Here at Moonrise Lodges, we are delighted to announce that the nearby Offa’s Dyke is celebrating its 50th year this month! On Saturday 10th July the National Trail will be celebrating this milestone birthday – and, what’s more, they are offering a fantastic itinerary of events and improvements to mark the occasion. Uncover the history behind Offa’s Dyke this July…
Offa’s Dyke is the longest ancient monument in the whole of northern Europe. Dating back to the 8th century, the iconic Offa’s Dyke stands up to 8 metres tall and 177 miles long and has attracted international recognition.
The dyke was built on instruction of King Offa of Mercia (now known as the Midlands), who ordered the construction around 785AD to mark a physical divide between England and Wales. The monument symbolised the strength of the English military, at a time when the Welsh were fighting for independence. This stone structure witnessed the long-standing rivalry and numerous battles that broke out between the English and the Welsh, until Edward I put a stop to the Welsh rebellion in the late 13th Century.
One of England and Wales’ 16 National Trails, the Offa’s Dyke Path officially opened on the 10th July 1971. The path winds through extraordinary landscapes on the edges of England and Wales, spanning from Chepstow on the River Severn to Prestatyn in North Wales.
This National Trail shadows the monument for around 40 miles; meandering through rolling valleys, heather-clad mountains, and woodland. The path passes through eight counties, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (The Wye Valley, The Shropshire Hills and The Clwydian Range & Dee Valley) and the Brecon Beacons National Park. It has been labelled as one of the world’s greatest walks by Lonely Planet and is well-known as one of Britain’s best long-distance walking routes.
This year, there are several improvements and events to celebrate this landmark occasion. Brand new ODP50 way-markers have been installed upon the path. If you spot one of these celebratory signs whilst out and about exploring the path, share a selfie on social media with the hashtag #OffasDykePath50 for the chance to receive a limited edition ODP50 keyring (while stocks last).
The trust has also commissioned an exciting new exhibition by Welsh artist, Dan Llywelyn, which is due to be unveiled at the Offa’s Dyke Centre in Knighton on Saturday 10th July 2021. This fascinating collection of paintings inspired by the monument and path will be on display until October this year.
Carreg Gwalch is due to release a bilingual publication to commemorate the milestone, featuring 14 exclusive poems by leading Welsh poets including Ifor ap Glyn, the current Poet Laureate of Wales. Poetry by Gillian Clarke, Owen Sheers, Twm Morris, Robert Minhinnick and many more will also feature in the collection, with each verse inspired by the path itself. Six of the poems have even been turned into short films – click here to view.
In partnership with Ramblers Cymru, there are a series of exciting, guided walks coming soon around the path; due to be announced shortly. Each walk will explore a different stretch of the path, offering visitors from near and afar the opportunity to discover this spectacular piece of history for themselves.
Moonrise Lodges is just a short drive away from the picturesque village of Montgomery in Shropshire; one of the passing points on the Offa’s Dyke path (click here to view our recommended walking map). Step back in time and rediscover history during a spectacular staycation in one of our luxury lodges.
We are now fully booked up for the summer season, but we do still have lots of availability this autumn. Spaces are filling up fast, so book now to avoid disappointment!