< Offa's Dyke - a virtual walk – Mamie Martin Fund

Offa’s Dyke – a virtual walk

Offa’s Dyke is a path that runs alongside the border between Wales and England. Carol Cuthbertson, MMF supporter and the wife of Mamie Martin’s nephew, Alastair, is walking Offa’s Dyke as part of Borders22.

10th May: I have now reached Hay-on-Wye, the first town since Monmouth. I am too early for the Hay Festival which runs this year from 26th May to 5th June. The town has more than twenty bookshops. Linking to books locally, I came across a very small lending library tucked away above the Grand Union Canal, raising money for our local hospice.

The walk across the Black Mountains was strenuous with mile after mile of magnificent views. The alternative path over Hay Bluff, a prominent peak at the North end of the Black Mountains offers fine views over Hay-on-Wye. We last visited the Bluff in 1999. The Black Mountains are part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. They extend into Herefordshire and are the Easternmost of four ranges in the park.

30th April: I have now reached the Black Mountains on my virtual walk. I left the River Wye behind at Monmouth but have had glimpses of the River Trothy. It is a tributary of the Wye. The way has been mainly through farming land, with the occasional hamlet, so not much of interest to photograph. The Chilterns, where we live, is been alive with bluebells and the Japanese Garden in our retirement village is at its best. Earlier there were daffodils everywhere.

16th April: I have now come through Monmouth and am on my way to the Black Mountains. The best view over Monmouth was from the Naval Temple on the top of the Kymin. The Temple was constructed by the Kymin Club in 1800 to commemorate the second anniversary of the British naval victory at the Battle of the Nile in 1798. Nearer to home, I often visit the remains of WW1 training trenches on Berkhamsted Common.  Many recruits came out here for training  before being sent to the Front.

Offa’s Dyke crosses the River Monnow in Monmouth by the only remaining fortified river bridge in Great Britain with its gate tower standing on the bridge. In Berkhamsted, we have three newly renovated bridges over the Grand Union Canal.

8th April: The walk began on a bitterly cold day. I passed Berkhamsted Castle as an alternative to Chepstow, and am now just beyond Bigswear Bridge, which crosses the River Wye from England to Wales.