Llanymynech – Llanymynech, England - Atlas Obscura


Llanymynech, England

A small village in two different countries. 


The small rural village of Llanymynech has a national border running down the middle of its main street. The eastern side of the road lies in England, and the western side of the road is in Wales.

The national border runs straight through the middle of the now sadly closed Lion Hotel, which had one bar in Wales, and two bars on the more popular English side. (England historically had more favourable drinking laws, allowing alcohol to be served on a Sunday.)

Today the geographic anomaly has more humdrum financial consequences for the residents of Llanymynech. For example, those on the Welsh side of the road get free prescription medication thanks to the healthcare laws of Wales, whereas those on the opposite side in England have to pay a small contribution.

The reason for the border running down the centre of the road is that it follows the path of an ancient earthen bank called Offa’s Dyke. The dyke was constructed in the 8th century by King Offa, who ruled the ancient English Kingdom of Mercia, to protect his lands from Welsh raiders from the neighbouring Kingdom of Powys. Today relations in the village between those on the west and east sides of the border are more benign, except perhaps during certain international Rugby matches.

Know Before You Go

Llanymynech is served by the 72 bus from Oswestry, Shropshire. The nearest train station is at Gobowen.

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