A pleasant walk past rolling farmland and along forestry tracks rather than a strenuous romp, past the aesthetically pleasing landscape of the Black Mountains.
Distance: 26.07 km
Ascent: 523 m
Time: 6 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: Trefynwy / Monmouth to Pandy
. Facilities are plentiful at Monmouth, to which buses leave every hour from Castle Street in Cardiff, but less so as you leave town towards Pandy. However those needing feeding and watering on the way could whet their whistles at the Hogshead pub in Great Treadam near Llantilio Crosenny, the famous Skirrid Mountain Inn, while the Old Pandy Inn or the Rising Sun – both in Pandy – also offer accommodation, with the latter also having camping facilities. Otherwise regular if infrequent bus services connect Pandy to Abergavenny, 20 minutes away, where there are loads of facilities and a railway station.
Keep an eye out for:
Traveline for UK Public Transport can be used to determine exact bus and train times.
Offa’s Dyke from Trefynwy / Monmouth to Pandy Details
The second section of Offa’s Dyke from Trefynwy / Monmouth to Pandy.
Offa’s Dyke from Trefynwy / Monmouth to Pandy Route Map and GPX File
Monmouth/Trefynwy to Llantilio Crosenny
ON leaving town one is soon heading uphill through the forest to the 111m summit of the White Hill, where you might come across the herd of fallow deer that lives here. It is also a hot spot for adders in summer, so take care where you place your feet. The views from the summit back over Monmouth town are to die for. Between here and the border lies the famous Rockfield Studios, where Queen recorded their Bohemian Rhapsody classic.
On descending the other side, Hendre Farm at Wonastow offers accommodation, camping and even holistic therapy, but it would seem a bit soon to consider stopping now. On crossing Afon Troddi, or the Trothy river, you soon head into the magnificently named village of Llanvihangel-Ystern-Llewern, in effect an Anglicised transliteration of the original Llanfihangel-Ystum-Llywern, as many place names in this border country are. Have a look around the village church with the catchy name of St Michael’s of the Fiery Meteor.
Marl Hill to Great Treadam
Marl Hill stands between you and the section’s halfway point in the village of Llantilio Crossenny, originally Llandeilo Gresynni. In spite of its isolation, the village hosts an annual festival of music and drama established in the 1960s by noted Welsh composer Mansel Thomas.
The Hogshead pub in nearby Great Treadam offers food and drink, and accommodation in on-site pods. You might catch a glimpse of Great Treadam House, a 19th century neo-classical mansion with 17th century roots.
White Castle to Pandy
Just a bit further on the White Castle fortification built by Edward I, in an attempt to trample on notions of maintaining Welsh independence, is worth the small entrance fee. It has a bijou shop, and picnic tables. Nearby the White Castle Vineyard in Llanvetherine, originally Llanwytherin, offers tours and tasting sessions of its exemplary Welsh wine. Food is also available.
It’s an easy 9km from here to the end of the section at Pandy, right on the border. But it’s worth the short detour to Llanvihangel Crucorney (Llanfihangel Crucornau), if only just to visit the Skirrid Mountain Inn, one of Wales’ oldest and spookiest inns. It abounds with gruesome tales of public hangings taking place within its walls, and unsurprisingly of poor souls haunting its every corner. It offers food, drink and accommodation – if you dare!
Meanwhile at Pandy you’ll find all your needs catered for at the Old Pandy Inn and the Rising Sun. Otherwise you can catch the bus to the nearby town of Abergavenny and it shops, cafes and hostelries.