Kington to Hay on Wye, Offa’s Dyke – Day 17

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Our lovely hostess at Radnor House B&B very graciously agreed to serve breakfast early, so we could complete our final walk on the Offa’s Dyke Path. She also sent us on our way with some delicious coconut and blueberry cake.

It was a bit of a shock to find that I had to defrost my car windows. The temperature gauge read 0 degrees.

Half an hour later we were in Kington and heading for Hergest Ridge. There is a steep climb out of the town, passing St Mary’s Church. Once out on the ridge, the views across the Shropshire hills takes my breath away. The mist is hanging low in the valley. It looks like a painting.
The grass is spongy and light, gentle on the feet.

A small circle of monkey puzzle trees with a bench look a bit odd in the landscape. I spot a spiders nest with the sun shining through. Sheep nuzzle the grass between the bracken. We notice large areas of bracken is cut back and baled, it can’t be for food, we suspect it is used as animal bedding.

It is the perfect day for walking, by mid morning we are taking off layers. We remark on the many different fungi we have seen, we don’t know much about fungi, and stick to foraging common field mushrooms.

I remember that Hergest Ridge was the follow up album to Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield in the ‘70s. It made No 1 in the UK.

We are soon going downhill to Gladestry, a rider comes over the hill to our left. Rider and horse at ease and relaxed followed by a wee dog.

We visit the church in Gladestry. The woman we met in the churchyard wasn’t in the mood for a chat. The stain glass reflects brightly in the sunlight. We use the toilet round the back of the church. We are both grateful to the communities and churches who keep their buildings open and allow access to facilities.

Between here and Newchurch there are a number of stiles, and quite a few ups and downs. Three miles later we reach Newchurch. Sitting on the wall of a local chapel eating Radnor House cake.

Setting off we got into conversation with an Australian couples, a retired teacher and husband. This path seems to appeal to loads of Aussies. They suggested we pop into St Mary’s for coffee. They had been there for an hour chatting to the local volunteers.

We decided to press on as we still had a way to go. A steep old climb up Disgwylfa Hill over stiles, gradually climbing a rough track. A farmer is dragging a large tree trunk behind his tractor. More fields, an ornamental lake and we reach a road with a sign to Betty’s Chapel. Despite a mention in Kilvert’s Diaries, we didn’t take a detour, preferring to stay on the Path.

We got to a road junction, the only indicator were the Offa’s Dyke acorn pointing down the road we had just walked.
We got out our various map books, before heading towards Clyro.

Bettws Dingle when reached is enchanting, tall trees sunshine casting light and shadows through the depth of the woodland. I can imagine in winter it would feel very different. Sinister!

Reaching the A438 we cling to the grass verge as fast moving traffic flow past. Thankfully it is a short stretch of road, before we cross over into some more fields..This last mile or so down to the river Wye seems endless. Eventually we reach Clyro Bridge and before lng we were enjoying a cuppa at The Granary.

We eventually reached the final spot on my walk around Wales , a 1047 mile journey, while Esther completed her goal of completing Offa’s Dyke Path . My uncle and Aunt for years had lived on Offa’s Dyke. Sentimentally, I had wanted to end my epic journey next to the acorn sign on their garden wall.

A couple of strangers from Norwich helped to take a few pictures to record our journey’s end.


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