Monday 23rd July 2007
Croxton to Market Weighton
The first target today is the town of Barton upon Humber just south of the Humber Bridge. This is less than 10 miles away and we are soon standing on the banks of the Humber looking up at the wide span of the Humber Suspension Bridge. The centre span is 4626 feet across making it the fourth longest in the world. From when it was completed in 1981 until 1998 it was the longest in the world. We make our way to the footpath/cyclepath which runs alongside the main carriageways - fortunately today the weather is very calm and crossing the bridge on the bike is easy. All we feel is a slight vibration underneath us as the heavier lorries pass by, and we recall a recent television programme which reckons that the bridge will have to be replaced in the next 20 years as the strands of steel in the cables are slowly but surely corroding and rupturing. Perhaps we won't hang around for too long!
Off onto the north shore and in to the suburbs of Hull and the village of Hessle where we find a cafe and tourist info centre alongside the bridge. Cycling in to the centre of Hessle we hope to find a short cut which take us into Anlaby and onto Cottingham. Route 1 goes the long way round to Cottingham from Hessle. In the centre of the town we stop to try and get our bearings, and within a few seconds we are approached by someone asking if we are lost? People are generally very friendly and helpful when we are out on the tandem - is it the unusual sight of the tandem or is it the sight of two elderly folk who look as though they need a guiding hand?! We are soon given precise instructions on where we have to go - will the brain cells enable us to remember them for long enough?!!
In the centre of Cottingham the cycle route leaves the main road and heads off northwards through a housing estate onto a lane which leads to Creyke Beck, Yorkshire Electricity's Distribution centre. From there we hope to pick up a track which will lead us in to Beverley. The route signs are good to begin with, but when we get to the distribution centre we can't find a sign anywhere. We ask two people in an old Wolseley 1500 car (circa 1960), who happen to park near us, if they know the way. They are taking their car out for a ride. They have owned it since new and the car is called Penny. They think they know where the route leaves the site so we follow them along the lane - they eventually admit that they are baffled. So we take a lane through a caravan park which is signed "Private - No entry" and very soon we find ourselves on a lane heading off in the right direction towards Beverley.
We arrive at Beverley and sit on a bench, overlooking the Minster, eating our lunch. The clouds look threatening but it has been fine so far. We then spend the next hour looking round the Minster and are amused at the many stone carvings on the walls of musicians of all persuasions doing their thing. Have a look at the Beverley Minster web site - click on "History and Building" and then on "Carvings Slideshow" to see some of these faces. Beverley Minster is a very fine building and is well worth a visit if you are in the area. We leave to find it is raining so firstly we disappear into a nearby cafe for a cup of tea and then we make our way to another church in the town called St Mary's. It has a big porch so we are able to put the bike under cover and keep our belongings dry. By the time we leave the rain has stopped and it is time to make our way to the evening's B&B which is on the outskirts of Market Weighton about 10 miles away. The TIC in Beverley suggests that the Hudson Way - a path following the old railway line between the two towns - should be cyclable. However when when we get to the start of the track just north of Beverley, we find that the surface is very muddy and the track very overgrown. Fortunately the minor roads follow the railway line fairly closely so we opt for this through the villages of Cherry Burton and Etton and it turns out to be a lovely quiet route on the edge of the Wolds.
Mileage today 42.5 miles Total mileage so far 446.4 miles