Shrewsbury Abbey

STAGE 4 Oswestry to Froncysyllte

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Route Description & Map

From the coffee shop and information centre behind the church go through the lych gate and turn right on Upper Brook Street.

Cross Welsh Walls, take the next right turn into Oswald’s Place and continue up Oswald’s Well Lane until it becomes Maserfield. Soon you can see Oswald’s Well down to your left.

Continue up Maserfield to the top, turn left into a tree-lined tarmac lane and follow it out to Broomhall Lane where you turn right.

In less than 100 yards cross a stile on your left into parkland and go half-right passing to the left of a small knoll.

Soon you will see a gate and stile out onto a minor road. (Here you join and follow Oswald’s Trail all the way to Offa’s Dyke Path and the Old Racecourse).

STAGE 4 Oswestry to Froncysyllte Map 1

Across the road and over the stile you then follow the old access track to Llanforda Hall (demolished in 1949) through wonderful parkland until, after about half a mile, and before you reach a fence, the track bears up right.

Continue to keep close to the fence, now on your left, where the track curves back into the parkland and arrive at a gate and stile into a small parcel of woodland that was originally part of the garden of Llanforda Hall. Follow the path as it twists through the wood (note the remains of old walls) to a prominent waymarkpost.

Turn left and follow the path, to cross out of the wood via a stile, with the remains of a walled garden on your right. Go ahead to a waymarked gateway gap and then go half right up the slope to a gate visible at the top edge of the wood on your right.

STAGE 4 Oswestry to Froncysyllte Map 2

Through this follow the wood on your right and then bear left alongside the hedge until you come to a track. Cross this using the 2 stiles and continue forward to another stile into a narrow strip of woodland.

Pass through this, out over another stile and follow the hedge on your right for some 150 yards to a stile on your right. Cross this and head half left across the field towards a large modern house. Soon you will see some older buildings (the Old Farm at Bwlch) in the slight dip; head towards these and cross a stile, a track and another stile into the garden.

Go up this and follow the house drive out to a road, where you will see a stile to your left. Cross this, pass the barn on your right and follow the field edge on your left to another stile you need to cross. Continue with the wood on your left to a kissing gate into the wood.

STAGE 4 Oswestry to Froncysyllte Map 3

Follow the obvious path through this dark wood out to a fingerpost where you join Offa’s Dyke Path. (The rest of the route now follows Offa’s Dyke Path to the Shropshire border).

Turn right and follow the path out onto the Old Oswestry Racecourse via a gate. You are now just over 1000 feet above sea-level.

Walk north up the middle of the green area that was the southern half of the Old Oswestry racecourse, which ceased to be used as such in 1848. Cross 3 tracks which provide access to dwellings on the west side of the racecourse.

After half a mile you reach a junction of roads with a road fingerpost.

Follow Carreg-y-Big Road north for a mile, passing 1 minor road on your right and 2 on your left, and just after the farm, at a fingerpost cross a stile on your left and join Offa’s Dyke Trail.

The Dyke is on your left and the view to the west is not very impressive, King Offa must have trusted the tribes in this area. Follow the path for ¾ mile over 4 stiles to a wicket gate with steps down to a bridge and then up to another stile.

Go forward over 2 more stiles out to a track and a fingerpost at Orseddwen, the buildings of which are in Wales, as the boundary on your left is the border. From now on you follow the border all the way to the River Ceiriog where you cross into Wales.

STAGE 4 Oswestry to Froncysyllte Map 4

Now take the track (a very old road) going north round the western side of Selattyn Hill.

After a stile/gate, a wicket gate within a gate and 3 more gates with stiles you reach the summit of this climb at almost 1250 feet.

After another gate with a stile and then a bridle-gate you descend a long track to reach and cross the B4579 at Craignant, following a minor road down to cross the Morlas Brook, 1¼ miles from Orseddwen.

You have dropped some 400 feet from the summit, and now you must climb again.

The minor road soon ends at a house and becomes a steep track until you reach a minor road where you turn left to rejoin Offa’s Dyke again at a newly-installed wicket-gate.

STAGE 4 Oswestry to Froncysyllte Map 5

The footpath climbs again via a stile to reach and cross another minor road via 2 stiles. This is basically your final summit in England, just below 1200 feet.

Now the descent begins, gently at first to cross a track via 2 more stiles.

Soon you descend a long series of steps into Nanteris Dingle, cross a bridge, climb up more steps, but only half the number you came down, and via a wicket gate reach a short climb up to another minor road and 2 more stiles.

The footpath crosses another 4 stiles as the descent steepens and you step carefully across the roots of many small trees.

STAGE 4 Oswestry to Froncysyllte Map 6

The footpath cannot be improved because you are actually walking ON Offa’s Dyke, and it is a Scheduled Ancient Monument which cannot be disturbed except for exceptional reasons.

Soon you cross a final track via 2 more stiles and reach a quite steep but grassy descent of the final section in England. Facing you across the River Ceiriog is Chirk Castle in Wales.

At the bottom of this glorious descent you go through a gate onto a track which you follow to a fingerpost which points left to a concrete path leading down past houses to a minor road at Bronygarth. You continue down the minor road opposite and cross the border into Wales just before you reach the bridge over the Ceiriog.

STAGE 4 Oswestry to Froncysyllte Map 7

Turn left at the road junction then right into the woods – along the Offa’s Dyke Path. Follow the National Trail to the A5. Taking extreme care cross over and continue to the Canal. Turn left along it to the Canal Basin at Froncysyllte.

Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right 2017.