Saturday, 1 June 2013


Kingston upon Hull → Paull Holme

salt-end-works.png Distance: 8.68 miles
Ascent: 29 metres
Duration: 2 hours 42 minutes

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Something I was acutely aware of when first seeing Hull from the south bank of the Humber is how ignorant I was of the city. "Most cities," I suggested to Emma, "have landmark buildings that you can name. But Hull ... ?"

the-deep.pngEven from that southern shore there was one building that stood out with crisp, angular precision. Today we walked past it. The Deep is an aquarium appearing to leap wide-mouthed out of the dockside, its cut-out triangular decorations evoking the animal it's clearly most proud of housing: the shark.

cream-phonebox.pngHull's other obvious landmarks are a little smaller: cream coloured phone boxes. The telephone network here was never nationalised, so didn't become part of BT when Post Office Telecommunications was privatised. Consequently BT are forbidden from operating here and the red phone boxes that are a familiar sight elsewhere in the country are painted cream.

Two things are clear about Hull. First, that it's an economically deprived area. Second, it's doing all it can to reinvigorate itself. The smartened up waterfront bedecked with bunting and flags promoting its City of Culture bid; its vibrant city centre; its "capital city" architecture all make this seem to be a great place to live. The one problem that I can see is what you would do for work here?

As the houses petered out we reached more derelict docks. Alexandra Dock has been earmarked for use as a wind turbine factory, but that looks in doubt this week.

alexandra-footpath-closure.pngA large sign on the dock told us that the footpath across the lock gates was closed indefinitely, but when we reached them we crossed with ease. The next dock housed the ferry terminal (it was strange seeing a foothpath sign pointing to Zebrugge), and here we believed the "path closed" instruction, diverting onto a pavement beside a busy dual carriageway lined with industry on one side and dilapidated houses on the other.

road-walking.pngAfter the A-road, a minor road; after the dock, a chemical works smelling of honey-glazed gammon. Eventually we were back on the sea bank and a return to greenery and the estuary.

This will be the last major industry for some time on the coast, but it won't be the last time we're struggling with a lack of rights of way. More on that tomorrow.

Posted by pab at 17:23 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!