After Offa: Mercian Hymns

September 20, 2019 0 Comments
After Offa: Mercian Hymns

We weren’t just following his Dyke on foot.  We were also tracking its maker, Offa, king of the Mercians. Or so it was said.  We’ve no contemporary evidence that Offa was the one responsible.  The first person to make the claim was Asser, a Welsh monk from St Davids (his original name may have been […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 15: Bodfari to Prestatyn

September 16, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 15: Bodfari to Prestatyn

No kindness from the Path in the first section of today’s walk (we’re now reduced to three walkers).  From the road, opposite a disused pub, the fingerpost points straight up a steep hill, before we’ve a chance to wake up the limbs.  As the guidebook puts it, the Clwydian hills have not yet done with […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 14: Clwyd Gate to Bodfari

September 16, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 14: Clwyd Gate to Bodfari

This was the day we were not looking forward to.  For a while the weather forecast was adamant: heavy rain in the morning, lighter rain for the rest of the day.  But the heavy rain cleared early, and it was just spitting when I went out into the streets of Ruthin in search of a […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 13: Castell Dinas Brân to Clwyd Gate

September 16, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 13: Castell Dinas Brân to Clwyd Gate

Our host takes the four of us in his car to the start of the path that leads to Castell Dinas Brân, and we add to our day’s total of miles by climbing the steep hill to the Welsh castle.  Scattered and stark stone remnants are all that survive of the fortified court of the […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 12: Trefonen to Castell Dinas Brân

September 16, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 12: Trefonen to Castell Dinas Brân

Today was due to be rain-free, and it is.  This fact alone lends us a lightness of spirit that lasts all day, another long one.  We’re joined by our guestwalker and friend A., fit after his holiday in the Italian mountains.  A taxi returns us from Oswestry to Trefonen.  We’re immediately unable to find the […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 11: Buttington to Trefonen

September 15, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 11: Buttington to Trefonen

At nearly seventeen miles this is going to be our longest day, so C, M and I set out early from Buttington Bridge.  It’s already raining steadily.  The path takes us along the towpath of the Montgomery Canal, no longer navigable and the preserve of great sheets of algae rather than narrow boats.  We pass […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 10: Cwm to Buttington

September 15, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 10: Cwm to Buttington

We start out early, with a spring in our step: no rain’s forecast, the wind’s slackened, and the day’s climbing is limited.  After a short walk along lanes we rejoin the Dyke, and follow it, still tall and well-ditched, downhill and northwards, through trees.  The tree roots need constant watching, to avoid a fall.  On […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 9: Knighton to Cwm

September 15, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 9: Knighton to Cwm

Four months have passed and we’re back in Knighton.  In another seven days we’ll have finished a project started six and a half years ago to walk round the edges of Wales.  This time, C. and I are joined by M., who walked the southern half of Offa’s Dyke 39 years ago, but has never […]

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Hanesion coll

September 7, 2019 0 Comments
Hanesion coll

Yn ôl adroddiad yn Golwg yr wythnos ddiwethaf, mae ymchwilydd yn honni fod haneswyr wedi llwyr anghofio am un o ddiwydiannau mawr Cymru, mwyngloddio am blwm ac arian yn y Canolbarth.  Ac mae’n ymddangos bod Ioan Lord hefyd yn cyhuddo prifysgolion yng Nghymru o beidio â rhoi cyfle i fyfyrwyr astudio hanes diwydiannol y wlad […]

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Poets and rebels at Llyn Llech Owain

August 30, 2019 0 Comments
Poets and rebels at Llyn Llech Owain

At the ‘six ways’ junction in Gorslas, at the head of the Gwendraeth Fawr, I’ve driven past the sign to Llyn Llech Owain hundreds of times without ever taking up its invitation – to follow the minor road up the hill, past the church and chapel, to the lake and the country park that surrounds […]

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