Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Big Hike

Mark's 'Big Hike' Birthday Weekend

We'd decided to go away for Mark's birthday but just hadn't decided whether to go North, South, East or West. The decision to go up to Scunthorpe was pretty last minute as we only booked our accommodation on Friday morning, we'd left it as late as possible to see what the weather would be like for the weekend.  The forecast was for light snow late afternoon so we decided to go for it.

The weekend was also a chance for Mark to try out his birthday present, a shiny new Oregon 550


We left home before 5 am and arrived in Burton-upon-Stather in time to set off on our walk at 7.30am.  A really chilly start but once we got moving it was really pleasant.

I had no idea how long the walk was going to be, Mark originally told me the first day would be about 16 miles, after about 8 miles and we hadn't yet reached the furthest point I realised we were in for a somewhat longer hike

River Humber

The section of the walk that followed the cliff path from Burton-upon-Stather as far as Whitton was extremely picturesque with great views of the River Humber.

Julian's Bower - Turf Maze

Along the way there were lots of things of interest, which is one of the things we love about caching, you just never know what you might find next:

Julian's Bower Turf Maze - Or more accurately a unicursal labyrinth (there is only one route in and one path through).  We couldn't resist walking through the winding labyrinth, a really interesting place.


Kell Well - A bubbling spring, between Burton- Stather and Alkborough. The waters were once said to have had petrifying qualities.  Remains have been found but these are thought to be fossilised crinoids, a star fish relation.

Alkborough Flats
Alkborough Flats - Where the Rivers Trent and Ouse join to form the River Humber - Alkborough Flats is an area that covers 440 acres.  The site is designed to act as a flood storage area in times of extreme weather, primarily during tidal surges which will reduce impacts of flooding along the Trent, Ouse and Humber.  The area was also home to a bombing range during World War II.

Remains of the northern bombing range observation post

We started at #1 and finished at #110 with a handful of other caches on route.  The entire walk was on good paths and all caches were were easy to find

We had a difference of opinion with the length of the walk, my Oregon reckoned 19 miles and Mark's 20.6 miles which we completed in 10 hours .... so a little further than the 16 miles I was told!

Hmm a little bit more than 16 miles

The Big Hike - Day 1


We decided to tackle #136 to #203 as Mark reckoned it would be about 10 miles or 'just over' and we'd be able to fit it in perfectly before heading home just after lunchtime.  The walk started in Winterton and went out as far as South Ferriby by the cement works. 

Cement works

The cement works is a prominent landmark in the area and the raw materials are obtained from the nearby quarry via the overhead conveyor belt that you will pass under, this stretches for quite some way across the countryside.  The landscape has a post-apocalyptic feel to it, expected to see Mad Max roar past in a battle weary V8 Interceptor at any point

Conveyor Belt
This loop is almost entirely micros and 2ml tapered nanos which are not a problem in themselves but on a power trail they get a bit tedious having to use the tweezers to extract the log sheet time and time again.
Walking across Horkstow Bridge
On the walk you will walk across Horkstow Bridge, it crosses the River Ancholme and is a Grade II listed suspension bridge that was completed in 1836 as part of the River Ancholme drainage scheme.

The walk was a little over 12 miles in the end and was very enjoyable, all on good paths and well marked routes.  We completed this section in 5½ hours.

To sum it up the area was one of the most peaceful and tranquil we have ever been to and everyone we met was really friendly.  The weekend was over far too quickly and it was time to head back home to the Midlands.  We'll be back again soon to find the rest of the caches.

What I have learnt

To always, always, always do my own research as to how long a walk is going to be before I agree to anything.

The Big Hike - Day 2

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