In every walk with nature, one receives more than he seeks.

John Muir

I am a member of LDWA (Long Distance Walking Association). One of the perks of the membership is having access to hundreds of GPS-recorded trails other members have posted. I can then upload them to my phone and use them to direct me. This is how I have recently found the Wild Yorkshire Way, which has its own website, a 500-mile circular route taking in all the Yorkshires – East, South, West and North and all the National Parks that are in these counties.

Obviously, this will take some time to do, but the nice thing about this one is that most of the route is easily accessible from nearby train stations, so it’ll be easy to do this over time on day trips. Today, I started from the place nearest to where I live – from North Ferriby in East Yorkshire – westwards.

I named this post “North Ferriby to Blacktoft” – that’s where the actual route took me to, but I need to do additional 2 miles north from there to get to Gilberdyke, from where I was able to return home.

The day was incredibly hot – at the height of the heat, it was 27C, and there was very little shade to be had. I am always well prepared – water, food supplies, but the sun was quite harsh and only hid behind the cloud at the end of the trip; the hike got cut short – initially, I wanted to go to Howden, which was another 4 miles or so along the Humber, but it just wasn’t possible.

Okay. It is a short walk from the centre of Ferriby to the banks of the Humber estuary. The first bit was rather tricky – involved some scrambling along the rocky banks, needing to be quite careful not to slip. After just half a mile, though, the trail moves a bit inland and a bit up, overlooking the Humber. In the distance, one can see the Humber Bridge.

The walk is quite flat almost all of the time at this stretch, but often offers excellent views of the estuary.

After passing some industrial (i.e. ugly) areas during the next half a mile, I got to Welton Water (see below). I have lived in Hull since 2014 and have never been here before, and I have to admit, Welton Water is really lovely; today, the sunny weather allowed it to reflect its surroundings against its surface, and the views of the hills in the distance added to the picturesque nature of this place.

After about 3 miles from the beginning of the walk, the route goes past the town of Brough (to the north, inland) and it’s an easy, fast walk. As always, nature offers those little amazing spots from time to time that stick in one’s mind, nurturing it.

A mile later the route passes the Brough railway station very closely and soon a beautiful green walk follows on top of a grassy dyke, with Ellerker Foreshore to one’s left. This is for about 2 miles with the company of sheep grazing. A beautiful, surprisingly peaceful (given its proximity to Brough) place. I was quite jealous of sheep – the day was getting even hotter and they took all the shady space under the trees!

Ellerker Foreshore
A view towards the hills surrounding South Cave (to the north). The Hull-Leeds train line is visible in the foreground.

Not often, but sometimes, routes downloaded off the Internet can be slightly outdated. A path circling the farm at the end of the dyke was marked with a “private access only” sign, so I needed to find a go-around. This took me north on Crabley Lane (crossing the railway line on the way) and then sharply south-west on Ings Lane (along the Transpennine Trail), to the pretty village of Broomfleet. Both these countryside roads are very quiet; there were more cyclists on these than cars.

Looking back towards the east from Crabley Lane
Looking towards the south (in the Humber Estuary direction) from Ings Lane

This detour takes 3 miles! – making it now 9 miles from the beginning of the hike.

On the way to Broomfleet, the walker crosses the railway line again and then a series of wide paths takes one quickly towards the Estuary again.

The sun was quite harsh and put some additional sunblock to protect myself, but kept going! Another mile and I reached the Weighton Lock, which is where the Market Weighton Canal begins. It also overlooks the Whitton Island on the Estuary, seen in the second photo below (the green strip of land that you see there).

The first photo below is about one minute before reaching the Lock – I thought it was a rather stupendously charming-looking place!

After the Lock, the route follows the Estuary banks, but one cannot see the water from the actual path – the view is blocked by the taller dyke to one’s left with no access to it for the most of the way. Now, the route leads the walker along a series of fields for the next 1 mile. A significant change in scenery!

After the 1 mile, the road reaches Riverside Farm and veers just slightly to the left and up a dyke and we now get to see the actual Estuary again. The dyke will take the walker all the way into the village of Blacktoft, approximately 2 miles. On the way, there are some bodies of water (my map has them nameless) in the Faxfleet Ness area and lovely uninterrupted views of the Humber Estuary.

The weather was changing slowly – my hike was timed so that I could avoid a very rainy weather at the end of the day. It was getting cloudy – thus far more bearable when the sun hid behind the darkening clouds. The first droplets of rain feel as I reached Blacktoft, but the heavens decided not to open quite yet.

Now, technically, here is where I should have stopped, after 13 miles, as the Wild Yorkshire Way route continues west from here. However, I now needed to get to Gilberdyke, 3 miles north from the village. The path to Gilberdyke runs along Anserdam Drain almost all of the way in an almost perfect straight line.

The path quickly clears the last buildings of Blacktoft and follows a comfortable wide path, passing a number of fields along the way. The large dark cloud accompanied me all this way to my left, creating some rather awe-inspiring light effects!

Leaving Blacktoft

About 1.5 mile before my destination, I took a right turn and then back left (towards the north) and followed a road all the way to the Gilberdyke train station.

Somewhat exhausted – mostly due to the scorching heat – but a good hike nonetheless!

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