappointment as in every way the Hatterrall Ridge was far superior.  Apparently it inspired Mike Oldfield to write Tubular Bells: Fields of Bracken would have been more appropriate.

20180726 Wyn on the Hergest Ridge
Wyn on the Hergest Ridge

The walk down to Kington was pleasant and we arrived at 4.30 in plenty of time for Wyn to catch his bus. It was very enjoyable to have had Wyn’s company for the last few days. We have been friends for over 40 years.

Now on my own again, I camped in Kington at a good site near the football ground.

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

Bottom to Top

When my lovely wife Linda died in June 2007, at Sobell House Hospice in Oxford, after a long battle with breast cancer, I decided to journey from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise funds for the hospice and Cancer Research UK.

Now ten years after Ride, Stride, Glide I am going to walk from The Lizard, the most southerly point in England, to Cape Wrath in north west Scotland. This is a journey of around 1900 kilometres and 52000 metres of ascent. This time I am raising funds for Sobell House Hospice.

My route will basically link six of the long distance paths in the UK. In order these are the South West Coastal Footpath, Offa’s Dyke, the Pennine Way, the Southern Upland Way, the West Highland Way, and the Cape Wrath Trail. I will be starting my trip on June 28th and plan to finish in early October

I would be very grateful for your support and any donation that you are able to make. I have a JustGiving site at http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/neil-jordan4

Many thanks and please follow my posts.