The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 15 April 2016

Offa's Dyke Path (ODP) Day 1: Chepstow to SE of Brockweir

Thurs 14 April (noon to 1600)
10 miles (plus walk to station)
Sunny intervals

With a light rain falling as we made our way to the station for our train down to Chepstow this morning, and knowledge of the forecast weather for that bit of the country, a damp start to this walk was expected. So, it was a pleasant surprise to alight at our destination, after a very painless journey, into the sunshine.

After a quick trip to Tesco to avail ourselves of their facilities, we were off - for a bit of repetition. The start of ODP is at Sedbury Cliffs, which lie about a mile and a half south of Chepstow, and it seemed to me that the obvious way of getting there was to walk, before turning around and retracing our steps. We could, of course have taken the easier option of omitting that bit entirely, but as it hadn't featured in our LEJOG, I thought it only right and proper to start the Path at its beginning.

Lunch-with-a-view was had at the boulder which marks the start point and at 1pm we started heading north.

On our LEJOG we'd joined ODP on the north side of Chepstow and so it was from that point today that we had many 'I remember this' and 'I don't remember this' moments. It's funny the things we remembered of a path that we'd only visited once before, eight years ago.

Into the woodland on the approach to the Devil's Pulpit (which overlooks Tintern Abbey) we certainly didn't recognise the route, as the first section has changed and the next bit has been surfaced.

Until last night our plan had been a stealth camp tonight. Then I realised that would require quite a water carry and suddenly a campsite seemed like a good option. As easy as it would have been to nip into the site (we approached from the rear) take some water and leave, we were too honest for that (today, at least; we might perhaps have done that once or twice in the past).

So, we're now comfortably ensconced in a tent for the first time since the end of July last year, and as I type (at 1845) the sound of rain drumming on nylon has just started.


  1. Wooh Hoo!
    Great start.
    What's the plan, then?

    1. Ignore that comment - I've just read the preceding post.

  2. All good stuff. My breakfasts will be enhanced for a while now. I will be interested to see if I recognise parts of your route that coincide with my circuit of Wales.

  3. Excellent! Heres a fly through of all the stiles & gates that I met when I did it :-)