Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.

Gary Snyder

Previously, I had finished at Gilberdyke, which has a train station, but is 3 miles away from the actual Wild Yorkshire Way route (in Blacktoft), so my second day on the trail necessarily involved walking the 3 miles to Blacktoft. It was about 5.30am when I started that Saturday!

The first photo is precisely in the place where I reconnected with the Way.

The entire way that day was entirely on the flat and most of it on flood banks along River Ouse (at Blacktoft, Humber Estuary finished and west of it is River Ouse). It made for easy walking (although the grassy surface is not as easy on the feet as you might think – after 20 miles, I mean!), but it was also somewhat monotonous at times. What it was, however, was peaceful.

There was a pleasant breeze that morning as I was walking along the Humber. After about 1 mile, the tiny hamlet of Yokefleet is on one’s right.

Passing Yokefleet (to my right in the photo)

Again and again, over the course of this walk, I had the wide views of the sort you can see below – walking on flood banks with wide flat spaces around me.

After 7 miles from Gilberdyke, I reachd the village of Saltmarshe – quite pretty and picturesque located along a floodbank here. There were a few benches overlooking the river with pleasant views of the opposite (south) bank, so I took my first break of the day here for some sustenance and water.

From here, the trail turns north inland for about 1 mile before rejoining the banks again. On the way is a lovely area of Saltmarshe Park. A pretty green area belonging, I imagine to the Saltmarshe Hall here, although I did think it was a shame there were no paths for walkers or just local strollers made here.

The route rejoins the bank of the river just 5 minutes south of Skelton, but before it does, I came across the lovely Saltmarshe Delph (below) just off Moorfields Lane.

Salthmarshe Delph

The next 3 miles, first passing Skelton north and crossing Howdendyke, where the trail following the river takes a turn south-west, offer nothing of interest really, the walking is on streets and past some industrial areas. There is something very impressive about the enormous M62 motorway leading into Goole here, seen from the banks of the river; having said that, it was very noisy for a while.

M62 and River Ouse, looking south; near Howden

Luckily, it was getting more peaceful by the minute. Leaving the Howden area behind me, the path became almost immediately rural and peaceful as I was walking towards Barmby on the Marsh.

It is unfortunately that the industrial views here spoil the countryside views to some extent, but it is nonetheless a very serene area.

At Barmby, one crosses a bridge over River Derwent just as it joins River Ouse. Below is the view from just near that bridge. Having been determinedly barked at by two dogs with clearly unfulfilled life behind the fence of a house on the outskirts of Barmby, I took the opportunity to sit near the bridge as another bench presented itself here. I had now walked 16 miles.

There were about 7 miles left to my destination that day – Selby. In a straight line, it is much shorter, but the river now takes several meanders and the route follows the flood banks.consistently, with the river to one’s left all the time.

Immediately, out of Barmby, an encounter with this enchanting spot (the river is here to the left over the flood bank arising in the photo on the left).

A mile later or so the walker passes Hemingsbrough to their right, with the river occasionally become wider twisting left and right towards Selby. Frequently, the flood banks are occupied by cows proudly eating their grass and seeming to believe that moving aside for any kind of human would be beyond their dignity, so occasionally I needed to do semi-circles around them.

Looking east (thus the river is on my right, not left, here)

My last brief stop was about 3 or 4 miles before Selby, under a tree overlooking the river. It was cloudy all the way as you can see from the photos, but as it was now midday, it was getting considerable more humid and the shade and another drink of water helped.

Eventually, two miles before reaching Selby, the route leaves the flood banks and continues on firm road (Ouse Bank) until the town. The photo below was taken about 2 minutes’ walk before joining Ouse Bank.

The route quickly becomes very industrial. The last photo I took that day was in the spot below – a rather bizarre juxtaposition of the countryside still and an industrial complex ahead.

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