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Montgomery Trails: Cross Offa

Montgomery Trails: Cross Offa

Description

This walk straddles the border between Wales and England and provides wonderful views of Welsh hills all around, with almost no climbing necessary on the walk.

Distance: 14.5km (9miles)  Time: 4.5 hours

Route: Predominantly level with just one short steep descent. Field paths except for 1km tarmac estate drive and 1 km of very quiet country lane.

Map: OS Explorer 216

Start/finish: Recycling Car Park Bishop’s Castle Road (B4385) SO 22470 96301

Dog friendliness: Farming country – dogs on leads.

Parking: at start/finish Toilets To rear of Town Hall

You will cross Offa’s Dyke built, it is believed, in the 780's to prevent the Welsh infiltrating into England.

Extensive views that demonstrate the strategic positioning of Montgomery and its beautiful countryside will accompany you throughout.

A surprisingly deep river valley, carved out by glacial melt water is host to the Camlad, the only river which flows from England into Wales.

The whole area is part of the Vale of Montgomery Registered Historic Landscape of Outstanding Interest and copious information can be found on www.cpat.org.uk

Directions:

  1. Leave the car park, keeping the football field on your left. Walk along a track, past a nature area and through kissing gate into field. Go along young tree avenue, passing through another gate, and carry on to a gate leading onto a tarmac drive.

  2. Turn right along this Lymore estate drive and past the cricket ground, over a cattle grid and continue to the next cattle grid where the drive enters a wood. Continue on the drive through the wood. At the end you will cross over Offa’s Dyke and its National Trail. Carry on the drive past fields until you reach a red brick farmhouse.

  3. Go through the gate into the yard and diagonally left to another gate. Follow track to another gate, and wood. As you enter wood turn left off track and through gate into field.

  4. Carry straight on with tree line on left and drop down into slight dip with a few trees going off in line to the right (old hedge line). Usually there is a path cleared here immediately after the first tree, through the crops, and going off to the diagonal right. Follow this through the field to a stile. However, if path is not clear continue along the faint grassy track with hedge on left and turn right at next gate and hedge to reach stile about half way down the field.

  5. Go over stile and go straight on to join hedge on right. Follow this to reach another stile and cross onto farm track. Do not turn right or left on track but cross field aiming for the centre between the two wooden electricity poles. There is no discernable path.

  6. At top of slight rise a cottage will come into view. Make your way to the drive to the left of the cottage (Timberth cottage).

  7. Pass through the two stiles/ gateways and proceed down the tarmac drive to a lane T-junction.

  8. Go left at lane for a few yards to a footpath gate on right.

  9. Pass into field and go straight through old hedge line. There is a footpath gate at the bottom of a slight dip. Pass through and then over the footbridge.

  10. After bridge go up the field with hedge on your right and a cottage hidden behind it.

  11. Pass through gap in hedge at right-hand corner of the field. Go straight on through crop if present to find a hedge gap just to the right of single tree in hedgerow.

  12. Pass through and aim slightly right towards barns, below high bulk of hills and in a collection of wooden electricity poles (not the barn further right). There may be a crop in this field. At the top of the slight rise aim for tree with a wooden electricity pole to right of it. To left of the tree, find plank bridge across a stream and prominent metal footpath gate in the hedge.

  13. Pass into the next field and follow the hedge on your right up to the footpath gate and road.

  14. Pass through the footpath gate with extreme care, as there is a fast main road immediately adjacent.

  15. Cross the road carefully to the stile just to your left.

  16. Proceed straight across the field to the edge of a fenced enclosure and over the stile. Go straight on about 30 yards to turn left on well defined track.

  17. Keep fence on right and go past a ‘No Access’ stile, to find a stile before the fence bears to the left. Go over this stile and very carefully down the valley side.

  18. As you approach the bottom of the valley, go right at footpath post marker and carefully find your way down to fence by the house.

  19. Turn right across a lawn to a large wooden footbridge over a river.

  20. After the bridge, go up a bank to the forest road and turn left along the valley with a three storey mill- house soon coming into view.

  21. Go over the stile at right of the mill-house and carry on the drive to a minor road.

  22. Go straight over the road to a stile and go steeply up field to the corner of a wood. Turn right, keeping the fence on your left and proceed to stile in corner.

  23. Cross the stile (with care if the electric fence is still there (reported)) and go straight ahead with the fenced wood on your right. At the top of slight rise, bear left and aim for a gate and stile to the left of a red brick house.

  24. Go over stile and then diagonally left across a field, slightly to the right of a dip as you rise up. A stile will come into view with Chirbury church behind.

  25. Cross over. Aim between the two trees in front and make for the left of the hedge that leads down to the road. Follow this hedge to road.

  26. Turn left along the road into Chirbury and at the cross-roads, cross carefully to the small lane straight ahead, which is signposted, Lower lane.

  27. Continue along this lane for a kilometre and when approaching a red brick house, you see a small pond on the right (sometimes hidden behind tall reeds) and a leaning wooden footpath sign. Take this green lane footpath on the right. Any long vegetation only lasts a short while until a stile is reached.

  28. Cross the stile into a field. Keep the hedge on your right. Find the stile in the top right-hand corner of this field.

  29. Cross over and turning left keep the hedge on your left. Pass through a gap in another hedge, with broken down stile, then carry on to a metal gate. Make for the stile at the end of the tapering field.

  30. Pass carefully over the unstable stile and make for gable end of red brick house at top of rise. Cross over a stile into the lane.

  31. Cross lane into farm drive and as soon as you pass a house on the right, you will find a field gate on right.

  32. Enter this field and bear round to left, keeping the hedge on the left. This field can usually be quite boggy.

  33. Proceed to the gateway with a poor stile on the left and cross over. Go straight ahead over a wooden structure that protects you from an electric fence. Aim for a stile in the bottom of the slight dip and find a wooden sleeper bridge across a small stream.

  34. Make for the far right-hand corner of the field and go through the gate into the next field

  35. Go along field boundary, or tractor track close to the edge, with hedge on your right to find stile in far hedge.

  36. Cross the stile and aim diagonally for the far right- hand corner of the field, up against the wood. However, if there is no way through the crop, turn right along the farm track and then left at the next hedge, along tractor tracks, to reach the same corner by the wood.

  37. Here you join Offa’s Dyke path. Turn right over a stile and carry on to the next one.

  38. Cross over the stile and immediately turn left and follow the field edge, ignoring a footpath stile off to the left. Drop down to a small stream, where you will find a stile and footbridge.

  39. Cross over and bear along the left, keeping the stream (which can dry out completely) below you to find a stile.

  40. Cross the stile and make diagonally right across the field, aiming for the church tower to meet a track up to a gate.

  41. At the gate you meet the Lymore estate tarmac drive. Turn left and follow it round until soon after a cattle grid you find the gateway on your right and back to the car park.

PLEASE KEEP TO THE COUNTRYSIDE CODE

• Leave gates as you find them • Keep to the waymarked paths
• Keep dogs under close control • Wear suitable footwear and clothing• Take your litter home • Take extra care in fields of cows and calves