Beverley 20 1/3/08
This report was written by my good freind Mr Blister.
Attendees: Myself (Mr. Blister)
Some guy in jeans and para boots.
I’ll put this one down largely to UKmase, who really wanted to do the walk, to test his stamina over long distance in preparation for his Cleveland Way trip. After lots of PM’s flying here and there, the walk was set for a very windy Saturday 1st March.
Night before saw gales and sleeting rain, and so it was some relief that I saw the next morning that the rain had stopped. Sure the wind was still blowing, but the local weatherman assured me it was going to calm down my midday – ha!
After an inauspicious start of meeting UKmase at the wrong church in Beverley – I was at one church, he was at another (“There is only one minster in Beverley, right”), we set off. To make things interesting for myself, I wanted to do the walk North to South, having only done it South to North a few months before. (See http://www.walkingforum.co.uk/index.php/topic,629.0.html). I packed the map, but didn’t think we would need to use it much, as the walk is very well waymarked and sign posted. The wind was terrible, but the first part of the walk we had it behind us and so made good progress, and wondered if we might beat my previous attempt of seven and a half hours.
Shortly after the village of Walkington, the walk turns South and then we were walking head into the wind, which from my perspective felt more like a gale, and it was a case of head down, feet forward. We sheltered outside of Skidby behind a bush (the only windbreak we could find) and had some dinner there, before setting off into open fields (thus howling wind) aiming for the protection of the woods of Welton, Melton and North Ferriby. The middle part of the walk didn’t see much chance of conversation and the wind just whipped the words from your mouth and carried them away over the fields, and it was with satisfaction that we stopped for another break behind a big pile of rubble (we took shelter from the wind where we could find it). When we entered the protection of the trees, the walk became much easier and we begun to talk more, UKmase mentioned the Yorkshire Three Peaks and might I be interested (watch this space on that one.)
The last part of the walk is probably the most picturesque, and I enjoyed snapping a few pictures off (though I have to admit it was hard to get a picture of UKmase without either mobile phone of cigarette in his hand ). I had already checked the tide times, but was happy to confirm it was a scout leader we met in some woods (who amazing said he had walked the Lyke Wake Walk in 8 ½ hours at 8 mph in clogs), and so was happy to see the tide some way out when we reached the River Humber a mile or so later. The last part of the walk was probably the hardest. It’s about 2 miles from North Ferriby to the Humber Bridge (the finishing point), but it just doesn’t seem to get any closer. All of our feet were hurting, and the backs of the legs were feeling it too. My friend had done the walk in para boots, and said that at times he had felt close to abandoning the walk, and calling a taxi to come and get him. The bridge, with its mile span, was an obvious target, but so was so the pub beneath it and UKmase said he could almost see the sign with the day’s specials on it, but when we did finally reach it (three tired men dragging themselves across the finish line, and not a round of applause to be heard) there was not a mixed grill to be seen. But we did get a couple of pints.
The Beverley 20 does not have a lot to offer in the way of scenery or sights, but it is still a challenging walk, its flat terrain and hard ground make it tough going. None of us doing the walk today are new to walking, and yet all of us felt the effects from the walk at the end.