Select Your Country:
View Shortlist
Office open now
Opening Times

Office hours: Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:30; Sat 09:30 - 13:00

Office hours: Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:30; Sat 09:30 - 13:00

Office hours: East Coast USA: Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:30 (04:00 - 12:30 local time); Sat 09:30 - 13:00 (04:30 - 08:00)

West Coast USA: Mon - Fri 09:00 -17:30 (01:00 - 09:30 local time); Sat 09:30 - 13:00 (01:30 - 05:00)

Office hours: Ottawa: Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:30 (04:00 - 12:30 local time); Sat 09:30 - 13:00 (04:30 - 08:00)

Vancouver: Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:30 (01:00 - 09:30 local time); Sat 09:30 - 13:00 (01:30 - 05:00)

Office hours: Canberra: Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:30 (20:00 - 04:30 local time); Sat 09:30 - 13:00 (20:30 - 24:00)

Office hours: Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:30 (22:00 - 06:30 local time); Sat 09:30 - 13:00 (22:30 - 02:00)

Office hours: Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:30 (check internet for local time equivalent); Sat 09:30 - 13:00

England and Wales: Welsh Borders (3 nights)

  • 6 Night Route

    Price: from £670
  • 5 Night Route

    Price: from £615
  • 4 Night Route

    Price: from £530
  • 3 Night Route

    Price: from £440

Offa's Dyke and the Marches

Back to Routes
Taking a breather south of Knighton

Taking a breather south of Knighton

Misty morning (photo: Nigel Sheath)

Misty morning (photo: Nigel Sheath)

Hay-on-Wye - Wales' book town

Hay-on-Wye - Wales' book town

Glorious bluebells in Park Wood

Glorious bluebells in Park Wood

Offa's Dyke before Kington

Offa's Dyke before Kington

St Mary's Church at Newchurch

St Mary's Church at Newchurch

A wintry day on Hergest Ridge (photo: Nigel Sheath)

A wintry day on Hergest Ridge (photo: Nigel Sheath)

Cottages in Kington (photo: Des Blenkinsopp - cc-by-sa/2.0)

Cottages in Kington (photo: Des Blenkinsopp - cc-by-sa/2.0)

Price: from £440
Nights: 3
Grade:
Walk: 4-8 hr/day

Harriet, just to report that I had an excellent holiday and I already mentioned what a fantastic experience it has been to book with you guys. The Bank House and the Swan at Hay were in particular amazing but the folks at the Burton and the Red Lion in Knighton were fantastic. We even fitted in a folk music evening in Kington to top it all off!

Veda Poon, London, UK - April 2022

We have been wanting to do another walk with you since a very happy and memorable walk in Austria, and the opportunity came up for my birthday treat (not wanting to go abroad yet), and we have always wanted to walk Offa's Dyke.

The weather was excellent - we had to buy sun cream as it said it was going to be rainy and cloudy all week, so we didn't take any - lesson learnt, pack for three seasons no matter what the weatherman says!

Lysanne Wilson, London, UK - October 2021

Lovely views and good footpaths. Well maintained stiles and gates and good way markings - follow the acorn. We liked the local breweries and the places that we stayed. All the staff were helpful and friendly and were willing to pass the time of day which made local contact enjoyable.

Susan Hills and Michael Haines, Northampton, UK - July 2021

We enjoyed the whole holiday, the walking is spectacular and organisation by On Foot Holidays gave us confidence to venture with the current pandemic.

Mary Lass, Godalming, UK, June 2021

Really liked quiet walking - this is not yet an over popular route. Splendid views across rolling hills and farmland. The simple pleasure of a cup of tea, shelter and meeting other walkers in the church at Newchurch was a highlight for all.

Penny Gardner, Oxford, UK, June 2021

Just to report that I had an excellent holiday - what a fantastic experience it has been to book with you guys. The Bank House and the Swan at Hay were in particular amazing but the folks at the Burton and the Red Lion in Knighton were fantastic. We even fitted in a folk music evening in Kington to top it all off!

Veda Poon, London, May 2022

More independent feedback
A self-guided walking holiday in the Welsh Borders with On Foot Holidays

At a glance

Welsh Borders 3-night option (2 days walking). The shortest version of the walk. Add extra nights in any town (Hay-on-Wye recommended). See 'Prices' tab for what's included.

How much walking?

