I had become very complacent with all the fine weather we had been having recently, so much so, that I had decided to make an opportune one day visit to the East Riding of Yorkshire without checking the weather. I left Shropshire at 04:00 and it was raining. As I set off the forecast was not good – heavy rain for most of the day. I was sorely tempted to turn around and go back to bed. However, I do not mind getting wet, especially if I am only doing a day’s walk and can return to the car, where a change of clothes would wait. What I didn’t consider was the days walk would be predominantly on the grassy sea wall and this was a Friday with all of the traffic problems that an impending Bank Holiday brings.
I needed to bridge a small gap in the local public transport so I took my bike along. I drove to and parked in the small village of Patrington, from there I got booted up and cycled the small distance to the neighbouring village of Welwick and then down a cul-de-sac lane towards the Humber. On the cycle down I passed a sculpture of a group of metal figures depicting the 4 main conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot. Two of the plotters were John and Christopher Wright who hailed from nearby Plowlands Farm.
I chained up my bike to a post on Welwick Salt Marsh and set off down the sea wall. Within 10 minutes my boots and trousers were soaking wet. The lush grass on the sea wall was above my knees and in places up to my waist! It was also soaking wet. The rain had not abated and would be with me for the rest of the day. One of my first obstacles was to get over the Patrington Channel, one of the many drainage channels in this flat-lying, rich agricultural land. I had seen a short-cut on the map in the form of a building with a sluice gate spanning the channel. Normally these bridges/buildings do not allow people to cross and have measures to block any climbing around the barriers. Stupidly I decided to take a look which involved almost a mile of extra walking, which revealed as I expected, no way across at that point. I continued along the side of fields and emerged at a track which spanned the Channel and continued past Outstay Farm. I regained the grassy sea wall and continued west. I passed a marker indicating I was on the Greenwich Meridian, I continued along the sea bank into the Western Hemisphere.
I had little in the way of views, as the clag was down and I could not even see across the Humber to Lincolnshire. I could hear the dull thud of ships engines out in the estuary. One ship came into view, it was the Yasmine a roll-on/roll-off cargo ship arriving from Rotterdam. I was well and truly soaked to the skin on my lower half as I rounded Hawkins Point. My spirits were up though and I was keen to keep my phone, wallet and car keys dry – as I had stupidly left my rucksack dry sack at home! Doh! As I approached Stone Creek I was surrounded by a magnificent display of Hawthorn blossom. I crossed over the Ottringham Drain and intended to continue along the grassy sea wall with a public path towards the village of Paull. Unfortunately there was a footpath closure notice pinned to the gate for a large section further up the path. There were no alternate diversions and the notice advised using local roads.
I planned a route that would take me inland towards the village of Thorngumbald. I set off down the depressingly long straight roads in the pouring rain. I decided after about two miles to end my walk at Thorngumbald. The rain and my squelching boots did not help and I was getting to feel a bit pee’d off with my situation. I knew Thorngumbald sat on the A1033 and had regular buses between Hull and Withernsea, I did not have to wait long and caught the#77 bus service back to Patrington and my car. I felt sorry for the next person who sat on my vacated bus seat, as I left a large pool of rainwater on my seat.
Distance today = 16 miles
Total distance = 3,818 miles