The Offa’s Dyke Path is the star of a new ITV series being broadcast across the UK in January and February 2022.
Wonders of the Border will see Good Morning Britain and Countryfile presenter Sean Fletcher visit more than 50 locations along the 177-mile National Trail — meeting an amazing variety of people who have made the borderlands between Wales and England their home.
The six-part series will be broadcast for ITV viewers from 7.30pm on Tuesday 11 January, with the remaining five episodes to feature on Tuesdays over the next six weeks, accounting for a week’s break between episode three and four.
The Offa’s Dyke Path runs from Sedbury Cliffs near Chepstow in the south to Prestatyn on the shores of the Irish Sea in the north — taking in eight different counties and crossing the England-Wales border more than 20 times.
It also links no fewer than four Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty — the Wye Valley, the Shropshire Hills, Brecon Beacons National Park and the Clwydian Range/Dee Valley.
Sean says: “I was privileged to have the chance to travel along the magnificent Wales Coast Path for some incredibly popular programmes which aired on ITV in 2020. And now, I am able to complete the journey around the nation that I am proud to call my second home.”
“I am hoping that the programme will give some inspiration for places to visit and to enjoy some fantastic countryside along the way.”
Rob Dingle, the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail Officer welcomed news of the series.
He said: “Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, a fan of UK history or someone with a New Year’s Resolution to get out more with the dog, the Path has something to ‘Offa’ for everyone — with so much to see and do along the route.
“I’m sure that Sean’s journey will showcase this and inspire seasoned walkers and newbies alike to explore the beauty on their doorsteps — all while supporting the many local businesses and attractions which lie along the route.”
At the heart of the National Trail is Offa’s Dyke itself. Built 1,200 years ago — and covering a distance of more than 80 miles — Offa’s Dyke is Britain’s longest ancient monument. It’s even longer than Hadrian’s Wall.
The large, linear earthwork roughly follows part of the current border between England and Wales. It is named after Offa, the Anglo Saxon King — who seized power during a time of great unrest caused by friction between Wales and England in the border regions.
Offa was determined to quell the unruly Welsh and impose his authority, and he did this by building one of the most remarkable structures in Britain.
During the series, Sean learns more about the history of the ancient monument and tries out more modern activities, from kayaking and wild swimming in the River Wye to mountain biking in Llandegla Forest.
Jonathan Hill, editor, Network Programmes at ITV Cymru Wales said: “We are excited to be sharing such amazing stories and pictures from right along the Offa’s Dyke Path and the wider borderland communities.
“After such a difficult couple of years, it is great to know that we have so much natural beauty right on our doorstep.”