Wat's Dyke Way


There is no certainty as to who Wat was, with some believing he was a king of Mercia and others saying that he did not exist at all.  Wat was a common name during the Anglo-Saxon period, but the word could also mean wet or rough.  The only certainty is that the dyke exists.

When the dyke was constructed is another mystery. Until relatively recently, many historians had thought the dyke was an eighth century Mercian near-contemporary of the more famous Offa’s Dyke, that runs parallel and to the west of Wat’s Dyke.  They are now having to re-think their theory. Others though suspected that it pre-dated Offa’s Dyke and attributed its construction to King Offa’s predecessor, Aethelbald, who lived between 716 and 757AD. The most accurate indication yet about when it was built came as a result of radio-carbon dating of charcoal found with shards of Romano-British pottery following an archaeological excavation of a section of the dyke at Maes y Clawdd near Oswestry.  The testing, carried out at Queen’s University, Belfast, dated its construction at between 411 and 561AD.
Irrespective of its origins, Wat’s Dyke is now travelled by many walkers enjoying the great outdoors. It runs from Llanymynech, south of Oswestry, to Overton, Wrexham, Caergwrle (with its castle) and up on to Halkyn Mountain before finishing at Greenfield in Holywell.  Check out the Wat’s Dyke website for full details.

Nearby restaurants

The Mill on the Hill
A lovely cafe situated in Holywell near Winefreds Well.
Open 10 till 5 Tuesday to Saturday, 10 till 4 on Sunday.
The Pet Cemetery Cafeteria
Enjoy a stroll around the award-winning grounds of the pet cemetery and visit our cafe, which offers home-cooked food.
The Blue Bell Inn
The Blue Bell is an independent, family-run, award-winning free house with multiple CAMRA Regional awards.  It was a Sunday Telegraph Top Ten UK Country Pub in 2008 and The Best Pub in 2009, and featured in The Sunday Times Best Summer Walks for 2009.


The Crown
The Crown Inn is a free house based in the village of Lixwm, offering a variety of guest ales and with an Egon Ronay recommended restaurant.
Black Lion Inn
The Black Lion is a 13th century coaching inn - based in the heart of the country with breathtaking views towards Moel Famau. Its restaurant and bar offer a wide range of home cooked British food and real ales.  
Y Dderwen - The Oak
Y Dderwen -The Oak - is a rural, community pub, situated in lovely walking countryside some four miles west of Mold on the A541. At our bar we have real ales and a choice of four lagers.