458pm Grimsby to Immingham

[This walk was completed on the 9th November 2021]

The river bank stretches ahead. Immingham Docks – which I could see from the very beginning of the bank – don’t seem any nearer.

I pass a strange little concrete box. Is it a WW2 defence box? A type of pill box? If so, I’ve never seen one that looks like this before. It could also be a bus shelter, I suppose, but unlikely as this isn’t a road. A bird hide?

I take a look inside, and it turns out to be full of empty cans of beer. I can’t tell why it was built, and its purpose remains a mystery.

Further along, a long drain pipe empties into the Humber. Sewage? Or discharge from one of the ‘Works’ inland?

The walkway takes a sudden twist inland, and I stop to take photogaphs of this structure, which I think is a ‘Power Station’, as marked on the map. It looks beautiful in the sunlight.

In a nearby dip, at the foot of a shallow bank and almost hidden among bushes and tall grasses, is a concrete post. Looks like a trig point, but why so low down? It’s not marked on my map. Another mystery.

The walkway has twisted round to avoid a little creek. Now it returns to it’s usual course. And I spot a van parked on the bank. Wonder what it is doing there?

On the concrete path, I notice some footprints. Nothing too unusual about that…

…but these are raised footprints. Raised! Not sunken into the concrete. How did that happen? Very strange.

This walk is full of mysterious things. Like this graffiti, for example – who is Mr Suds and why is he next to the word ‘toothbrush’?

This path is getting crowded. A cyclist whizzed past me earlier, and now a couple of runners come running towards me and, a few minutes later, overtake me again, heading back the way they came.

I hear the sound of a car engine. Yes, it’s an actual car, driving along the path, followed by a couple of yappy little dogs. Oh my goodness, has their owner forgotten to put them in the car? It takes me a few seconds to work out what is happening…

… as the driver hangs out the window to check on the dogs’ progress, I realise he is taking them for a walk! Lazy man.

There’s another car, coming towards me. I duck into one of the conveniently placed passing spots, and wait for it to crawl past. I didn’t expect to see so many cars on this walkway.

[Later, a man in a shop explains that this section of the river bank has had a real problem with traffic, particularly boy racers, and that is why the lower exit at the southern end of the path has been blocked off.]

Below me, on a seaweed strewn patch of shore, a man has two fishing lines set up. It’s one of the few places along the shore that is not covered in mud and where it’s safe to stand. I wonder if he catches much?

I’m passing another industrial complex. ‘Works’ says my map. This one has a tall mesh-wire fence, but it appears to be broken in places. A sign warns that I am walking close to a ‘Major Hazard Chemical Plant’. Apparently, the alarm is tested every Tuesday morning, but if I hear sirens flashing at any other time ‘please leave the area immediately.’

The general air of decay, and the broken fence, don’t fill me with much confidence about the safety measures taken by this particular chemical plant. I quicken my pace.

Finally, I’m drawing close to Immingham Docks.

I pass a long jetty, and then another drain outlet. Stallingborough North Beck Outfall.

Just past this, a public footpath joins the river bank. I know I could take this route into Immingham, but I’m hoping to find a way through the docks. So I carry on walking along the bank.

Sadly, as I get closer to the edge of the docks, where a long jetty stretches out into the Humber, I realise the way ahead is blocked. There’s a large fence, a locked gate, and a man in a guard house.

No way through!

Reluctantly, I turn back and march along the bank until I reach the junction with the public footpath. Ah, but this path turns out to be really lovely.

Sadly, after less than a mile, I reach the end of the path and have to join a road. Here, I’m saddened to see litter scattered around. Someone has slung a plastic bag over a fence post in an apparent effort to provide an impromptu litter bin. I wonder if anybody ever comes and emties the bag?

I walk along the road, which starts of quietly, but soon morphs into the access road for Immingham Docks, and becomes noisy. Great trucks thunder by. I’m glad there is a wide verge to walk along.

