Day 275 Rambling across the Severn Bridge to ENGLAND

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Caldicot to Avonmouth, Bristol

15 miles

Oli and Laura’s house, Cardiff

The New Severn Bridge in the morning mist
Such a beautiful morning, very sunny but then it got mistier as we approached the Severn Estuary. Oliver dropped me back at Caldicot and I got straight on the coast path, crossed the M4, and headed for the new Severn Bridge. It didn’t take long for the most to burn off. 

walking under the bridge
I passed underneath the first bridge (built in 1996) and immediately came upon the village of Sudbrook; built to house workers constructing the Severn railway tunnel 1873-86. It took 3000 men to build this 4-mile long tunnel. The original pumping station is still in use. 

the old rail track through Sudbrook
Sudbrook Pumping Station, still in use
looking back at Sudbrook Pumping Station and the new Severn Bridge
Black Rock picnic area is the site of the only remaining lave net heritage fishery. People wade out into the Severn and catch salmon in nets that look like a bigger version of one a child would use. 

the Black Rock Lave Net Fishing Hut
I could see the old Severn Bridge; a bit hazy in the bright sun. 

walking towards the old Severn Bridge
I started walking along the estuary towards it but soon the path veered inland across farmers’ fields. One farmer was out sheering his sheep, blocking a gate I needed to get through. He was very friendly and rounded his sheep up into a smaller pen to allow me to get past. It was only after I’d gone past that I realised I was on the wrong path. Oops. Well I couldn’t go back so I had to adjust my route slightly but it wasn’t a problem. 

The New Severn Bridge…
…The Old Severn Bridge
I walked through the village of Mathern, with its statue of the Celtic King Tewdrig of Gwent. He defeated the Saxons in battle near Tintern but was mortally wounded and died on his journey to Flat Holm. Mathern Church was built where he died and the village grew up around it. 

King Tewdrig in front of Mathern Church
I made it to the bridge. A magnificent suspension bridge opened in 1966, a long time after the train tunnel. I walked across it and into England. (It’s actually 4 bridges.)

Crossing the bridge to England
I noted that the sun was shining and hoped that was a good portent as it rained on me when I reached Scotland, was sunny when I crossed from Scotland to England, and grey when I entered Wales. Those initial weather signs would each be good descriptors for the weather I encountered afterwards. I hope it’s the same this time!

the only welcome sign I could find – on the motorway
I walked across the M48 tolls and into the service station, where I sat down to wait for people to join me for my first walk in England. My ex-friend, Sally, had written to the Radio 4 Ramblings programme and so Clare Balding and her producer, Lucy, were coming to walk with me. I was not looking forward to it and had roped in Laura to join us. 

preparing to walk with Clare and Lucy
After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing with cars we all set off from Aust to an industrial estate on the outskirts of Avonmouth. We were following the Severn Way Path so that made navigation a bit easier having left the Wales Coast Path behind.  

another way-marked path to follow
It turned out to be a really fun afternoon and they were good company. 

me and Clare pretending to look at the map (after I persuaded her to put the costa coffee cup down)
recording in progress
It remained sunny all afternoon as we walked along the estuary, past Severn Beach and under the M4 bridge (for the second time today). 

the new Severn Bridge from the English side
Clare, Lucy and Laura with the old Severn Bridge in the distance
Because of the uncertainty of today I had arranged to spend one last night with Oli and Laura, so I was driven back into Wales one last time. Laura and I went straight to the park for an icecream to celebrate a fun afternoon. 

who needs the Golden Gate Bridge when we’ve got this one?

Day 270 Newport Transporter Bridge

Friday 29 April 2016

Nr St Brides Wentlooge to Newport

8 miles

Oli and Laura’s house

Oliver cooked me a bacon and egg sandwich and then drove me back to the sea wall leading from Cardiff to Newport. What a great brother I’ve got!

