Walk 1907 - printer friendly version
Stowe & Offa's Dyke from Kinsley Wood Walk
Author - Peter Lane
Length - 7.0 miles / 11.4 km
Ascent - 1300 feet / 394 metres
Grade - moderate
Start - OS grid reference SO298728
Lat 52.348757 + Long -3.0320056
Postcode LD7 1LP (approx. location only)
A pleasant walk in the Marches near the Welsh border that explores rolling green hills and a section of Offa's Dyke without touching civilisation. Never truly flat, this walk requires some stamina, however, a longer 12 mile version is possible which requires more energy and explores more of the Dyke and the surrounding scenery (see walk 2816).
Start at the Forestry Commission Kinsley Wood Car Park just off the A488 at grid reference SO298728. This car park can only be approached from the Knighton direction as it has a sharply graded access road (not signposted). Park at the first turn on the Forestry Commission track next to the public footpath that forms the start point. Picnic tables and an information board can be found at the northern extremity of the wood, but we shall forego these for now.
Descend the wooden steps at the signed footpath at the first bend in the access road as described above. Enter a field and cross a footbridge part way through the field. Exit the field at the stile, cross the A488 and pick up the bridlepath heading for Stowe. This initially follows the right hand fence and later crosses to the left. Pass through a number of gates until the crest of the hill is reached. With Stowe church in the valley below, descend a couple of hundred metres or so to a bridlepath signed on the left and drop down to the valley below, crossing the stream. Climb the steep hill next to the house and an old farm building adjacent to the wood. Enter the wood where signed about half way up the hill and follow the winding path until it emerges onto a broad track at a metal gate.
Pass through the gate and climb the broad track past a circular pool and then up through surrounding cols to Holloway Rocks. When the track opens out onto a meadow plateau, resist the temptation to continue following it into the wood on the right, but head virtually due north to the field boundary and the ruts of the "byway open to all traffic" (fat chance in a family saloon!). Don't cross the fence but turn left and follow this obvious track west all the way to Five Turnings on the A488.
Cross the main road and take the bridlepath opposite through the metal gate adjacent to the driveway of New House. When this bridlepath opens out into a field, a marker post shows the split of the path into two. The convenient right hand path is closed, so there is no choice but to take the left hand path up the hill towards a sparse wood on the summit. Over the summit the path opens up to a broad track. Continue down this track as it descends and crosses the Offa's Dyke National Trail
Turn left here and continue roughly south on the well marked National Trail along an obvious section of Offa’s Dyke. Keeping the boundary to the left at all times, the path follows the ridge until the picturesque border town of Knighton appears in the valley below. The path now descends to a wood. When the National Trail turns off steeply to the right towards Knighton, continue for about 100 metres to a stile on the left. Cross the stile and follow the boundary of Kinsley Wood, reaching a metal gate and the car park and information board. Head for the information board and take the footpath along the summit of the wood here, keeping left at every junction until a small footpath is reached that descends sharply back to the main access road. Turn right upon reaching this and return to the car park directly.