Offa’s Dyke Path – Day 8 – The Cwm to Buttington
Day 8, we awoke to much nicer weather. It wasn’t blazing hot but it also wasn’t raining!
From our B&B we took a cross route past Mellington Manor to get back onto the Offa’s Dyke Path. Buttercups were blooming profusely and the Manor was looking as stately as a boutique hotel in Wales, housed in an 18th Century Victorian Gothic Mansion could look.
Two walkers (Simon and Pete), shown here after passing through the arched gateway to the grounds of Mellington Manor, were from Christchurch, New Zealand and had walked a bit with us on Day 7.. They arrived shortly after we did at the same B&B at the Cwm as we were staying at. Since our host was away from the house when they arrived, I had the fun of greeting them at the door with my best (not that good) butlerly “Yes, may I help you?”. The initial look on their faces was priceless.
Over the stile and down the hill. The Offa’s Dyke Path passes by the small hamlet of Buttington a mile or two from Welshpool but does not go through Welshpool seen here in the distance. Welshpool is the largest community in the area and has a number of tourist attractions nearby.
There is a fairly long descent into Butttington from the Welshpool scenic sighting and we were ahead of schedule. Out instructions also told us to call our hosts to arrange for pick-up when we reached Buttington. A bit of a problem here since we had no idea how far our hosts needed to travel to get to the pick-up point and we had no phone to phone them. No problem, we thought. We’ll just stop at the pub in Buttington, make a phone call from there and just sit back and wait. We were in no rush and not in a hurry to go anywhere. This approach had worked well in Redwood so why not Buttington?
Another sign to lean on.
Arrived at Buttington. Couldn’t reach our B&B host from the telephone booth down the street. The Green Dragon pub on the corner was closed and wouldn’t open until 7PM if at all. I’m smiling at all of the things that might have gone wrong beginning to seem like they were going wrong! Obviously, I wasn’t as happy as I might have been. Not a lot to do in Buttington. They have a business park but that doesn’t usually impress walkers. They had the sign to lean on. That’s about all :-(. The frustrating experience with the telephone booth and the closed pub, that was about it for afternoon excitement. Thank goodness, the proprietor of the Buttington House B&B just down the road behind me came to our rescue before I lost my patience with the pay phone system. Meanwhile I stood out on the street to wait for a taxi which was on the way to our evening’s B&B, heard we were closer and decided to drop by and Buttington and drop off our luggage there. That meant that I was now not only annoyed but responsible for luggage left with me on the side of the road. Everything worked out in the end but my memories of stopping at Buttington are not fond ones. Rather than sitting around waiting I would have preferred continuing our walk to the Brompton Crossroads or some other more convenient location on the Path.The proprietor was able to reach our host and provide directions for picking us up. She then provided my hiking partner with his afternoon tea which he always appreciated at the end of the day. As all of our confusing situation was playing out, three other walkers, whom we had met along the way, came to the Buttington House as it was their end point for the day.
Based on the directions we had been given, our stopping point for the day was a few hundred yards along the Path and likely the most dangerous part of the Path. After walking though a field and across a railroad track, we had to navigate our way along a busy carriageway and then across a narrow bridge with very limited space for walkers. The next morning, our hosts drove us back to this location so that we could continue on where we had left off. Being dropped off at this location had equivalent danger. Not a highly recommended spot to be dropped off or picked up!