The weather was very changeable today, bright sunshine interspersed with heavy showers. I survived 3 such showers without getting wet. The first came after only 5 minutes of walking and I was just by a cafe so I ran inside and had a coffee. 

walking the sea wall – ominous dark clouds over Newport Power Station!
The sea wall reminded me of Essex and the low lying land with ditches was rather like the Norfolk Fens; there even seem to be a smattering of Dutch names!

West Usk lighthouse marked the turn inland up the Ebbw River. I had to run to the lighthouse and take cover behind a wall from the second downpour. 

West Usk Lighthouse (now a B&B)
The next bit of the path was completely blocked by a herd of about 50 cows and a bull. Only one thing for it, I tried to look big and shoo them all away. Scary, but I managed it and then I walked very quickly around the path to get away from them. 

I had to get through there! I can now add cow herding to my list of skills
I arrived in the outskirts of Newport and survived my third shower standing behind a tree. I don’t think the path went through the best bits of town, at least I hope it didn’t. 

Welcome to Newport!
I arrived at the Newport Transporter Bridge and went into the small visitor centre. Having been on the Middlesborough Transporter Bridge already on my trip I was keen to go on this one, the only other working transporter bridge in the UK and one of only 6 worldwide (only 20 were ever built). 

the Newport Transporter Bridge looking magnificent
The Newport Bridge is even older than the Middlesborough one. It was built in 1906 and then restored and reopened in 1995. It crosses the River Usk and was built to ferry the workers to the steel plant.  

lots of photos of the transporter bridge
the gondola approaching
Before I crossed the bridge, first I was meeting Chris and Ginny for lunch at one of the old pubs next door, The Waterloo. It was great to catch up with Chris. 

the amazing bar in The Waterloo Hotel, complete with tiles (it is grade I listed)
After lunch I met Oliver and we climbed up the Transporter Bridge together and walked across the top platform. Once on the other side we caught the gondola back across the River Usk. We were lucky that the views were great this afternoon. 

Me and Oli walking across the top of the transporter bridge
looking through the walkway as the gongola passed beneath

the view up the River Usk into Newport

Day 210 Soaking Wet Shoes, Scones and Sunburn!

Sunday 1 November 2015

Cemlyn Bay to Holyhead

18 miles

The Beach Hut Guest House

Is it really November? Today was one of the hottest and sweatiest walks I’ve done since April. I found out in the evening that Ceredigion in mid-Wales reached 22.4C and broke the UK November temperature record. I think they should have had thermometers on NW Anglesey!

Cemlyn Bay in the morning sun
  
Cemlyn Bay
 Barry kindly gave me a lift down to Cemlyn Bay for an 8 am start. It was already warm enough for just shorts and a t-shirt and the sun was trying to burn through the morning mist. The sea was calm and beautiful in the strange morning light and the Oystercatchers and Curlews were out in force.   

Lovely little bays – havens for waders
 The walk to Carmel Head was up and down, across field of cows and over fern-clad headlands. Despite the sun and warmth the grass was wet all day and within an hour my boots were soaked through.  

The cliff path, Middle Mouse in the background
 Although it was misty I could easily see West Mouse and, further out, The Skerries. Both islands had lighthouses. There were also 3 tall stacks on the mainland: one chimney and two pyramid-like white stacks. I don’t what they were for but they did seem to be in line with the West Mouse lighthouse.  

I can see The Skerries, and 3 strange towers
  
3 towers on the cliff top
 I rounded Carmel Head and nearly walked right into a Buzzard sat in the grass. I saw several Buzzards and Kestrels today. I could also see just how turbulent the water is at the NW tip of Anglesey.  

Looking down the West coast of Anglesey
 I reached Church Bay in time for early elevenses at the excellent Wavecrest Cafe. Top marks for their incredible scones and good timing by me as today was the last day of opening in 2015. (I suspect closed cafes might be a theme from now on.) 

