AN easy relaxing amble that is almost flat throughout, following a canal towpath in parts and the banks of the majestic Afon Hafren or River Severn in others.
Distance: 17.37 km
Ascent: 64 m
Time: 4 hours
Timings are approximate and depend on the individual. Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Buttington Bridge to Llanymynech
Various facilities in the village of Four Crosses or at Llanymynech at the section’s end, including regular bus services to Chirk railway station and Oswestry.
Keep an eye out for:
Traveline for UK Public Transport can be used to determine exact bus and train times.
Offa’s Dyke from Buttington Bridge to Llanymynech Details
The eighth section of Offa’s Dyke from Brompton Crossroads to Buttington Bridge
Offa’s Dyke from Brompton Crossroads to Buttington Bridge Route Map and GPX file
MAKE your way to Y Trallwng/Welshpool, along the Montgomery Canal towpath if you’re setting off from Buttington. The town itself offers plenty of attractions, shops and cafes should you choose to take things easy before setting off.
The Powysland Museum on the canal wharf is a little marvel, while the splendours of Powis Castle – long mis-spelt as Powis for some obscure reason – are just a short walk from town through magnificent parkland. Once known as Castell Coch, it was built by Gruffydd ap Cynan from about 1283, and features extensive landscaped gardens.
The path follows the Canal’s towpath in parts, a fascinating relic of transportation as it used to be two centuries ago, now being lovingly restored although only parts of it are navigable. The towpath is liberally peppered with picturesque locks and their keepers’ cottages, and several nature reserves teeming with wildlife have been developed along its banks.
You’ll encounter precious few settlements, but you might as well check to see if the Golden Lion Hotel at Four Crosses is open as you’ll be walking right past its front door. The Grade II listed building has been serving its patrons since 1760 – not the same ones, you’ll understand – and offers food, accommodation and ales.
A series of pretty towpath cottages and locks indicate that we’re approaching the end of the section at Llanymynech, which could translate as the Monks’ Sanctuary, a true border town in every sense. The border runs straight down its main street, and public services are provided by Wales on one side of town and England on the other.
Llanymynech Golf Club is the only one in Europe to straddle a national boundary, the course where former European Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam learned his trade. The now-closed Lion Hotel used to have two bars in England and another in Wales. Only one side of the pub could open on Sundays in days past when Sunday drinking was illegal in Wales, but not in England.
You’ll find all facilities you’ll need in town, including accommodation. And it would be time well spent to visit the Llanymynech Heritage Area by the canal wharf, where you can inspect a very rare example of a Hoffman lime kiln, now full restored, complete with chimney.