This was the first day of a weekend trip to Hull to walk the coast east of the city. I was not walking the coast in order and on the second day of this trip did the walk that I previously wrote up here.
I was setting off from home so took the train to London Waterloo, two tube trains to transfer to London Kings Cross, a train from there to Doncaster and another train from Doncaster to Hull. Despite the number of trains, it all went smoothly and I was glad to be leaving the train at Hull since it was continuing to Bridlington and Scarborough and there is no way the number of people waiting for the train at Hull would actually fit on it!
I headed up to the bus station part of the station (helpfully in Hull the bus and railway station are all in the same building) and was surprised to find when I got there a bus going to Withernsea was just loading up, as I thought I had 20 minutes to wait. Then I realised that my train arrived at the exact same time (11:10) a bus was due to depart. It turns out my train arrived a little early, the bus was a little late. So I made the earlier bus.
Something was going on in Hull, I never did find what (but it perhaps explains why the bus was late leaving). As the bus headed through the city centre the police were closing off one of the streets. At another junction ahead most roads seemed to have been closed, a policemen directed the bus to turn right. It did, into a queue of traffic. The driver then tried to make a U-turn for some reason – interesting in a double-decker bus. He just about did it, by mounting the pavement on both sides (I was wondering if we’d get stuck) and once done so, he got back to the junction and was told by the same police officer that no, he must go back the way he’d just come (the police officer did not seem best pleased the bus had come back). So the driver had to make another U-turn in the junction back into the road we’d just turned out of. This time the policemen that had blocked the other end of that road let our bus through. I never did find out what all that was about. Despite this the bus made up time and was only a minute or two late by the time we got to Patrington and in any case I still arrived earlier than scheduled because of catching an earlier bus from Hull.
In truth I didn’t really want to be in Patrington, as it is far inland from the coast (several miles). But there is limited bus services around here and no sizeable community on the coast, so Patrington was as close as I could get without the use of an expensive taxi. Having said that it seemed a pleasant enough large village.
My plan was to walk to Easington. From there I would need to take two buses back to Hull (one of which does not run on Sundays). This meant the trip was impractical as a day trip from home and the reason I was making a longer weekend trip.
From Patrington I had a choice. I could either head east on the B1445 and follow Saltmarsh Lane (a bridleway) south. Or I could stick to the road via Patrington Haven. Both routes would get me to the same place and were a similar distance. I opted for the latter, since I didn’t have a lot of confidence about footpaths in the area. The road south had a pavement which was useful.
The windmill marked on the map was a bit disappointing, without sails now it marked the entrance to a caravan site and was only just visible along the entrance drive.
As I entered Patrington Haven I turned left on a minor road and decided to take the footpath east to Saltmarsh Lane, the route along which the bridlepath I considered following earlier also ran, cutting out a stretch of road walking.
This took me through a small yard and into a recently cut field which I could easily cross. But at the end of this first field I came to a gate into the second field, marked with a footpath arrow. But there was no possible way through. In every direction was (at least) waist high crop, with no path left through. I did try to walk in a few different directions but soon any gap in the crop vanished and it was also very uneven underfoot. The crop was so thick I couldn’t even see what I was standing on and where I was putting my feet, so I had to give up and turn back to the road. As I had feared, footpaths in this area did not seem to be well maintained (or maintained at all, really).
Back on the road I turned south and left by the pub on the road signed as “Byway” to Eastgrowths Farm. I was taking a risk here, as the map shows the right of way is a dead-end, but that a track continues beyond this dead-end to join up with another track. I hoped this meant I could get through or I’d have to return and walk on a busy B-road further inland instead.
After a while track this stops being a road and starts being a bridleway passing the farm and then Saltmarsh Lane joined me on the left. As I mentioned, the bridlepath ahead is marked as reaching an area of woodland and then abruptly ending. But there was a clear track onwards on the map and it met another footpath at Welwick Bank so I hoped I could get through. On reaching the fence at the start of the area of woodland (the end of the right of way) I could see the track ahead. It had been partly blocked by a big log, probably to stop use by vehicles, but another sign said dogs to be on leads, which I took to meant it was permitted to continue. So I did.
The path was a little confusing to follow at times. It started quite narrow, little wider than my feet, but as I continued it became wider until there was a car-wide path with the ground worn down where vehicles had probably used it at least at some point. The woodland didn’t end when the map suggested it would and instead the track continues to be wooded as I passed a couple of pools of water marked on the map (but I didn’t notice them).
At the end of the woodland there was a sort of old bridge over a drainage ditch (only the concrete sides were visible) and I could then cross this and turn left to head back east towards the sea wall at Welwick Bank, which you can just see ahead on the photo below.
Here there is a large area of salt marsh and at last I had reached the western end of the footpath that I could follow along the shore east.
Sheep were grazing the marshes and by now the weather had picked up, the sun was coming out and it was quite humid.
I stopped here for lunch pleased to have a break from the road walking at last and hopefully an easier route ahead.
As I continued east the marsh soon narrowed until I was next to the Humber. The tide was low, so it revealed large mud flats and across the estuary I could clearly make out the odd tower I remember at Grimsby, and the industry at Immingham further west.
Still the walking was easy and it was wonderfully peaceful now. I could follow the path for just over a mile all the way to Skeffling, whose church I could see inland.
I continued along the path to reach the small car park at the waters edge, where there were a few cars parked and a few people about. This was the first time I had seen anyone else since leaving Patrington Haven!