What a good looking scone!
 Refreshed, I carried on in the heat and the haze. I left the ups and downs of the North behind and came across more sandy bays. Some people were in the sea – paddling, paddle boarding and canoeing.  

It’s a hot and sunny 1st of November!
 I could see Holyhead Mountain through the haze and the big ferries coming and going.  

Looking across Holyhead Bay to Holyhead Mountain and a ferry in port
 Another of Thomas Telford’s masterpieces: The Stanley Embankment, links Anglesey to Holy Island, carrying 2 main roads (A55 and A5) and a railway line. No wonder it was very noisy crossing it.  

Walking across the Stanley Embankment to Holy Island
 I walked through Penrhos Coastal Park, which is on land owned by the Aluminium Smelting Works, and walked into Holyhead. 

I think fairies live in this tree in Penrhos Park
 Although this town is on a small island off Anglesey, it is Anglesey’s largest town and a busy port.   

Approaching Holyhead
 I walked to my hotel and there was a notice stuck to the door telling me that Dave was out buying bread and milk and would be back soon. I thought I’d earned a beer so I went into the Kings Arms next door for a pint and a packet of crisps. It was only 4.30pm so I probably shouldn’t have been surprised by the state of the very few clientele: seriously drunk. This including the barman who could barely stand or hold a conversation, though he kept trying the latter. I learned that Welsh men are great in bed and Richie (who came into the pub for some gravy!) only lives round the corner if I fancy it. I didn’t stay long.  

 

Day 206 Over the Bridge to Anglesey

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Bangor to Beaumaris, Anglesey

8 miles

The Liverpool Arms

Another fine day. Esta and Alan very kindly drove me back to Bangor in the morning; yet another drive along the A55, a road I’m getting to know, with all the beautiful Autumn colours of the trees on show. We arrived late morning and went for an early lunch at the end of Bangor Pier.  

Bangor Pier and Porth Penrhyn from Beaumaris
 We had a Welsh Tea – tea with welsh cakes and bara brith. I was packed off with the leftovers as a picnic.  

Esta and Alan on Bangor Pier
 I said goodbye again and headed the short distance to the Menai Suspension Bridge. It is a good-looking bridge designed by Thomas Telford and opened in 1826 to complete the London to Holyhead road (the A5).  

The Menai Bridge
Another view of the spectacular Menai Bridge
 Crossing the Menai Straits meant I was now on the Isle of Anglesey, with its 125 mile long coast path.  

 The view from the bridge was one to be savoured.  

A great view up the Menai Straits towards Bangor
so beautiful in the sunshine
 Once I was out of the aptly-named town next to the bridge, Menai Bridge, the coast path followed the minor roads along slightly higher ground. This afforded me some good views across to Snowdonia, in particular up the Nant Francon Valley to Tryfan. I did also see Snowdon. 

Looking towards Tryfan
  
Snowdon
 Beaumaris is a smart, touristy town and I arrived just as the sun was setting.  

The view from the hill above Beaumaris towards Puffin Island
approaching Beaumaris
 I wandered around to see the castle, built in 1295 by Edward I and considered the most technically perfect of his 4 North Wales castles.  

Beaumaris Castle
  
An archway in Beaumaris that apparently hosts the largest single-hinged door in the world
 The view from the end of Beaumaris’ small pier as the sun set was quite lovely. I was able to linger and enjoy it as I was staying on the high street. The room was adequate and I didn’t have to leave the premises to get some dinner.  

Sunset on Beaumaris Pier
  
Looking the other way
 

Day 120 Ferries, Bridges and Castles around Loch Linnhe

Monday 3 August 2015

Craignure, Mull to Oban, Argyll and Bute

Driving tour

Corran House Hostel

It was raining again when I left the bunkhouse and headed just down the road to the Fishnish ferry terminal. I think this is the smallest and quietest ferry terminal on Mull and so I was in one of only 4 cars to board the ferry to Lochaline.  

