A ‘switchback’ section through the Shropshire Hills generally seen as the most arduous part of the whole Path, but also one of the more tranquil with little in the way of human interaction.
Distance: 24.41 km
Ascent: 963 m
Time: 6 hours 40 min
Timings are approximate and depend on the individual. Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Tref-y-Clawdd / Knighton to Brompton Crossroads
The only pub on the route is a short diversion into Newcastle-on-Clun – the Crown Inn, which also offers accommodation. There’s a pub at the end – The Blue Bell – but you’ll need to head to Trefaldwyn/Montgomery or Yr Ystog/Churchstoke to find accommodation for the night.
Keep an eye out for:
Traveline for UK Public Transport can be used to determine exact bus and train times.
Offa’s Dyke from Tref-y-Clawdd / Knighton to Brompton Crossroads Details
The sixth section of Offa’s Dyke from Tref-y-Clawdd / Knighton to Brompton Crossroads
Offa’s Dyke from Tref-y-Clawdd / Knighton to Brompton Crossroads Route Map and GPX file
FELLOW long distance path Glyndŵr’s Way, named after the 15th century warrior prince who devised the notion of guerrilla warfare, actually begins or terminates in Knighton. But we’re heading northwards and over the border towards the Shropshire Hills.
We’ll be passing some superbly preserved sections of the Dyke on the way, in particular on Llanfair Hill 1.4km south west of Burfield. Look out in particular for the remains of shallow pits on the Dyke’s eastern side, from which the earth was dug all those centuries ago to build this amazing fortification.
Half Way Point
In the hills above Newcastle on Clun you’ll be officially at the Path’s half way point, although Knighton is seen more as the psychological break. The official marker stone would seem to be a suitable place for some photographs or selfies, and a celebratory cup of tea or coffee from your thermos. You could descend into the village for something stronger, or even to arrange accommodation, at the Crown Inn should you be so inclined.
We encounter a number of other long distance paths in this area, including the Shropshire Way and the intriguingly-named Wild Edric’s Way, recalling a Saxon warrior known for his bloodthirsty ways.
One of the few settlements you’ll pass through on the whole section is the tiny hamlet of Churchtown, at the foot of a narrow valley. The church itself, dedicated to St John the Baptist, makes for a timely resting place on its nicely chilled pews.
This is typical border country of mixed heritage, where the border has fluctuated in both directions over the centuries. A couple of kilometres away further into England lies a village with the magnificently Welsh name of Cefn Einion.
Descent from Kerry Ridge
Climbing back up from Churchtown to the Kerry Ridge we cross the former cattle drovers’ road now transformed into the 24km long upland path known as the Kerry Ridgeway. This uplifting moment signals that the rest of this section is either level or descends to the end, over Brompton Bridge, past an elegant old mill on the right, and to the delightfully quaint Blue Bell Inn at Brompton Crossroads, which only opens evenings and weekends.
If this part of the Path seems somewhat underwhelming after the previous splendours, walk the short distance to the hamlet of Pentrehayling. Not only is it unique in being an English hamlet that only connects to other settlements in England via footpaths – all roads lead into Wales – but also boasts the Kerry Vale Vineyard with its café and wine tastings.