04 January 2007


So with all the data available to me from my digital mapping stuff, here’s a bit of nonsense for you.

I have broken down each section of the walk so far into ‘Hilliness’; that’s the feet of ascent per mile for each section, just to give myself an idea of what’s coming. It looks like this:

Land's End to Bath: 31,000 feet, 262 miles = 118 feet / mile
Bath – Chester: 37,000 feet, 235 miles = 157 feet / mile
Chester – Edale: 3,000 feet, 57 miles = 52 feet / mile
Edale – Kirk Yetholm: 43,000 feet, 274 miles = 157 feet / mile
Kirk Yetholm – Oban: 27,000 feet, 181 miles = 149 feet / mile

Totals / Average: 141,000 feet, 1009 miles = 140 feet / mile

That’s 16.3 miles per day and 2,275 ft ascent per day average to Oban from Land's End.

The Bath – Chester bit looks interesting as it also includes flattish bits from Bath to the Severn Bridge and from Prestatyn to Chester, so in reality the Offa’s Dyke section is so far the hilliest section of the walk.

Now, even if at 157 feet per mile, it doesn’t sound a lot, but that is uphill walking only. Broadly speaking there will be the same distance down hill as well as up, so that means the uphill figure per mile could in effect be doubled, making 314 feet per mile ascent. Then you have to think that there are also flat bits, along valley floors and hill crests: Double it again? Making some 600 feet per mile uphill for a quarter of the day; for four miles or so. Add to this the almost 700 stiles reputedly on the Offa’s Dyke path (that’s an average of one every 8 minutes) and it sounds like a barrel of laughs…

I think I will get back to my route planning!


  1. Offa's Dyke may be the hilliest bit of the walk but I bet it doesn't feel like it!

    The Dyke goes through magnificent countryside which I always find quite uplifting!

  2. Hi Andy

    It travels in & out of the Land of my Fathers. The lower end has particular significance to my Mum & Dad's courting days.

    I shall not mind the effort - It will feel like an honour to be there. I have spent all of my life away from my heritage. I hope it will be a fascinating ride on the Offa's Dyke Roller-Coaster.

    Fancy joing me for a few days?

    All the best


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