Mellington Hall is a beautiful country house with Offa’s Dyke running right through its grounds and not far from the Kerry Ridgway, so a perfect starting/finishing point for a circular walk. It always amazes me how much of Offa’s Dyke remains. The Dyke, which when constructed was up to 65 feet wide (including a ditch on the Welsh side) and 8 feet high, runs between Liverpool Bay in the north and the Severn Estuary in the south – 150 miles (the Offa’s Dyke path is 176 miles long). It was ordered to be built by Offa, king of Mercia, in approx 750 AD. The ditch is on the Welsh side for added defence.
It was quite a long climb up to where the dyke intercepts the Ridgway but stopping to turn round and admire the views made it all worth it. I could see right over to Clee Hill and a clear view of Long Mountain, Cordon, Stiperstones and the Long Mynd. It was sheltered as I walked this gradual incline but once on the Ridgeway, which began as a tarmaced lane, the biting wind picked up. Offa’s Dyke continued into Shropshire while I now walked westward with Shropshire on my left and Powys on my right – this part of the Ridgeway being the county borders. The wind was really quite bitter and plenty of icy, slippery snow left on the ground. The clouds were lower looking towards the northwest so I couldn’t see the mountains that I thought I might. Once on a track, which is much more what I think of as the Ridgeway, it was so pretty, baron and quiet - except for me crunching my way in the snow, and a few sheep.
I decided that it was unlikely that I was going to find anywhere sheltered up there so I had my coffee break on my way back down. I took a bridleway down and then a byway open to all traffic (a B.O.A.T ). Because of the rapidly melting snow the ‘boat’ became a very steep, slippery gully/stream. I eventually reached a welcomed bit of tarmac for only a few yards before making my way on footpaths (some easier to find than others) across the fields (and mud), joining up with Offa’s Dyke, once more, that lead back into the grounds of Mellington. So due to the recent snow and the big, quick thaw – a muddy, slippery walk but with stunning views, beautiful scenery and of course very good fun – my photos say it all I think, have a look. It was 8 miles.