Full days: 22-26km per day, 6-7 hrs walking
Using shortening options: 13-17km per day, 3½-4½ hrs walking using luggage taxis.

Max. Grade:

The best walking on the Border

Offa’s Dyke, the 80 mile long earthwork for centuries marking the border between England and Wales, follows a route which makes best use of the topography, running along ridge tops between (formerly) fortified valley towns.  The result is some splendidly scenic walking.  In the section that we have chosen for our walking, the two walks (at 22km and 26km respectively) will shake out decisively the cobwebs that may have developed during lockdown (though we offer shortening options too).

Less well known than the Dyke are the pretty little Marcher towns, settled around a castle to police the sometimes unruly frontier.  Knighton, Kington and Hay-on-Wye are all historic, charming and friendly, with excellent eating and drinking in pubs and restaurants.

Our choice of Hay-on-Wye as the destination for this walk needs no apologies.  Its world famous annual literary festival is matched by an astonishing number of independent second-hand bookshops of all sizes, giving limitless browsing opportunities for the walking booklover.  The owners will send home your serendipitous finds anywhere in the world, unless you can’t resist taking your cherished volume down to the banks of the gentle River Wye for a lazy afternoon in the sun.

Walked by On Foot staff: Simon and Debbie

REVIEWS: For independent walker reviews submitted to the Association of Independent Tour Operators visit Aito.com.

COVID-19 SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: Please read our summary of current regulations.

Here’s a short film featuring Ali at The Walking Hub, with her dog Roo, giving a little taste of Offa’s Dyke and the friendly walking town of Kington (with thanks to Mother Goose Films):

Route Highlights

  • Offa’s Dyke, marking the 8th century border between England and Wales
  • The world famous literary town of Hay-on-Wye
  • Spectacular unspoilt and little-known hill country

This route features the following characteristics and interests: Remote, Villages and farms, Archaeology, Birdwatching, History

We Recommend

Extra nights along the route, particularly at Hay-on-Wye - a must for the booklover.

How much Walking?

Full days: 22-26km per day, 6-7 hrs walking
Using shortening options: 13-17km per day, 3½-4½ hrs walking using luggage taxis.

Well marked national trails in the main.  Highest point on route 450m.  Easy underfoot.

Hard: Average Cumulative Uphill Stretches (CUSs) 775m per day

Medium: CUSs 490m per day using shortening options; further shortening possible by arrangement.

GPS file available for handheld or smartphone App.

Important note: Times given for each day are walking times for an “average” walker and exclude stops. “CUSs” stands for “Cumulative Uphill Stretches” and measures the aggregated ascents in each day, expressed in metres of climb. See “Walk Grading” for more information.

When to go?

The best months to walk: late April, May, June, September, October

Other possible months: March, early April, July, August, November

This route is bookable throughout the spring, summer and autumn, though not during the Hay Festival period in late May/early June. Avoid the summer holidays if possible (but we can always try for you); summer weekends may necessitate a two night stay in some accommodations.

Start Dates

Recommended
Possible
Unavailable

Weather Chart

 

Temperature and rainfall chart for Knighton

Itinerary

About the Route

Day 1 - Arrive in Knighton

Arrive at this charming little town (with its own railway station) and settle into your comfortable accommodation; stressful question - where to eat?

Day 2 - Knighton to Kington

A day of ups and downs criss-crossing the English/Welsh border from golf course to golf course! The route takes in hilltops with wide views across a predominantly rural landscape (more sheep than you could ever imagine) and meandering river valleys, never far from Offa’s Dyke. (Hard: 5¾ hrs walking (allow 7¾ hrs), 22 kms, CUSs 820m)

Alternative: Lift (pre-arranged, supplement) to start at Dolley Green (Medium: 3½ hrs walking (allow 4¾ hrs), 13 kms, CUSs 600m)

Day 3 - Kington to Hay

A long but majestic final day, starting west along the mighty Hergest Ridge to tiny Gladestry, before the path turns south to cross the little River Arrow at Newchurch.  One more bump to scale, then a gentle descent to the Wye valley and your triumphant entry into Hay-on-Wye.  (Hard: 7 hrs walking (allow 8+), 26km, CUSs 750m).

