This pocked-size guide to Offa’s Dyke Path, offers the walker everything. If you are just an average walker and want to get out for a short hike - there are shorter circular walks that cover parts of the dyke that should satisfy you. Or perhaps you are more of an experienced trekker who has a taste for the great outdoors and wants a longer walk. There is everything covered in this wonderful guide written by David Hunter.
He writes that if you are planning to do any part of the featured walk you should come equipped with boots that have good ankle support, plus layers of clothing rather than just a single garment. Also a hat is a useful possession to have. It can provide your head with shelter from the sun when you happen to be trekking on high open-land.
A weather check should also be a priority before setting out on the high level sections, warns the author. If there is a lot of low cloud, it can make navigation quite a difficult task. Therefore always make sure you know what to expect.
Also as ever, this guide is written in an easy to read style so that anyone can understand it with walk sections put into the correct order. There is also additional information such as parking, mileage charts and facilities.
In this first section of this guide the author covers the route from the Lower Wye Valley with its wooded limestone cliffs to Monmouth.
This particular route offers many interesting sights. For instance the port town of Chepstow has the beautiful building, Chepstow Castle, which will attract the visitor’s attention. It is known to be the first castle in Britain to be built in stone and standing on a sheer cliff, it dominates the town and river. A sure point of interest for most.
Also on this walk you pass a rather attractive path that leads through the Lancaut Nature Reserve. However that is not the path that you should take, says Hunter. The path you need is the one on the right which leads to the B4228 road. A contrast if ever there was one!
If you take the option A Diversion and travel to Tintern, you will turn left along the road passing Abbey Mill and come to Tintern Abbey. A splendid abbey or as Hunter puts it so wonderfully “a romantic ruin for poets, writers and artists.”
It is actually known that this ruin became the inspiration behind William Wordsworth’s poem “Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey”.
The snapshot illustrates its sheer beauty so perfectly. With its tall arches, columns and over-looking views, this is certainly not to be missed.
Other walk sections pass through many more spots of beauty and leisure. One that caught my eye was the Pandy to Hay-on-Wye amble where ravens glide along the scarp edges and the lovely Welsh ponies share the green pastures with the woolly sheep. Surely this type of march should fill you with much contentment and enthusiasm to continue on your journey.
The river Wye, a welcome element on the Hay-on-Wye to Kington section, is surely a thing to make you stop and marvel. With its sparkling waters tumbling over a rocky bed, just to stand before it somehow makes everything worth while.
The picture on page 101 really captures its charm and if you are a canoer, it is sure to make you want to ride its tidal-like-waves.
Daffodils in Spring line the edge of the Llangollen Canal at Froncysyllte on the Oswestry walk and further on this wonderful, picturesque route you will catch a glimpse of Castell Dinas as seen from the Offa’s Dyke Path.
Woodlands, green pastures, riversides, ruins, churches and towns all intermingle inside this splendid guide to complete the Offa’s Dyke Path.
There are simply too many beautiful areas to mention in a single review but I will add that the photographic work inside this guide is stunning. The pictures are colourful, bright and as always, capture the real essence of the route. If you are thinking of trekking a little part of Wales, this is the guide for you. If you are thinking of hiking the whole route, vice versa. I cannot express what delight this pocket sized guide will bring, it really is a gem to any walker.
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The above review was contributed by: Jessica Roberts: Jessica is a book reviewer for a local newspaper and has reviewed for a national women's magazine too. She has had various articles published in magazines and has now completed her novel. Jessica currently lives in West Yorkshire and enjoys walking in the dales and woodlands as part of her hobby as well as, of course, reviewing books. To read more of Jessica's reviews CLICK HERE