Guest Blog: The Viking Way

Written by: Geoff (aka Dad)

A walk I have always wanted to do, but never got round to, is The Viking Way. Having lived in Lincolnshire now for almost 40 years, I thought it was about time to do it. So I asked my good friend Gerry if he would like to walk it with me.  He was delighted to take me on and show me the way, having done it himself on more than one occasion. He has even designed an alternative walk which he has called The Length of Lincolnshire, which takes in many other aspects of Lincolnshire landscape and history. So he was the ideal man to walk with. He has a passion for walking and along with his friend Dennis, has clocked up hundreds of miles of green lanes and farm tracks throughout the county.  We would be joined with two more of Gerry’s walking friends, Roy and Bob.  All 4 of them having had careers in various aspects of agriculture, so there would be no shortage of knowledge and expertise while ambling through the farmscapes of Lincolnshire.

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Here we are at the start point below the Humber Bridge at Barton-on-Humber

The blue plaque on the old coastguard building behind Bob, Gerry and Roy bears the title of  HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, who opened it in 1880. Of course, not the present one, even at 95 years of  age, he doesn’t go that far back! It was Alfred, Queen Victoria’s second son who took the title Duke of Edinburgh in 1866, before becoming the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. This was our starting point for the first stage.

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The Humber Bridge – quite a structure! 

We passed by this impressive structure. The Humber Bridge Act was passed in 1959 and work was started on fundraising and gaining access to the land either side. Building work started in 1972 and was completed in 1981 and when it was finished it was the worlds longest suspension bridge for a short time.

We continued with our walk – a bracing stroll along the shoreline, passing the Far Ings Nature Reserve which is noted for its bitterns and bearded tits.  But not today! We did see tufted duck, shoveller, mallard, pochard, widgeon and Canada and greylag geese. But my claim that I had witnessed a golden eagle swooping down to take an osprey that had grabbed a kingfisher instead of a fish, all within a few seconds, sadly was not believed by my walking companions, when I eventually caught up with them. Methinks my fantastic wildlife scenarios are not going to be sanctioned by these wise county men.

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St Nicholas Church, South Ferriby

Arriving in South Ferriby, we passed St Nicholas Church. It is an old church with Norman and 14th century architecture and still it stands keeping an eye on the 21st century landscape. It overlooks the estuary and the cement works. Our walk took us past old brick pits and chalk quarries and the huge Middlegate Quarry, which opened in 1938. It still operates today,  providing chalk along with other minerals taken from the underlying Kimmeridge clay, which go into the making of cement.

The last stretch of our walk today led us up the gentle gradient towards Elsham Wolds where our first stage ended after approx. 11 miles. This was followed by well deserved, delicious beef sandwiches and chips back in South Ferriby at The Hope and Anchor!  No doubt that these boys know the best pubs and I’m sure we’ll sample a few more along the route as we wend our way through Lincolnshire.

To find out more about the Viking Way, visit Lincolnshire County Council website: https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/

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Emails, enquiries and bookings

So, I’m planning on walking the Pennine Way in Summer with my Dad. We might well be crazy to embark on a 270 mile (nearly) walk but it’s  a challenge that will see us taking in some beautiful sights as well as some cloud smothered views. We decided to do the walk a few months after my Dad got home from walking the Haute Route in the Alps. As the Pennine Way is a popular walking route, especially in July and August, we have had to be super organised and book our accommodation in advance. We have decided to treat ourselves to B&Bs along the route and the occasional hostel rather then camp.

There are lots of helpful guide books and websites to help plan the Pennine Way and where to stay along the route. I have the Official National Trail Guide by Damian Hall which offers lots of advice on how to prepare and then covers the route in detail. Dad and I have decided to walk from Edale to Kirk Yetholm – which is the way the guide books write about it and so made sense for us to do it this way too.

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I also have inherited my Grandad’s Wainwright guide which might come in handy too. There will be some things that have changed but not much.

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There was a frenzy of activity pre-Christmas when we booked accommodation – mostly via email, although some places require you to call up. We still have some items to confirm, like baggage transfers for parts of the trip where we aren’t lucky enough to stay with family. There are a few companies out there and it is a good idea to do some research before you book your accommodation. Some companies only transfer your baggage from certain places. We still need to work out what to do at the end of the walk and how to return home from Kirk Yetholm, but I’m sure we can work something out.

To keep track of everything we have booked and paid deposits for I have made a budget and itinerary in an excel spreadsheet. This shows where we have to pay on the day we arrive and anything we have paid in advance. The costs for a trip like this can add up so we are pleased that we have managed to spread out the costs over a number of months. There are of course options to make it even cheaper, like camping or staying in youth hostels. We found that the youth hostels were booked up well in advance. Planning and preparation is key.

Now we have the bulk of the admin sorted, we can get outdoors and get some training in. First however, I have to  run the London Marathon next Sunday. At least I know none of the walking days in the summer will be 26.2 miles.
Some helpful websites:
National Trails website
Pennine Way Association website

There are lots of blogs out there too, just search for Pennine Way blog and loads come up. Happy planning to anyone else doing the route and maybe see some of you out there this summer!

Spring has landed

I’m still in training for the Virgin Money London Marathon in just over 3 weeks but after two early morning starts for the gym, I didn’t feel up to my 50 min scheduled run this evening. 


Instead of lacing up my trainers, I swapped them for my walking boots. Now the evenings are lighter, it feels so much easier to get outdoors in the evening – plus my walking boots haven’t been worn in much yet and really will need to fit like slippers before the summer is out! 


I took a route through the fields where birds were singing in the hedgerows and the blossom was out in force. It was peaceful and allowed me time to reflect.  Walking back through the village I got some lovely shots of the sunset behind buildings or throwing it’s glowing light on the trees. 


I still plan on making up my run tomorrow but my walk tonight really helped me appreciate the beauty Spring brings with it. I’m looking forward to walking the Pennine Way and the amazing views that I should see – weather dependent! 

Boots for walking

4.5 mile walk completed this afternoon. I was on a rest day from running but wanted to get outside as the sun was shining. I also wanted to try out my new walking boots that Phil got me for Christmas. These are going to be my friends for the Pennine Way and I wanted to give them a test run.

From the house, I can walk straight out into the fields and wanted to try a new route taking in Hauxton and Little Shelford. I took some photos along the way.