Distance: 15.4 miles
Max Altitude: 400 m
Min Altitude: 158 m
Height Gain: 797 m
Height Loss: 681 m
I awoke still buzzing from last night’s football result. When I logged on to social media, I saw hundreds of posts from revelling fans in France and that gave me a huge smile. In many ways I wish I were there too.
Overnight, the Vale of Glamorgan council had changed their name temporarily to Bale of Glamorgan, which I had tweeted about. My tweet ended up on WalesOnline, which also gave me a smile.
Feeling buoyed I started from where I had left off the previous evening in Dolley Green. A steady climb took me to the top of Hawthorn Hill.
It was a bright and breezy day so progress was good.
It wasn’t long before I was in Knighton. It felt strange being back, after only having left a few hours earlier but getting there to watch the football was non negotiable. I was looking forward to food. And moreover a visit to the Offa’s Dyke Centre.
I had a cup of tea and cake before leaving the Centre. Knighton sits right on the border and slap bang next to Offa’s Dyke. In fact, the Welsh name for Knighton, Tref-y-Clawdd, is far more telling. It means ‘Town of the Dyke’. And before I knew it I was literally between Wales and England.
With that I was saying hello to Shropshire.
That could only mean one thing – hills. And plenty of them. I knew that the section I had coming up was arguably the most arduous of the whole Offa’s Dyke Path. So since the weather was on my side and I had plenty of daylight left I decided to make a decent assault on the hills.
It didn’t take long for my mobile signal to disappear. With no distractions, I got my head down and just went for it. It was hard and at times my heart felt like it would beat itself out of my chest. But there were rewards along the way too (namely some flat bits and nice views).
And some altogether familiar sights –
It was also gratifying to connect with the actual Offa’s Dyke too. By that, I don’t mean the path, but the structure that King Offa built all those centuries ago. It was visible throughout the day. Remarkable when you think about it.
Then came the best part of the day – the knowledge that I had made it to half way on the Offa’s Dyke Path. I had walked all the way from Chepstow solo to get to this point, and before that had walked from Cardiff. It was a proud moment.
Pride made me walk on further until the light started to fade. I got to the village of Mainstone and stopped. It was time to put Clark Tent up nearby. What a day! My best yet in terms of miles under foot and certainly an important personal milestone achieved.