Fantastic roads right on the edge of Loch Linnhe, driving through the rain
 Back on the mainland I was once again in the Highlands for a short time as I headed up the West side of Loch Linnhe to Corran. Here I could get a ferry across the Loch, thus avoiding a 40 mile drive around the Loch, via Fort William. What a bonus to arrive and drive straight on board the packed ferry without having to queue.  

The Corran Ferry across Loch Linnhe
 The first of 3 bridges for today was the magnificent Ballachulish Bridge spanning the point where Lochs Linnhe and Leven meet.  

Ballachulish Bridge
 A bit further along the coast there were good views of Castle Stalker, a Clan Campbell residence, marooned on a small island at high tide. The best views were from a well-positioned cafe so naturally I took full advantage and took a break. 

Castle Stalker
 Next up was Creagan Bridge, across Loch Creran and then finally Connel Bridge, which took me out of the Highlands and back into Argyll and Bute.  

Looking back at the Connel Bridge from Dunbeg
 As I approached Oban I stopped at Dunstaffnage Castle for a quick look at one of the oldest stone castles in Scotland. Built on a promontory overlooking the Firth of Lorn it has a great strategic position and is supposedly where the Stone of Destiny was brought from Ireland (later the Stone of Scone). It was once the seat of power for the rulers of Dalriada, the ancient Gaelic Kingdom that included much of Western Scotland and a bit of Northern Ireland.  

Dunstaffnage Castle
 As I approached Oban the sun started to come out for the evening and I could have camped but I’d already booked a hostel to escape the bad weather. I drove around Oban and along the front towards Dunollie Castle, the capital of the Kingdom of Lorn and the seat of the Clan Macdougall Chief, Lord of the Isles.  

Dunollie Castle, Oban
 By the castle is a huge rock that is known as the dog stone. Folklore says this is where the Celtic mythological giant Fingal tethered his dog Bran.  

Fingal’s dog stone
 I thought Oban was quite a good looking and busy town based around a port and sheltered by islands. For the best view I walked up the hill at the back of the town to McCaig’s Tower, a circular wall built to resemble the Colosseum.  

McCaig’s Tower on the hill overlooking Oban
 A ridiculous folly but it’s a great view point to watch the sun setting over Oban Bay.  

Sun setting over Oban Bay
 The hostel I was staying in was packed and I was sharing a cramped 6-person room with 5 blokes. I definitely should have camped! I decided to go for a nice meal to forget about the cramped, smelly room that awaited and so I splashed out on a good restaurant. The thing about being in my own is that places can often just fit me in without a reservation. I got lucky at Ee-Usk on the North Pier and had a lovely seafood dinner.  

 

Day 91 The Road to Easter Ross

Sunday 5 July 2015

Cromarty to Evanton

17 miles

Black Rock Caravan Park Bunkhouse

As the Nigg Ferry wasn’t running I was going to have to walk inland to the A9 road crossing of the Cromarty Firth in order to leave the Black Isle and head North into Easter Ross. After a big breakfast I set off alongside Cromarty Bay. This was to be a day of road walking.  

The Cromarty Firth complete with oil rigs, the Sutors at the entrance
 It was a grey but warm day; not great visibility for views. The deep water of the Cromarty Firth was used by the Royal Navy for over 300 years, including as a harbour for the Atlantic Fleet during WW2. When the Navy left in the 1950s it left behind the oil fuel depot and the oil industry moved in. The Nigg Fabrication Yard and oil terminal were right in the eyeline from Cromarty, and then there were the 8 oil rigs that were in the Firth at the moment. Invergordon is the hub for rig repairs so rigs are often laid up in the Cromarty Firth (they might also be surplus rigs as production is cut back) and they really dominate the surroundings.  

Nigg Fabrication Yard as viewed from Cromarty
 I walked around the Udale RSPB Reserve to Newhall Point, right opposite Invergordon at another ‘neck’ in the Firth. Here I had a break to tend to my first blister since Norfolk and to look at the oil rigs. Invergordon is also a cruise liner port; a big one left last night and there was only a small one docked today.  

