The journey continues....

OFFA’S DYKE – Stage 2 – Trefonen to Kington

Saturday July 11th to Monday July 13th

Day 1 – Trefonen to Pool Quay

Day 2 – Pool Quay to Montgomery

Day 3 – Montgomery to Knighton

Personnel – Viv Lee, Geoff Halliwell, Neil Smith, John Bullen

Special Guest for two days – John Haworth

Base – Llwym House, Montgomery

(Just to remind people – we have split the walk into four sections of just less than fifty miles and are to complete it in four outings of three days each. We stay near the midway point of each section and drive there on the Saturday morning (each trip is Saturday to Monday). We then have an arrangement with a local taxi firm. They take us out to the start each day and pick us up at a pre-arranged point each evening).

Viv came up with a gem this time for our accommodation – Llwym House, Montgomery run by a lovely lady, Mrs Linda Whitticase. Built, at a guess, in the 1800s she still has all the original wood – staircase, banisters, floorboards and bedrooms doors with latches! Wonderful.

The first day was a scorcher giving us the excuse for more than one pub stop! We began where we finished the last section at The Barley Mow,Trefonen – home of the Offa’s Dyke Brewery – thank goodness they were shut! A 14 mile day saw us take in Nant-Mawr and Llanymynech before a stretch along the Montgomery Canal to Four Crosses. After a little liquid refreshment we moved on to Neath Bridge, lovely views of the River Severn and our finishing point of Pool Quay and another delightful hostelry there.

The evening repast was taken in the Dragon Inn, Montgomery and excellent it was. Poor Neil sadly allowed himself to be led astray by John and Viv. He arrived “home” about 1.30am and opening the latch of the room he was sharing with Geoff and John he fell nose-first onto those beautiful old floorboards! He was told in the morning that he hadn’t won a penalty and had been yellow carded for a dive! This earned him the nickname Ronaldo or rather Ro-Neil-Do!

Sunday was another scorcher but there was only 12 miles of Offa’s to complete as the day’s march finished in Montgomery. We saw more of the canal along to Buttington then the Beacon Ring hill fort, sadly concealed by forestation, and on to the delightful Offa’s Pool. There was little to rave about at Kingswood and Forden but the walk in to Montgomery was a stunner. A short day but after a café lunch Viv opted for deckchair and then a swim in the Dragon pool whilst the lads did a fair chunk of the Montgomery Heritage Trail. The castle ruins are indeed impressive.

In the evening we made our first big mistake of the entire trip and ate Indian. The following morning there were many agonised cries of “never again”!

The Monday was a real tough 18 miler, not made any easier when Geoff and John, the map readers, went wrong! The Kerry Ridgeway certainly got us sweating and after Churchtown 408m of Hergan and 369m of Craig Hill taxed those hamstrings. In not so

quick succession we climbed Llanfair Hill, Selley Cross, Cwm-Sanaham Hill and Panpunton – all those ups and downs completed in the most horrendous of thunderstorms. Soaking wet we thankfully arrived in Knighton and the sanctuary of the George and Dragon to await our taxi.

Another excellent three days with a short rest before we attempt stage 3 in September.
Neil in Montgomery Castle Viv finally gets tired of the male company Which Country now? Yet another top