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Burton Upon Stather to Alkborough

A very welcome invitation from a friend to join her on a walk ‘over the [Humber] bridge’ was eagerly accepted, so we set off for Burton Upon Stather, a lovely village I’ve never been to before. The weather may not have been brilliant, as the sun in Hull gave way to grey skies and heavy drizzle, but I was looking forward to a nice stroll around some new-to-me countryside.

Parking up near the church in Burton Upon Stather, we donned waterproofs and set off, heading through the church yard and out of a gate at the back. The first part of the route tracks along the top of the high ground to the east side of the River Trent. As we walked, the drizzle eased off and, even with the grey skies, the views out across over the river, and the surrounding flat river plain land, was quite impressive.

Because of the weather the ground underfoot was rather squidgy, but we made good progress as the path was pretty flat. A few dog walkers had also braved the weather so we got to say hello to a few muddy pooches (including an adorable Springer spaniel puppy), as we continued north north east towards Alkborough. The marker point for this leg of the route was Julian’s Bower, which intrigued me. However, we passed a gentleman on the way who had come from the way we were going who asked us where it was… He must’ve walked past it and not even noticed it! It didn’t instill much hope of an awe-inspiring vista I have to say…

Julian’s Bower turned out to be a circular turf maze, all of about 15′ across – I admit, I didn’t read the information plaque next to it, as I found the view out across the river much more interesting!

Just passed the bower we turned left and headed down towards the very marshy looking ground below, passed some very noisy black sheep. We managed to keep our feet dry, which is always a bonus; the flat marshy riverside land was quite a contrast to the wooded path we’d just walked along.

We headed towards the bird hide near the point where the Humber meets the Trent, walking along the top of the flood banks and despairing at the amount of plastic detritus stranded by the high tide. We had a snack at the hide, listening to pink footed geese honk as they flew overhead, but views of the wading areas were obscured by the tall dry reeds – I’m guessing that at high tide the water comes closer to the hide, offering better birdwatching opportunities for those with decent cameras or binoculars.

Turning back toward the flood bank, we retraced our steps before turning left to head directly towards Alkborough, past more sheep. The climb back up from the river started off gentle enough but soon turned into quite a challenging slope – I had to take a quick breather about half-way up! It was steep, but was also blissfully short so my pain was short-lived. It was then a case of heading back the way we’d come, along the top looking down to the river. But we didn’t follow the same path in its entirety, turning right to head down into Burton Stather, before walking through the small village to head back up to Burton Upon Stather’s church.

That involved yet another slope, this time a very lengthy incline that, because it was a constant steady slope, I found much easier to get up than the slope up toward Alkborough (even if I was knackered by the top!). It was a good work out at the end of the walk which, according to Google My Tracks, was just shy of 10miles.

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