The path eastwards was a but busier now but still quite pleasant and I could follow it all the way to a small car park at Easington Clough. Across the Humber I could see Grimsby and it’s tower.
I could also see numerous boats passing along the Humber, a busy shipping lane.
As I headed east, marshes again began to form beside the banks of the Humber.
Out to sea I could now make out the lighthouse on Spurn Head.
I was nearing the open sea again, at last, and the estuary was also becoming more sandy and less muddy, another sign the sea was nearby again.
Soon I reached the car park at Easington Clough. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not walking the coast in order (though I am trying to write it up in order), so this is actually the point I had reached on a previous walk. This meant that I was done for the day in terms of coast walking, even though it had only been a comparatively short walk this time.
However I was not done for walking, as there is no bus service to the car park at Easington Clough (it is at the end of a dead-end road) or to Kilnsea ahead, as this is quite a remote part of the coast, with few settlements on the coast itself. This means I’d have to head in land as far as Easington to get back, a distance of around 1.5 miles along roads.
Checking the bus times from Easington I realised I’d have about half an hour to wait in Easington if I left now, so I set on boulders below the car park overlooking the Humber for a while, it was nice to have a rest.
Actually I think my “boulders” were in fact tank traps left over from World War II (these concrete blocks were designed to be impassible for tanks). I could also look over to the narrow spit of land that leads to Spurn Point. This narrow spit of land is less than 100 metres wide at it’s narrowest point, with the sea on one side and the Humber on the other and is 3 miles long and I could see across to the lighthouse near it’s end.
I could also see the industry around Grimsby on the other side of the Humber and was glad I would not have to go back there.
Soon it was time to depart from my resting spot and so I turned inland along the road (Humber Side Lane) to Easington. I’d actually been here before too, for the next walk I have to write up, which I’d actually walked earlier.
Easington is a quiet and pleasant villages, something which really describes most of the villages between here and Hull, with red-brick buildings mostly with red-tiled roofs.
As I’d been here before I headed for the bus stop, which I knew was beside the church. The bus arrived a little early and although more passengers got on later for a while it was only me and the driver on board! It was not a busy route.
I’d reached Patrington earlier than expected this morning and I’d also allowed time in case I was unable to follow my intended route along that dead-end path I’d used earlier and had to use the road, which I hadn’t needed to do.
This meant I’d made an earlier bus than originally expected from Easington. The journey back to Hull is not a direct service so I’d need to change in Patrington. This often seems to involve a 30 minutes wait but on this particular service I only had 5 minutes to make the connection instead, giving a faster journey back to Hull (around 1 hour, rather than 90 minutes). Irritatingly, the buses from Easington and the bus onwards to Hull served different stops in Patrington, but as it turned out they were only about 30 seconds walk between them, so I made the connection OK.
The bus gradually filled and was quite busy as we left Hedon. There is not much accommodation around here so I had opted to stay in Hull and chosen a hotel about half a mile east of the centre, the Cornmill Hotel. This is because the next day I could take the bus from the road outside right back to Patrington, rather than have to go into the centre of Hull first. In addition in my experience hotels in British city centres can be noisy at night at weekends, so I preferred to be a little out.
My hotel was quite distinctive, a converted mill and so I expected to see it from the bus to know where to get off, but I didn’t.
It turns out most buses go along the Holderness Road (where my hotel was) but some go on a nearby parallel road, and I was on one that followed this other parallel road, which I hadn’t realised. It was only when I reached the city centre I realised I’d missed my hotel. Still I was not in a rush and it gave me time to have a look around the centre of Hull again (I think the centre is quite pleasant), though the Minster was undergoing repairs.
I decided once I’d looked around the centre to walk to my hotel, which took a little over 20 minutes.
I was pleased to find the rooms were air conditioned as it was quite a warm day now and that I had been given a room around the back so I was not overlooking this busy main road.
To be honest this was not a wonderful walk, a lot of road walking and even when off the road much of it was inland over farm land. This area is incredibly flat, very similar to Lincolnshire across the Humber and not especially varied or interesting. But it was nice to reach the banks of the Humber further east and follow the river bank for a while. This is also the last walk beside the Humber as I’ll be back to the open sea for my next walk.
Here are details of the public transport needed for this walk. There is a direct bus service between Patrington and Easington, though at other times you will need to change in Withernsea.
East Yorkshire Motor Services bus route 71 : Easinton – Skeffling – Weeton – Welwick – Patrington – Hollym – Holmpton – Withernsea. Unfortunately this bus service is a bit complicated as though all buses operate as route number 71, there are two different routes used. Around half operates via Patrington (serving Patrington and Hollym but not Holmpton) and around half via Holmpton (serving Holmpton but not Patrington and Hollym). This means there are around 6 buses per day that operate directly, Monday – Saturday, with no service on Sundays. You have to check the timetable to find out which. It takes a little under 15 minutes on the direct bus between Easington and Patrington.
If you are on a bus from Easington that does not serve Patrington you can still make a connection in Withernsea, though this will take longer. The details of the buses between Withernsea and Patrington can be found below.
East Yorkshire Motor Services routes 75, 76 and 77 : Withernsea – Hollym – Patrington– Ottringham – Keyingham – Burstwick – Thorngumbald – Hedon – Hull (Paragon Station). Buses run roughly every 30 minutes Monday – Saturday and hourly on Sundays. It takes a little under 20 minutes between Withernsea and Patrington.