Looking at Invergordon from Newhall Point
 I walked to the rundown Balblair pier hoping to find a path that was indicated on the map. Some ship workers soon put me straight that there wasn’t a path and I was forced back up the hill onto the road for a 7 mile trek to the bridge. After about 3 miles with cars dodging me I finally plucked up the courage to thumb a lift and I got lucky as the first car stopped. A very nice lady gave me a lift to the A9, saving me 4 boring miles. 

The next bit was to cross the A9 bridge, which was not the most pleasant experience. There was only a small pavement alongside a very busy main road. I was fortunate only 1 lorry went past.  

Walking the A9 across the bridge to Easter Ross
 I had to continue for another 2 miles along the verge of the A9, right beside the North side of the Cromarty Firth, until I got to the Foulis Point Heritage Centre. I stopped here for a break and just sat on a sofa in the busy restaurant and read a newspaper. No one bothered me even though I didn’t buy anything.  

 I only had 2 more miles along minor roads into Evanton. I was the only one staying in the bunkhouse at the campsite, but I was glad to be inside when the heavy rain arrived later in the evening.  

 

Day 71 Return to Fife

Monday 15 June 2015

Dundee to Wormit (across Tay Bridge)
5 miles
Ruth’s house

I left Shetland on the Sunday evening ferry and, after 12 hours of mostly lying down trying not to let the motion of the boat make me feel sick, I arrived at Aberdeen at 7 am. I caught the train from Aberdeen to Dundee and then walked over the Tay Bridge and back into the Kingdom of Fife. Unusually, pedestrians walk down the middle of the bridge with the traffic lanes either side. Not sure it’s my favourite design!

Walking over the Tay Bridge with Dundee Law behind me
  My friend Ruth had kindly offered me the use of his house so I can hopefully walk “light” for a few days around the Fife coast. 

Although not technically a walking day I still covered 5 miles of coastline and then a further 3 walking to and from the shops. I also managed to get a haircut. And all this while still feeling the motion of the boat; I must have looked drunk as I felt like I was swaying more than walking! 

Looking at the Tay Bridge and Dundee

Day 59 Edinburgh and the Bridge over the Forth

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Musselburgh to North Queensferry
55 miles cycling (25 miles of coast covered)
Ali’s house

I have to admit I wasn’t overly excited about walking around the Edinburgh City coastline so when Ali suggested cycling instead I jumped at the chance. What a great idea. I would cover the same coastal route and could fit more in on a bike. 

I set off through Dalkeith Country Park to the coast at Musselburgh. The first section was mostly on promenades through Joppa and Portobello; which seemed like quite an upmarket seaside town with some upmarket cafes.  

Portobello
 After that it’s around the corner, negotiating the Port of Leith. There is a sewage works and some industrial buildings to get around first and the walk/bike signs sent me down a dead end into Leith industrial estate so I was glad not to be walking. I popped around the back of the Ocean Terminal shopping centre to get a glimpse of the Royal Yacht Britannia that is permanently moored here and you can pay to visit.  

Royal Yacht Britannia
The route along the North coast of Edinburgh was quite dull until I reached Silverknowles and zipped along the promenade towards Crammond Island.  

The Crammond Fish with Crammond Island in the background
The tide was coming in and, despite all the sand in the photo, I didn’t have time to cross to the island and back. From here I had to take a 1.5 mile detour inland in order to cross the River Almond. I followed a footpath and had to carry the bike up and down a few steps. Not too hard though.  

The River Crammond
 It was easy cycling through the park land surrounding Dalmeny House.  
Dalmeny House
 As I cycled out of Dalmeny Park suddenly it was there, right in front of me, the Forth rail bridge. What a magnificent sight.  

