Some frequently asked questions about the Offa’s Dyke Path, Association and Centre
Q. When is the Centre open?
A. The centre opens daily, please check our website and facebook pages for variations to opening hours but generally Summer hours (April to October) are 10am to 5pm and Winter hours (November to March) are 10am to 3pm, please note that the coffee shop closes half an hour before the centre.
Q. How do I join the Association and what does it cost?
A. As a charity, we rely on members support for the operation of the Association and it’s work. Individual membership is £20 per year with joint / family membership £25 per year. You can join online from this website or request an application form from the Centre. Charity and community not for profit groups can also join for £20 per year. All classes of membership receive one copy of each edition of our 3 x per year Newletter and are entitled to one vote at the Annual General Meeting held every year in May.
Q. How do I advertise my property as a B&B for Walkers on your website?
A. Contact the Centre, we will give you all the necessary details and discuss the options available to you for an entry on our website and in our booklet.
Q. Can I advertise my small shop, tea room or pub ?
A. Yes, you have a choice of places to advertise including our website, the Essential Guide to Walking Offa’s Dyke Path and in our 3 x per year Newsletter. For more information contact the Centre.
Q. Where can I park in Knighton towalk the Trail?
A. The parking spaces beneath the eaves of the building are for visitors and staff to the Offa’s Dyke Centre only. Overnight parking must be pre-arranged with the Centre for which we invite a donation of £5 per night, paid in advance. The Offa’s Dyke Association accepts no responsibility for cars which are left at owners’ risk.
Q. How long is the National Trail and how long does it take to walk it?
A. It is 177 miles / 283km long and allow typically two weeks to walk its full length. There are though no hard and fast rules! If you look at the ‘The Dyke and The Path’, drop down to ‘National Trail’ and then ‘Distances’ to find a guide to distances between various points.
Q. Is it hard going?
A. The Offa’s Dyke Path is not as high or windswept as some National Trails but it does undulate continually. This gives some stunning views but also some steep climbs, especially in South Shropshire. The most mountainous parts are in the Black Mountains (Pandy to Hay) and the Clwydian Hills (Llangollen to Prestatyn). The ‘Switchbacks’ between Knighton and Montgomery are considered particularly tough also.
Q. Which is the best bit?
A. The path passes through one Natioanl Park, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and at least two Environmentally Sensitive Areas. The parts in between are also very attractive so it is difficult to make recommendations!
Q. How easy is it to follow?
A. The path is well waymarked and signed, but you should not attempt to walk it without a good map and / or guide book.
Q. Where do I find out more?
A. The best source of maps, guides and advice on the National Trail is the Offa’s Dyke Association (ODA) at the Offa’s Dyke Centre in Knighton. See the ‘Shop’ section of the website to purchase maps and guides and the ‘Plan Your Holiday – Accommodaiton on Offa’s Dyke Path’ for information on where to stay. Other useful information (such as distances and things to see) can be found under the’ National Trail section’ (The Dyke and Path dropdown list) and ‘Offa’s Dyke Association’ section.
Q. How do I find out about accommodation along the path?
A. The ODA has various guides to accommodaiton on the path;
- a ‘Where to Stay’ booklet, which includes information on Bed & Breakfasts, Camping and Self Catering establishments along the path. This can be purchased online.
- a pdf copy of the ‘Where to Stay’ booklet is also available online.
- on the website under the section ‘Plan Your Holiday – Accommodaiton on Offa’s Dyke Path’. You can select a section of the map to view properties via coloured icons, or further down the page you can select a ‘List’ format which details every property from North to South.
- a ‘Backpackers & Camping List’ available to purchase.
Q. Can I cycle or ride the National Trail?
A. Only in short sections. The greater part of the route is on Public Footpaths, where bicycles and horses are not allowed unless the landowner gives permission. For a National Trail which does cater for riders and cyclists try the South Downs Way, the Ridgeway (Western section) or the Pennine Bridleway. The Trans Cambrian way also starts from Knighton and we have maps available for cyclists.
Q. What is the weather like?
A. At any time of year you should be prepared for rain, wind and mud. In summer (May – September) temperatures can range as high as 25-30C, but are more commonly around 20C. Night frosts can occur from October, snow is unusual outside January and February. Hours of daylight can also restrict walking in the months October to March.
Q. So when is the best season to walk?
A. Relatively few people choose to walk the path in winter. The main walking season is May to September. This is the time when the underlying soils are drier and therefore at less risk of erosion and damage from walkers’ boots. The busiest and warmest months are June to August. Some choose to walk in spring or autumn when it is cooler and quieter.
Q. What about luggage transfer?
A. Many accommodation providers can offer luggage transfers by arrangement, it is always best to book accommodation in advance where possible and make prior arrangments for luggage. Visit the section ‘Plan Your Holiday – Accommodaiton on Offa’s Dyke Path’ on the website for information about Accommodation. Alternatively accommodation providers can advise of local taxi companies who offer a luggage transfer service.
We also have a section ‘Guides, Taxis and Luggage’ under ‘Plan your Holiday’, which features more options regarding this.
Q. Where do I start?
A. We have found that most people walk from South to North! This is for various reasons, but it is really up to you. Some walk the whole path in one go (10 to 14 days as stated above), other do South to Knighton or North to Knighton then repeat the other half at a later date and other walkers have previously done the path in smaller sections over a number of years.
For more information do not hesitate to contact the Offa’s Dyke Association and Centre via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone: 01547 528 753.