[This walk was completed on the 12th November, 2021]
On the other side of the railway bridge, I’m amazed to see a proper, new, public footpath sign. “Heritage Trail”. Well, Lincolnshire, this is a pleasant surprise. A proper footpath!
I walk along the path towards the river, and look across the narrow water of Barrow Haven. Over there is the timber yard I walked through earlier, where an empty arctic is slowly manoeuvering along the quay.
I guess it’s waiting to be loaded with timber.
Reaching the end of the inlet, I look out over the Humber. Definitely feels like river now, although this section is still tidal. Look at all that industry over on the other side!
I’m walking westwards along the bank – the final stretch of my trek up the Lincolnshire coast. I pass a field of static caravans – although these look like holiday homes, rather than a residential park. Regular posts along the path give information about the birds and other features to look out for on your walk.
A sign of the times, but to get access to this information you have to scan a barcode. Nice idea, but I don’t have time to do that.
Onwards. the bridge is slowly drawing nearer. I can make out the individual trucks crossing its enormous span. What a shame the day is too dull for decent photography.
I pass this little yard, where the earth is red, and piles of tiles lie in untidy heaps. Tiles!
I remember the wall of tiles I saw earlier. Perhaps this explains it. They make tiles here and, maybe, they used discarded or cracked ones to build the wall?
The last section of any walk always seems the longest. I’m growing impatient… but, I’m nearly at the bridge.
Of course, I can’t walk directly under the bridge, as my progress is blocked by yet another inlet. Barton Haven. I was planning to walk into Barton-upon-Humber to find some lunch, but discover this modern Visitor’s Centre right next to the bank. It seems spanking new.
I walk in and, yes, they do have a cafe. It’s not busy. Just a family with a toddler and an older couple. We still have to wear masks while we order our food, but can take them off immediately we sit down.
Disappointingly, the cafe doesn’t really give a decent view of the bridge, but seems more focused on the bird life in the nearby pond.
After a refreshing lunch, I leave the Visitor Centre, and walk up the path towards the village.
But I haven’t gone very far, when I spot this footbridge.
Excellent, I can miss out 1/2 mile of extra walking, and cross over the inlet here. I stop half way across to take photos of the boats moored in Barton Haven.
Now, I’m in a place called Barton Waterside – although it’s really just a continuation of Barton-upon-Humber. There are cafes, and a sign tells me there’s a “Humber Bridge Viewing Area” straight ahead.
I’m not expecting much, to be honest, because the view from the Visitor Centre was pretty dismal. But I can’t help feeling a twinge of excitement as I see the bridge ahead.
A plaque on a wall catches my eye (on the left hand side of the photograph above). The Waterside Inn, built 1715, was the staging post for coaches to London, meeting ferries from Hessle and Hull. How long and hazardous the journey to London must have seemed in the 18th Century, and what an adventure it was to get there.
At the end of the road is a car park, but the large expanse of tarmac is broken up by groups of fine trees. And then, something magical happens. The sun comes out!
So, when I reach the river bank, the beautiful Humber Bridge is lit up in a spectacular fashion. How wonderful.
There are more people here than at the Visitor Centre, and for good reason. This is where you need to come if you really want to see the bridge. The walkway along the bank continues right under the bridge’s span
I sit on a bench and enjoy the view.
A ship with a pale-blue hull glides underneath the giant span. I wait until it’s in the perfect position and take a series of photographs. The ship isn’t a small one – and it gives some indication of the size of the bridge.
[Some time later, I realise the Viking Way ends at the Humber Bridge, at about this point, on this same bank, but approaching it from the other direction. I’ve walked the whole of the Viking Way, but have NO RECOLLECTION of the bridge! I checked my Garmin records and – yes – I definitely reached the bridge. My only explanation is that I finished the Viking Way about 2 months before I discovered my beloved huband had betrayed me so absolutely. Maybe I just blanked it from my memory? The mind can play weird tricks sometimes.]
Using full zoom, I take a photo of the pillar on the far side of the Humber. It looks enticing over there… perhaps I should continue walking…
… but I remember I have a mile or so to walk back to The Beast, and then a longish drive back to Manchester. It’s time to leave. Just one more photo…
This was a wonderful way to end a somewhat tedious section of the coast. Overall, I haven’t enjoyed walking the shore of Lincolnshire, with too many deviations, diversions and unpleasant sections, along with some nasty challenges from hostile farmers. It’s been a bit of an ordeal, to be honest. But at least I’ve got it done and dusted.
Next year, I’ll be going back up to Scotland. Can’t wait!
Miles walked today = 8 miles (although not all in the right direction!)
Total along Lincolnshire coast = 188 miles
Total around coast so far = 4,709 miles
Route: (morning in black, afternoon in red)