Offa’s Dyke Path officially opened 50 years ago today
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail.
Officially opened on 10 July 1971 in Knighton by Lord Hunt, the path winds itself through the ‘Breath-taking Borderlands’ of England and Wales for 177 miles between Chepstow on the River Severn to Prestatyn on the North Wales coast.
The Path is inspired by, and closely follows, Offa’s Dyke for roughly 40 miles of its length.
Dating back to the 8th century, the iconic earthwork monument of Offa’s Dyke stands up to eight metres high and was built on the command of King Offa as a divide between the two kingdoms.
The Path weaves through eight counties and three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty including The Clwydian Range & Dee Valley, The Wye Valley, The Shropshire Hills and the Brecon Beacons National Park.
A collection of brand-new, 50th anniversary way-markers (pictured above) have been installed along the Path to mark the milestone occasion.
A brand-new exhibition by Welsh artist, Dan Llywelyn Hall, has also launched today at the Offa’s Dyke Centre in Knighton.
New paintings inspired by the Offa’s Dyke monument and Path will be on display from Saturday 10 July until October, 2021.
Walking Festivals along the famous route have also been arranged by Ramblers Cymru to mark this significant milestone.
Today is the official 50th birthday of the Offa’s Dyke Path!
Join us as we celebrate 50 fantastic years of walking, adventure and discovery along the Wales-England border and the @Clwyd_Dee_AONB – by wishing the National Trail a “Happy Birthday” on social media. #OffasDykePath50 pic.twitter.com/QhN7m5pXYE
— Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB (@Clwyd_Dee_AONB) July 10, 2021
The route, which can be enjoyed in short sections or day walks, was a pioneering achievement in its day, taking a decade to complete following a partnership effort by government agencies, local authorities, and the volunteers of the then newly formed Offa’s Dyke Association.
Clare Pillman, Chief Executive of NRW said: “It’s great to be part of such a celebration. Over the last 50 years, the Offa’s Dyke Path, which combines spectacular landscapes and wildlife, has become one of Britain’s best loved walking routes.
“It has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to discover its unique walking experience and has played an important role with the local tourism economy, providing opportunities for people to enjoy the wellbeing benefits of walking and being outdoors.”
Today, the care of the path that passes through three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and a National Park, is jointly funded and strategically managed by NRW and Natural England (NE) as well as local authority and national park partners.
Sir David Henshaw, NRW Chair added: “This milestone highlights how important partnership work is and showcases the best that the UK has to offer. The path offers so much to its visitors and I look forward to the next 50 years of the Offa’s Dyke Path.”
If you would like to take part in the Offa’s Dyke Path 50th anniversary, why not join in one of the Walking Festivals along the route. Visit the website www.nationaltrail.co.uk/offas-
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