20 Jun 2010

Offa's Dyke to Monmouth

After a short tour of the Taunton Retail Parks car parks,  we picked up my Dad and set off for Monmouth. The plan was to drive to Monmouth, take the bus to Chepstow and then walk back to Monmouth following Offas Dyke Path. 33 years ago we had walked the route, this time we are here with my son to follow the Wye Valley again.  Walking Offals Dyke Path aged 10 had been my introduction to backpacking.

After finding the free car park and a quick coffee in Monmouth, we got aboard the "Chepstow Classic".  Slightly disappointingly following the grand title this turned out to be a small bus with only 2 other passengers.  We arrived in Chepstow and headed down to the river to see Chepstow Castle.

Chepstow Castle

Chepstow Castle

Leaving Chepstow we headed up through Lancaut Nature Reserve. The hills are covered in beautiful woods, for about 4 hours we walked through the woods without crossing a road.

Wintours Leap

The struggle to finish the last couple of miles to St Briavel's Castle Youth Hostel was soon forgotten with the excitement of exploring the castle. In the evening we made for the village pub to watch England play USA in what may turn out to be England's best game in the World Cup.

Our stay at the hostel was a great success. On Sunday we headed down the road towards the river. We followed the Trail through open beech woods and down to Redbrook. For the last few miles we followed the River Wye to Monmouth. A great weekend enjoyed by everyone.  The traditional introduction to backpacking completed.  Can something be a tradition if it has only happened twice?


  1. I walked Offa's Dyke back in April, and your photos have brought back the memories of the final leg from Monmouth.

    I can't think of a better introduction to backpacking!

  2. Wow, I can't think of a better place to go backpacking! What an absolute picturesque place, somewhere to definately visit in the future.

  3. Thanks folks.

    Daylight - I enjoyed reading your blog entries on Offas Dyke, I would be interested in what you thought of the camp sites along the way. Hopefully we will have a go at the next bit soon.

  4. yes, it can be a tradition! what a lovely idea. having grown up in newport, schooled in monmouth and have many friends in chepstow, i'm ashamed to say that i've walked those paths. on my next trip home i shall try. thanks :)