Forth bridges
 I stopped in South Queensferry to admire the view. This little town maintains a cobbled street and some quaint, old shops and taverns, and it is the disembarkation point for people arriving on huge liners to visit Edinburgh. Fortunately none were docked in the Forth today and it was rather quiet.  

Cycling to the road bridge
 The cycle over the bridge was great as the views were amazing. I can’t believe I didn’t know a 2nd road bridge is being built; a sign I’m from the South I suppose.  

It’s not just Paris that has padlocks on bridges!
 Once off the bridge I cycled up the Ferry Hills overlooking a large quarry and then down a very steep hill into North Queensferry. I admired the old pier and the light tower that enabled the boats that provided the Queensferry passage in the 1800s, before the rail bridge was built in 1890. 

It was time to head back across the bridge and I was lucky that the number 1 cycle route goes from the Forth Road Bridge, through Edinburgh city centre, all the way to Dalkeith. (Actually it goes from Dover to Shetland.) Brilliant. I followed it all the way back and only got lost once when the signs disappeared as I exited Meadow Park near the university. What a bonus; all the city sights as well as the coast path. What a great day. I was tired and had a sore backside by the end though! 

cycling up the hill past Edinburgh Castle

Day 46 Tyne and Wear

Thursday 21 May 2015

Sunderland to Whitley Bay
16 miles
Esplanade Lodge Guest House

Today I crossed 2 rivers, the Tyne and the Wear. First up was the Wearmouth Bridge, linking the 2 halves of Sunderland. 

road and rail bridges across the Wear
 A pleasant walk follows the cycle way to the end of the coast-to-coast cycle route (which I did in 2010) and there are plenty of information boards to read. Once past the Wear mouth it’s North to South Shields along a lovely bit of coastline. The beaches are long and sandy and the magnesian limestone cliffs have eroded and left a few interesting stacks and caves.  

How many cormorants can fit on one rock?
 The Wherry is a quaint little bay with a rock stack in the middle that used to divide the boy’s side from the girls’ when it was popular in the early 1900s.  

The Wherry and Souter lighthouse
 Souter lighthouse is the landmark at Lizard Point and overlooks Marsden Bay, the site of Marsden Rock.  

Marsden Rock in the middle of Marsden Bay
 The Rock used to be bigger and was a distinct landmark for passing boats to navigate by and for people to congregate on (saw a great photo of a Mass taking place on the rock in 1910). The coastline around here was a smuggler’s paradise as well as being good for quarrying. Marsden had a quarry, limestone kilns and a purpose built village on the cliff that was demolished when the industry closed and now there’s no trace of it.  

Marsden limestone kilns closed in the 1960s
The walk around the South Shields headland was more dull, although there were plenty of quirky sculptures and things to see.  

Little Haven little people. A bit weird.
 The council were busy building up the beach.  
maybe there’s not enough sand? Tynemouth Castle in the background
I caught the foot ferry across the Tyne to North Shields and then walked along the old Tynemouth quayside, now devoid of industry but with a few cafes and fish shops. Tynemouth headland, and the town on the cliff, looks very nice. Fantastic position for the 14th Century castle and Benedictine priory, where 3 kings were buried.  
Tynemouth Castle and Priory overlook King Edward’s Beach
 A walk along Long Sands beach brought me to Whitley Bay, a slightly run down resort in the process of being ‘improved’.  

derelict swimming pool, Long Sands and Whitley Bay
  The South side of the town overlooks the pretty Cullercoats Bay with its history of fishing, lifeboats and as a destination for artists. 

Cullercoats Bay

Day 33 Across the Humber Bridge

Friday 8 May 2015

New Holland to Paull
22 miles
Paull Holme Farm B&B

I knew it was going to be a long day so I set off as early as possible on a damp and misty morning, which meant packing my tent away damp. Unfortunately breakfast was a measly banana and some disgusting frangipane tarts from the local corner shop; I managed 2 and threw the 3rd to the birds. I felt slightly guilty at the thought of potentially poisoning the poor birds. The walk from New Holland to Barton Waterside is lovely, with the river on one side, old clay pits that are now flooded and a nature reserve on the other and, of course, the Humber Bridge looming larger with every step. Very peaceful when you block out the drone of traffic from across the river in Hull.

