King Offa's Dyke Race

185 Mile Dyke Course

[UPDATED 9th September]

You can download the map and GPS pack here.  It includes

  • GPX files for upload to a GPS device
  • A Google Earth KML file

You can also download an image of each checkpoint locality here

The Offas Dyke Race is 185 miles in total, and features 9085M of elevation.  What does that look like?

 

Offas Dyke Elevation

Offa’s Dyke footpath starts on the shore of the Severn Estuary in Sedbury on the outskirts of Chepstow.  The path then heads into Chepstow itself, passing on the opposite side of the river from Chepstow Castle.

Chepstow castle

Chepstow castle

The path then follows the River Wye for 18 miles to reach Monmouth and indoor checkpoint 1. You then strike West then North West for 17 miles, passing Whitecastle to the village of Wern Gifford and indoor checkpoint 2.

Whitecastle

Whitecastle

You must now steel yourself  for the mountain section ahead.  Climb rapidly to Hatterrall Hill (531m) and then along the spectacular 8 mile ridge to Black Mountain, reaching 703m before following the path off the ridge shortly before Hay Bluff, descending all the way to reach major indoor checkpoint 3 at Haye-on-Wye (51.3 miles).

Hay Bluff

Hay Bluff

An undulating section now follows as far as Gladestry before a sharp climb up and along Hergest Ridge before a long enjoyable descent to indoor checkpoint 4 at Kington.

Hergest Ridge

It’s a immediate climb out of Kington to Rushock Hill, following the dyke earthworks to contour then descend Herrock Hill, before contouring around Burfa Camp towards Evenjobb (Einsiob) and they Dolley Green and then on to indoor checkpoint 5 at Knighton Community Centre (Tref-Y-Clawdd). Knighton is also the home of National Offa’s Dyke Visitors Centre.

Offas DykeVisitorsCentre

Offa’s Dyke Visitors Centre

You then cross the River Teme and climb to pick up the dyke and traverse the Clun Hills, skirting Newcastle, and Church Stoke before taking a minor divert off the path to reach the indoor checkpoint 6 at Montgomery  (100 miles). Montgomery is also the finish line for the Mercian Challenge.

Offas Dyke

Photo by jimsaunders.co.uk 2007

For those taking on the full challenge, you journey ever Northward, following the dyke and also the course of a Roman road, through the forest and up to the Beacon Ring fort, before descending to the outskirts of Welshpool. You now enjoy something very rare on Offa’s Dyke, flat terrain. This 10 mile section of the dyke footpath follows the Montgomery Canal and then the River Severn before leaving the river at Trederwen, to Four Crosses, Llanymynech. Here we divert off the dyke to reach indoor checkpoint 7 at Llanymynech.

Beacon Ring

Beacon Ring

Rejoin the Dyke footpath and ascend Llanymynech Hill, heading on the next undulating section where you pass a few miles to the West of Oswestry, before a descent and then short divert from the dyke footpath (though staying next to the dyke itself) to climb to indoor checkpoint 8 in the grounds of the spectacular Chirk Castle.

Chirk Castle

Chirk Castle

Chirk

You will exit by the North West gate to rejoin Offa’s Dyke path, which passes under the Froncysyllte, past the famous heritage site, on through the Vale of Llangollen to skirt the crags beneath the Ruabon Mountain and descend through the Llandegla forest to Pen-Y-Stryt to reach the only outdoor (campsite) checkpoint (CP9).

Ponty2

For many the next section may be the most spectacular, the most memorable, and certainly the most tiring, given the distance already traveled. It is a spectacular section of hill forts; sharp ascent then descent repeated, seemingly endlessly (18 miles) , visiting Moel y Plas, Moel Llanfair, Moel Gyw, Moel Eithinen,  Foel Fenlli, the jubilee Tower at Moel Famau,  Moel Dywll, Moel Llys-y-coed, and last but by no means least Moel Arthur.  You then enjoy a long descend all the way to the final indoor checkpoint 10 at The Woodland Skills Centre in Bodfari.

Moel Famau II

Moel Famau

Moel Famau

 

Moel Arthur

Moel Arthur

 

 

After that, just 12 miles stand in your way until you reach the sea once again, having traveled coast the coast of Wales, to reach Prestatyn and the end of King Offa’s Dyke!

chepstow