The start of the road is called Queen’s Road, and it passes through a strange little row of residential houses, before becoming King’s Road.

The houses in this short residential strip look rather sad. Many are for sale, some are boarded up. But someone has put up a neat little chalet-bungalow. Looks newish, with wooden cladding and a continental feel about it.

Leaving the buildings behind, and continuing along King’s Road, I join the busy A1173. A sign tells me I am entering the port town of Immingham.

Luckily, close to this sign, is a footpath. I cross the road and am glad to leave the busy A1173 behind…

… passing through a field, over a brook, and then…

… through a strip of established but coppiced trees, before entering a newly-planted meadow, full of young trees. The sun is low now, and the trees still have their autumn leaves. It’s a lovely, colourful end to the walk.

I leave the wooded meadow, and follow a footpath that takes me to the end of a residential street. It’s strange to go straight from countryside into residential streets – I always find the abrupt change a bit disconcerting.

I walk through the streets of Immingham. Stop at a corner shop to buy a few snacks to eat in my van – aka the wonderful Beast. The shopkeeper notes my backpack and walking stick and asks where I’ve walked from. Seems suprised that I’ve walked all the way from Grimsby and asks if the river bank seemed safe.

He tells me that it had become unpleasant to walk along the bank because of all the cars and the boy racers. I told him the lower section was now blocked off to traffic, and maybe that had improved things.

Here is my lovely Beast, parked beside the County Hotel, just where I left him this morning.

In case you are wondering what a retired doctor eats as part of a healthy afternoon snack… well, I’m ashamed to show you… but… here is my afternoon tea.

I really enjoyed the walk today. The river bank was easy walking, and the scenery was full of interesting structures and mysterious things. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?


Miles walked today = 9.5 miles

Total distance around coast = 4,685 miles

Route (morning in black, afternoon in red):


About Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.
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8 Responses to 458pm Grimsby to Immingham

  1. tonyhunt2016 says:

    This east coast walk strikes me as going above and beyond in the pursuit of completeness. All credit to you for sticking at it – I’d be off cherry-picking some nicer stretches of coastline to walk, but perhaps you have done this as well.

    • I think there is something magical about the fens and the east coast – when the light is right and the air is clear, and you can actually find a way along the sea wall… but, yes, it’s been difficult and rather a slog.

  2. jcombe says:

    Your food is fine. It is a *diet* Pepsi, after all 🙂

    Ah so perhaps it was this bit I was remembering that had cars on it. Either way I was surprised to see that. I also remember that run down street of residential houses in an otherwise industrial area. I presume they must have been workers cottages at some point, I can’t think why else they would have been built in such an industrial area, isolated from any other houses.

    • It was a weird little stretch. I was taken by the one smart little chalet bungalow among all the dilapidated buildings. Maybe very cheap area for those who want to buy a house and don’t mind the surroundings, Bit grim.

  3. I quite enjoy that kind of urban walking in reasonable doses with much to see. At first I thought Beast was parked on double yellows, but looking closely maybe not? If not I wonder why that short stretch was left un-restircted?

  4. Nick says:

    Funny how people perceive an area differently. We found Grimsby interesting if down at heel. The harbour board building and the Prince Albert statue opposite were impressive. The raised pedestrian walkway between the two carriageways of the A180 must be a one off. The coastal path between Pyewipe and Immingham Docks east has some old, un pc and quite funny graffiti. Most people we saw spoke and we had some good chats – something of a rarity. Three youths on bikes were looking at the curlews and wondering what they were. I gave them some info and the same for the oystercatchers and godwits. The lads really appreciated it and went off talking about them. One day I will go back with some binoculars. The number of birds is very impressive.

  5. Karen White says:

    The chemical plant is a bit intimidating with its warning about the wailing siren in the event of disaster. It doesn’t inspire confidence.
    The autumn colours towards the end of your walk are beautiful.

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