The beautiful clay pits nature reserve next to the river

The river and the Humber Bridge
 I walked through Barrow Haven Old Ferry Wharf, carefully avoiding all the forklift trucks carrying wood from the docked ship. By 10am the sun was out and I had arrived at the Barton Waterside Inn, which dates back to 1715 and was where the London stagecoach dropped its passengers to get the ferry across the Humber from Barton to Kessle. This is also the start of the Viking Way, a recognised walking route from Barton to Oakham. With a bit of looking I found the footpath up to the walking/cycling path across the bridge.  

The Humber Bridge from Barton Waterside
 Who needs the Sydney Harbour Bridge? This one is magnificent. I did note the Samaritans poster but I was in no mood for jumping. The bridge was only opened in 1981 so before that it was either the ferry or the long way round.  

Looking back towards Grimsby from the bridge
  
Looking ahead at Hull and beyond fromthe bridge
 So I left Lincolnshire behind and entered East Riding of Yorkshire. I was following the Trans-Pennine Way along the Humber foreshore into Hull; however, the signs disappeared in places and some parts of the walk were not great. At one point I had to cross a derelict lock gate where vandals had already pushed the barriers out of the way. Fortunately it didn’t collapse and the smack heads on the other side offered me (slightly incoherent) directions to get back on track. I was a bit lost wandering through the industrial area and so stopped for a quick cup of tea and a sandwich at a greasy spoon. I love these places.  

Eventually I reached the Marina and Victoria Dock, the smarter bits of town where Hull is advertised as a great destination for a weekend away. I can believe that from what I saw, just be selective and don’t go for a week. It was here that I met Raymond. He was watching the new college being built (something he does for a few hours every day) and asked me where I was walking to. When I said Paull he pointed out that the path along the foreshore was closed by the docks and so he took it upon himself to ensure I found my way. He walked with me for an hour and without him I would have got lost. Seriously, why would a council close the old path a month before it opens a new path? My timing was not good in this regard and without Raymond I’d have been stuck. He was a lovely man and also enjoyed long distance walking, but he was not someone many people would chat to as he clearly had a few challenges. At one point he went into a shop and asked the shopkeeper to write his name and address down to give to me with the request that I write and tell him when I finish my walk (I explained this would be next year). He really brightened my afternoon, particularly as the diversion involved 3 soul-destroying miles alongside a dual carriageway. When he left me I had very thorough instructions of how to get to Paull that had been repeated many times over. He even thanked me for trusting him, which was ridiculous because without him I’d still be walking. 

I rounded yet another large gas works, the Saltend works that celebrated 100 years of innovation in the field of transportation fuel in 2014. Finally Paull was in sight and I was able to leave the road and walk once more by the river. I was hungry and my feet hurt from so much road walking so decided to stop for food in Paull before tackling the final 1.5 mile to my accommodation in the middle of nowhere. There were no shops for me to buy something to cook in the communal kitchen, but there were 2 pubs. The better looking pub had an hour until service but the other pub, the more rundown one, was serving food so I went in and was rewarded with an excellent home cooked meal; possibly one of the best meals of my trip. If you’re ever in Hull take a 10 minute drive out to Paull and you’re guaranteed a good meal at the Humber Tavern. You could even visit Fort Paull while you’re there. 

An hour and a half later the rain had set in and I had a wet walk along the edge of the Paull Holme salt marsh sea defences to my B&B.  

 I still had plenty to do with clothes washing and tent drying (room looks like a bomb site). I reflected on the long day and decided the moral of today has definitely been that I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover! 

One last look at the Humber Bridge from Hull