Offa’s Dyke Path
Offa’s Dyke Path tour
The Offa’s Dyke Path, opened in 1971, is a 285km footpath along the Wales-England border and across the Clwydian uplands. Much of the route parallels the ditch and bank constructed on the orders of King Offa in the 8th century to protect the kingdom of Mercia from Welsh attacks. See below for more about him and the dyke.
The path crosses the border in numerous places. Our QR tour features places of interest along the path in Wales. It starts on the Wales Coast Path at the Nova Centre, Prestatyn, and ends at the Boat Inn in Chepstow, near the roundel which marks where the Wales Coast Path meets the Offa’s Dyke Path in South Wales.
Simply look out for green HistoryPoints QR codes, on stickers or plaques, and scan for information about that location. Then use the navigation icons at the foot of the page to see which featured place is next in your direction of travel.
If you’re circumnavigating Wales on foot, you’ll find HistoryPoints QR codes at hundreds of places of interest on our Wales Coast Path Tour.
Maps and other practical information about the Offa's Dyke Path are available at the National Trail website.
To browse the QR tour, select one of the entry points to the route below:
Prestatyn town centre
Eglwyseg, near Llangollen
Leighton, near Welshpool
Discoed, near Presteigne
Llangattock Lingoed, near Abergavenny
More about King Offa and the dyke:
Offa (c.740-796) was the first ruler to be known as the king of the English, a title which reflected his successful acquisition of territory. He became King of Mercia in 757, when he grabbed the throne after a civil war. He extended his authority through battles and by marrying his daughters to the kings of Northumbria and Wessex. He introduced the English penny and organised the first coronation in England for which records exist. The ceremony was part of his campaign to pass his kingdom to his son, Ecgfrith, who died, childless, just a few months after Offa.
King Offa added chunks of Wales to his territory after success in battle. To protect his kingdom from Welsh attacks, King Offa ordered construction of a ditch and parallel bank along its western boundary. This became known as Offa’s Dyke. It was the first attempt to mark a fixed border between England and Wales.
The dyke ran for 240km “from sea to sea”, between Treuddyn, near Wrexham, and Sedbury, Gloucestershire. Many remnants of it can still be seen. In places the dyke is far away from the modern England-Wales border, which changed many times after Offa’s reign.
The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust describes the dyke as “the most impressive monument of its kind anywhere in Europe, and a construction project of comparable landscape scale was not again to be undertaken for 1,000 years, until the great canal schemes of the 18th century”. It is also “the most dramatic built structure to survive from Anglo-Saxon times”.
The dyke inspired the creation in 1971 of the Offa’s Dyke Path, between Prestatyn and Sedbury, which is on the opposite bank of the river Wye from Chepstow.