Alternative:  Take a lift with the luggage (small supplement) as far as Gladestry, avoiding Hergest (Medium: 4½ hrs, 17km, CUSs 450m)

Depart for home

…. or far better, opt to spend an extra night in this famous little town to explore the bookshops and just relax.

Travel Information

ARRIVING BY AIR
The best “local” airports are Cardiff, Bristol or Birmingham. Intercontinental flights use London airports or Manchester.

Flight information can change rapidly and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner (see below) before finalising any booking with us. Do not book your flights until we have confirmed that we have provisionally reserved accommodation for you.

For up-to-date schedules and flights from all airports check Skyscanner.

BRISTOL, BIRMINGHAM or CARDIFF AIRPORTS
Land by: 16:00 for shuttle + train to Ludlow (c. 2 hrs)
Return flight earliest: 16:00 for train connections from Hereford

HEATHROW AIRPORT
Land by: 14:00 for shuttle to Reading + train to Ludlow (c. 3 hrs).
Return flight earliest: 16:00 for train connections from Hereford

MANCHESTER AIRPORT
Land by: 16:00 for shuttle + train to Ludlow (c. 2½ hrs)
Return flight earliest: 16:30 for train connections from Hereford

See “Getting to the start of the walk” below for transfer information.

 

Getting to the start of the walk

ARRIVING BY TRAIN
Nearest railway station:
Start: Knighton (15 minute walk to accommodation, local taxis available by pre-booking)
Finish: Hereford station by bus (1 hr) from Hay-on-Wye (or prebookable taxi – supplement)

ARRIVING BY CAR
Due to the shape of the route and the inadequacy of public transport between finish and start, coming by car is not recommended.  However, long stay parking (6 days max) is possible in Hay on Wye (pay locally), with a taxi from there to the start of the route.

Where You'll Stay

Accommodation throughout the route consists mainly of B&Bs or pubs-with-rooms, varying in sophistication. Upgrades are available throughout the route.

Knighton – The Red Lion (B&B)

Night 1

Knighton – The Red Lion (B&B)

The delightful rooms and welcome belie a somewhat forbidding exterior. Popular restaurant and bar.

Kington – The Swan (B&B)

Night 2

Kington – The Swan (B&B)

A fine old inn (with good restaurant) under new ownership that promises much for the future.

Hay-on-Wye – Old Black Lion (B&B)

Night 3

Hay-on-Wye – Old Black Lion (B&B)

Characterful inn of great history and quality, with an excellent kitchen.

We can also offer two upgrade hotels in Hay-on-Wye: the tiny, but gorgeous Radnor House (below left), particularly good for extra nights as it is run by keen walkers who’ll be eager to hear your experiences and offer their suggestions for additional walking in the area; and The Swan at Hay (below right), an independent hotel in a Georgian building with a good choice of rooms and facilities.

Prices

Price: from £440 for 3 nights

Total 3 nights in double/twin room, all breakfasts, luggage transfers between all hotels on walking route; full Walkers Pack with route directions, maps, transfer and background information; local telephone support.

All prices are per person unless otherwise indicated, and are based on a standard booking in May. Prices may vary seasonally and a fixed price will be given to you before you commit.

Single Room Supplement (SRS): From £130
Lone Traveller Additional Supplement (LTAS): From £100
Large Party Saving (LPS): Groups of more than 2 people (on an identical itinerary, on the same booking and booked at the same time) –  discount of at least £10 per person
Maximum party size: 8

 

Add Ons

Upgrade accommodation possible on some nights: Contact On Foot.
Extra nights in any hotel: Contact On Foot Holidays

Taxi from Shrewsbury to Bishop’s Castle: Call us for details.
Taxi from Hay-on-Wye to Hereford: Call us for details.

Sending Walkers’ Packs to addresses outside the UK:  £10-£40 (per pack, location dependent)

Reserve your dates Add to shortlist
On Foot Holidays team

Our local team

On Foot Holidays team

This route has been designed by the staff team at On Foot Holidays in Salisbury.

Sign up to our Newsletter

    Email Me
    Route PDF

      Yes
      * I have read and agreed your privacy policy. (On Foot Holidays guards your details carefully, and will never sell them to a third party.)
      Yes
      Please put me on your Email list to receive your regular newsletter with news from On Foot Holidays including new routes, changes to existing ones and offers.

      Thank you!

      Thank you for contacting us. We will respond within the next working day.