Tuesday 18th October 2005
Drove to the Burns Head Inn at Patrington Haven (GR305211) arriving about 10.30am. Took the road southwards towards the Humber. The weather is cloudy with just a little sunshine, rather windy and about 14 degrees. Follow the straight road through large arable fields round a couple of bends and across the Winestead Drain by bridge to arrive at Sunk Island.
At the junction take the right fork down towards a large farm which is Bleak House Cottage (hidden away in trees to the left of the road) while the more obvious buildings may be farm buildings but don’t look quite right. Now another long straight stretch of road leading up to another house with trees around it. Follow the signpost to Sunk Island crossing over Brick Bridge (GR290199) passing by a house on the right which is probably Brick House but the crest on the front probably means that it has been a police house at some time. Shortly pass another couple of cottages, one called Orchard Cottage. A long narrow lane stretches out in front – this is Brick Road. Soon pass the entrance to Ivy House of Goldcrest Farm on the right and then another house on its own on the left. Some distance further on pass the entrance to Winestead Farm (GR278119) on the right and across the open fields to the left can be seen the church that we are heading for. The New Cottages marked on the map seem to no longer exist and the group of large trees up ahead mark the crossroads at Pillar Box Cottages (GR265199).
Turn left down Sunk Island Road heading towards the church and a large farm. The farm is Church Farm with an impressive farmhouse. The crossroads further on seems to be the centre of the community of Sunk Island with the church, telephone box, war memorial, post box, village hall and about three houses (GR267189). The church seems to be closed up – not in ruins but not in use.
Turn right at the church down Stone Creek Road passing what looks to be the old schoolhouse on the right. After about a hundred yards down this road the next aiming point of Crown Farm can be seen up ahead with behind it the dockyards at Immingham on the other side of the estuary. At Crown Farm (GR259189) keep straight ahead on the road called Stone Creek and after half a mile reach Stone Creek Farm Cottages (GR250187) at a bend in the road after which there follows another long straight stretch with Stone Creek Farm halfway along. The Coastguard Cottages on the estuary are the group of buildings that can be seen across the large field to the left. The straight stretch ends as the road turns left over a bridge to cross Sunk Island Drain and carries on down towards the Coastguard Cottages between Sunk Island Drain and another drain. Just after the first building turn right over the top of the sluice gate (GR237189) and climb the bank to get a view out across the Humber towards Immingham with the small estuary of Stone Creek with a few small boats just in front.
The last 5.7 miles from Patrington Haven have all been on roads typified by being narrow lanes, long straight stretches, featureless and completely flat. There were grass verges some of which were useful for walking on. Followed the path up onto the embankment past the inevitable wartime relic of a pill box and across another set of sluice gates heading off right towards Hull. On reaching the estuary proper turn right along the top of the grassy embankment which is a little overgrown and heading towards a communications mast. On the left there is a vast area of mudflats (at low tide) and a marshy area beneath the embankment that is obviously not always covered by high tide. Over the other side is Immingham and ahead somewhere are Hull docks but they cannot be seen. After about a mile the embankment becomes a little less overgrown and a little easier to walk and the marshy area on the left begins to widen out. After two miles of featureless embankment reach a wooden gate and stile and continue over this along the embankment that now becomes overgrown again with the marsh on the left growing ever larger.
Reach Cherry Cobb Sands (GR213218) where naturally there is no sand to be seen. Large arable fields on the right and the only feature on the left are small ponds in the marshes, the first of which has some small huts presumably for fishing or duck shooting. The next landmark apart from the ponds on the left and one or two tracks up to farms on the right is another wooden gate and stile. A further gate and stile is reached at (GR189236) where after five days of walking the Withernsea and Spurn Head map is left.
Turn right here on a wide embankment that goes round a large lagoon (the embankment ahead soon becomes impassable). The embankment winds its way around these lagoons recently created by sea defence work that are not on the map. Eventually pass to the left of a North Sea Gas pumping station heading towards Paull Church. The old embankment along the estuary edge is broken in several places to let water in and out of the lagoons. At a path junction just before the church turn left back down towards the estuary. After a short climb up something like a small hill reach the estuary just beyond the two little lighthouses (GR171250). Turn right at the information board that explains the new embankments as being part of a ‘managed retreat’.
The ferry terminal at Hull comes into view on entering the area of Fort Paull (GR169255) that has preserved gun emplacements. The estuary waters are now up to the embankment even though it is low tide and the estuary is getting noticeably narrower. At the end of the Fort Paull area Paull itself comes into view a few hundred yards ahead.
Fortunate to get a bus to Hedon Crossroads and then another back to Patrington. Walked to Patrington Haven to collect the car.
Days from Chepstow 55
Miles today 13.1
Miles from Chepstow 756.5