Final celebration of 50 years: tickets available for Offa’s Dyke Path jubilee event at Valle Crucis Abbey

Image: Chris Heaton, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5219710

Final celebration of 50 years: tickets available for Offa’s Dyke Path jubilee event at Valle Crucis Abbey

 The Offa’s Dyke Path has been celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021 — and on 11 December the festivities will come to a peak, with a closing ceremony at Valle Crucis Abbey.

With public tickets available via Eventbrite, the free-entry event will bring the beautiful, medieval Abbey to life with poetry, art and song — from 4pm – 6.30pm.

The event will see the Abbey walls become a canvas of art projections inspired by the Path — all created by artist, Dan Llywelyn Hall, who launched an exhibition at the Offa’s Dyke Path Association and Centre in 2021.

A photographic journey along the National Trail will also be projected during the event, featuring images and emotive video footage from Mothergoose Films.

Attendees will also enjoy acapella renditions of traditional and festive tunes from local choir, The Clwyd Clippers and as well as live readings from specially commissioned poets.

Among the poets reading at the event will be Geraint Jones, Oliver James Lomax, Robert Minhinnick and National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn — who will recite bilingual poetry inspired by the Offa’s Dyke Path, as featured in the official 50th anniversary book: Walking with Offa / Cerdded gydag Offa.

The paintings by Dan are now on display at the Walnut Tree in Abergavenny for public view.

Rob Dingle, National Trails Officer for Offa’s Dyke Path said: “I’ve worked in my role for 15 years — but it’s safe to say that 2021, the 50th anniversary year of the 177-mile Offa’s Dyke Path, has been one of the best.

“Despite all the trials and tribulations of the ongoing pandemic, it’s been fantastic to see so many people and organisations enjoying the Path and joining forces to celebrate its many wonders.

“I’m so excited for the closing ceremony, which will give us the chance to get together and toast the 50 years of the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail — one last time before we end this wonderful year of festivities. Here’s to 50 more!”

Artist, Dan Llywelyn Hall said: “Valle Crucis Abbey is central to the story of Offa’s Dyke and its namesake path. It’s fitting that the year culminates here and as a painter and a walker, the Offa’s Dyke Path holds infinite curiosities. This is a cultural spectacle of images, song and poetry at resting place of bards and princes alike.”

The closing ceremony marks the end of an epic year of celebrations — commemorating 50 years since the Path was first opened by Lord Hunt on 10 July 1971.

Activities across the year have included guided walks by Ramblers Cymru; the addition of a window for the Offa’s Dyke Centre (created by stained glass artist Stephen Bradley) as well as the release of 50th anniversary way-markers along the Path.

Until the end of the year, members of the public are also encouraged to share their memories of the Path and selfies with the 50th anniversary way-markers on social media — posting with the hashtag, #OffasDykePath50 for the chance to receive a limited-edition keyring.