HULL to NEW HOLLAND
Thursday 5th September 2019
Today’s walk: 18.0 miles Total walk: 454.9
I’ve taken a week off from work and had intended going to Scotland for a few days, unfortunately the wettest Scottish summer since records began has put a massive spanner in these plans. Fortunately the forecast for the rest of the UK is pretty good. A final check of the weather and at the last minute I’ve decided to continue with the English Coastal Path and head down to Hull. I arrived in New Holland on the Southern banks of the Humber estuary and then set about trying to get back to Salt End on the Northern bank of the same estuary. Despite being only 2 miles across the water, as the crow flies, it took a train and two buses to get anywhere near to Salt End. I had it in my mind that today was going to be a chore, having to trudge through the heavy industry often found on the banks of major rivers. On arrival at Salt End I set about trying to get close to the waters edge. The first couple of miles along the busy A1033, included walking by the massive Siemens wind turbine compound. There were literally hundreds of rotor blades and towers stacked behind the fence and I now appreciated, having been so close up as too how enormous these turbines actually are. I eventually found my way to the banks of the Humber and the views were decent despite the numerous factories close by. If I just keep looking to my left and avoid looking right then I should be OK.
At Victoria Docks I was diverted away from the water by the Environment Agency flood defence works. I popped into the local Spar shop for a can of fizzy pop and a snack bar. I then spent the next half an hour getting frustrated, as each time I approached the river I was blocked by 8ft high painted green boards and signs telling me the path was closed. Eventually I managed to rejoin the path near Victoria Pier.
I was surprised by the lack of ECP signs but instead I managed to follow the Trans Pennine Trail towards Albert Docks and then St Andrews Quay. On approach of St Andrews I stuck closely to the public footpath marked on my electronic map so that I didn’t accidentally trespass in any highly sensitive areas. I was amazed at how dilapidated and frankly dangerous the route actually was. I passed over a rotted wooden bridge which was barricaded at one end and once again I checked the map convinced that I must be in the wrong place. No, I was spot on. I managed to walk a short distance along a wall to bypass the barricade and then continued towards Hessle. On approach to Hessle Haven I followed the path away from the coast before following the A63 for a short distance and then returning to the coastline. By now the Humber Bridge was looming large in front of me and I began to wonder how I would get onto walkway in order to cross the bridge. Just prior to walking under the bridge I stopped for a 15 minute break on one of the many wooden benches on Hessle Cliff.
Following my break I managed to follow several signs through the Humber Bridge County Park and easily found my way onto the bridge. It’s approximately 1.2 miles across the Humber Bridge and for some reason there were lots of cyclists doing shuttle runs across the bridge as they passed me several times. This only caused me a problem because each time they sped past me I got a shock and jumped into the air before the obligatory swear word. After the bridge I reached the Waters Edge Country Park which has a visitors centre and more importantly a cafe. I checked my watch 3.50pm and the cafe closed at 4pm. The staff were clearing up but they managed to rustle me up with a mug of coffee. Some 5 minutes later, 3.58pm according to my watch a group of 6 people turned up at the counter. As they tentatively approached I saw the two young members of staff look at the clock and then each other before serving the group with a (forced) smile. I left the County Park and was quickly into my stride back along the edge of the estuary. The last four miles along the embankment were uneventful and I strode into New Holland around 5.30pm. There was some annoying confusion at the Bed and Breakfast before I finally managed to bypass the 3 key coded doors to my room.