A trek in the land of Offa
A PARTY from the East Cheshire Ramblers ventured further afield recently and spent a weekend in Knighton in Powys.
Knighton lies close to the midpoint of the 177 mile long Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail which runs from Chepstow to Prestatyn. The dyke is an earthen bank and ditch which was built between 757 and 796 AD by the Anglo-Saxon King Offa as a western defence of the Kingdom of Mercia. Today the embankment and ditch cuts across the landscape and its best examples are to be seen north and south of Knighton.
The Saturday walk started out from the Offa’s Dyke Visitor Centre in the town and headed west using part of the Glyndwr’s Way, another National Trail before dropping down to the village of Knucklas, famed for its castellated railway viaduct and nearby castle mound. Knucklas Viaduct consists of thirteen stone arches and was completed in 1865 and carries the scenic Central Wales Railway which runs between Craven Arms and Llanelli. Above the village are the slight remains of Knucklas Castle on a prominent hill overlooking the Teme Valley. It was one of a chain of border castles and saw much action. Built by the Mortimers between 1220-1225 it was captured by the Welsh in 1262 who destroyed much of the defences. Today it provided a good spot in which to have lunch. The walk continued via the village of Lloyney where the walk passed into Shropshire and soon afterwards joined the Offa’s Dyke Path for the walk back to Knighton along a fine ridge.
The Sunday walk headed south from Knighton following the Offa’s Dyke Path with views along the Lugg Valley as far as the hamlet of Dolley Green before taking field paths to the village of Norton where the group stopped for lunch. Tracks were followed back to Knighton and like the previous day the walk was rounded off with tea and cakes in the Offa’s Dyke Visitor Centre.
For details of East Cheshire Ramblers’ programme of weekend and midweek walks ranging from four to 15 miles, go to ramblers eastcheshire.org.uk.
The ramblers pause beneath Knucklas Viaduct