Week 8 | Walking 1047 Miles Around Wales | Halfway There


See Week Seven Of Walking Around Wales

Our Journey Of 1047 Miles Had Started With A Single Step

That was 8 weeks ago in Cardigan and to date we had walked up the Ceredigion coast always heading north through Machynlleth, Barmouth and Harlech towards the Lleyn Peninsula, onto Anglesey, along the North Wales coastline and eventually onto the long distance trail Offas Dyke. So by the end of July we were walking in the areas of Llangollen, Oswestry, Welshpool and the official halfway point of Offas Dyke, the lovely little market town of Knighton

An absolute highlight of this week was the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct at Trevor, what a fantastic engineering achievement, Jaycee was terrified of it and refused to walk over it, I think because the gaps on the barriers are wide enough for her to fall through and she could see how high up we were…

Longest and Highest Aqueduct in Britain is 126 Feet High

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Is 126 Feet High Over The River Dee

Another highlight was watching the horses pulling the tram boats along the canal in Llangollen, I hadn’t known that this still happened and it was fascinating to watch, the area is full of lovely canal paths, some of which are part of Offas Dyke and it’s such beautiful scenery to walk through with lots of huge dragonflies, swans, ducks and wild orchids

We had another run in with cattle this week, this time on the way to Welshpool not far from Gornel farm near Four Crosses where we had also encountered some very aggressive sheep dogs who suddenly appeared as a snarling pack, fortunately they were all muzzled as I really did not rate Jaycee’s chances against them

A Gate Serving No Purpose

This Pointless Gate Is On Offas Dyke Near Four Crosses

The cattle had chased a walker who was coming in the opposite direction, and when he saw us he warned me that we wouldn’t be able to get through them particularly as I had a dog with me, seeing as I was not prepared to turn back I didn’t have any choice about facing them. As the walker had aroused their interest, (he was visibly shaken by the encounter with them) they were packed very tightly around the stile in the next field

It was an unwelcoming waiting committee, probably a herd of about 70 young bullocks, so I stood on top of the stile and shouted as loud as I could while swinging Jaycee’s lead in the air, this gave me the opportunity to drop into their field and then Jaycee took over barking and snarling at them to keep their distance, which they did and eventually they lost interest and wandered off. I was so happy to get out of that field, while not timid around cattle I have a healthy respect for them and the damage that their curiosity can cause

Our Home For 4 Months While Walking Around Wales

The Van | Subject Of Much Curiousity

On our way down Offas Dyke I parked up in the little town of Montgomery to recycle some glass and paper and was sat on the back of the van having lunch with the door open when I was suddenly joined by a very curious (some would say nosy) group of German tourists, not one of them spoke to me but several took my photograph and walked around the van clearly taken with it. I wonder if they believed I was some sort of local tourist attraction? Minutes later, three young children appeared and wanted to see in the back of the van, kids always seemed to be intrigued by it, the youngest child asked if I was a gypsy, I’m sure he was so disappointed when I said no…

It was still difficult to find places to park the van overnight that was close to the path and near a bus stop; I ended up free camping in lay-bys, car parks, waste ground and the cattle market at Knighton, my budget just wouldn’t stretch to paying for camp-sites

Once again, getting water for the domestic stuff on the van was also a challenge, if nothing else it made me really appreciate the benefit of having clean running water at the turn of a tap. I stopped at the public toilets in Clun to top the water bottles up and was amused and surprised at the piped music and public announcements that are played over some speaker system once you go inside and close the door. Clun is a lovely little place and some of my ancestors lived there but it does appear a little over protected, there are lots of signs telling you what you can’t do, I find it amusing if a little over the top

Traditional Working Horses On The Canal At Llangollen

So Lovely To See | Horse Drawn Canal Boats

Some readers may be unaware that the purpose of this 1047-mile hike around The Welsh Coastal path and Offas Dyke is to see how difficult it would be complete the same route on horseback and although there are countless challenges to overcome it is still my ambition to do this. If any aspect of this long distance ride around Wales interests you please feel free to contact me here

Offas Dyke National Trail has specific areas suitable for horse riding,these bridleways make up 35% of the total path. Compare this to the paltry 7 miles that the authorities have made available on the Welsh Coastal Path for horse riding. Road accidents involving horses are increasing which is why we need horse riding access on the Welsh coastal path, if you agree please sign and share our petition

The Following Week
How My Big Walk all Started

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