Thursday 11th. August 2022
Melbourne, Melbourne Ings, Wilberforce Way, Canal Head, A1079, Allerthorpe (Plough Inn), Manor Farm, Tank Plantation, Allerthorpe Common, Common Lane, Thornton Grange, Melbourne. (10 miles).
Members; Sherlock, Keith, Stu and Chris.
Just the 4 of us today. The forecast was for a really hot day and the forecast was spot on.
We were walking by 0830 and soon reached the bridge/lock that takes us over to the footpath. The water was crystal clear, and we stopped for a while to watch a large shoal of fish. We could have stayed there all day but, as it was a walking day, we decided to get some walking done.
Pocklington Canal runs from The River Derwent at East Cottingworth and finishes at Canal Head at the A1079, a total of 9.5 miles although not all of them are navigable. It was built between 1815 and 1818 by local business men.
The day was certainly getting hotter and we decided to have our morning break at our usual spot, Coates Bridge. Our walking buddy who shares this name likes to be photographed here pointing proudly to the sign bearing his name. However, he wasn’t with us today and many suggestions as what to do with the sign were suggested. But this is a family friendly page and so what was said will not be printed.
We decided to sit in the shade under the bridge and an enjoyable break it was. The damselflies and dragonflies were in abundance hunting the fly population with great success. The bridge is a grade 2 listed structure as are the other 3 road bridges.
And so back into the sun and the heat with the odd linger under a shady tree. The stretch of canal up to Canal Head hasn’t been restored yet but the path is well maintained and makes for easy walking.
The only ‘bad’ part of this walk is the half mile or so where we have to walk at the side of the busy A1079 road. There’s no footpath and practically no conversation due to the traffic noise and we were certainly glad to get off it and into Allerthorpe.
The Plough Inn is a good pub at any time but today it was a life saver! All the tables were set for food, and we asked if it’d be ok to sit at one. Of course, the landlady said, sit wherever you like.
A good selection of ales were on hand including Timothy Taylor’s Landlord and Shipyard Indian Pale Ale. Paul would have been in his element, but he wasn’t here…tough. And no, we won’t be doing this walk again in a fortnight. To be honest, the cold drinks were going down very well and we got up to leave with some reluctance. An added touch was the barmaid filling our bottles up with cold water, all free of charge.
The day was now scorching but wasn’t too bad walking through Allerthorpe Common which is actually a large wood. I think it must be the first time we’ve walked through it without getting our boots lathered in mud.
We decided to have our afternoon break here in the shade before venturing back out into the blazing sun. Sherlock volunteered to find a suitable spot, preferably with picnic tables and chairs and a swimming pool as an added bonus. In the event, he found a felled tree trunk with room for us all to spread out and dine in comfort, Stu said we should compile a list of the 20 best grub spots. We’ve certainly had far worse than this spot.
And so out of the woods and into the oven it was. But we all agreed it was better than battling through a snow blizzard or battened down under the waterproofs sloshing through the rain. The crops in the fields were really showing signs of distress in this heatwave. One large field was filled with potatoes that looked as if they wouldn’t last the week. This area lies in the Derwent flood plain and is usually under water, even in summertime.
Of course, it had to be brought up, the winter we were walking here and Keith decided to seek a better path, only to almost disappear under thin ice! Some people do have long memories! A really good day out although certainly on the hot side, but when does the weather ever bother the FAC?