Saltmarshe is a hamlet on the Yorkshire side of the River Ouse about five miles upstream of the Humber Estuary. We visited because Mr Ayre from Elvington, an Evening Press reader, sent in a tempting route. Thank you, we enjoyed the walk very much.

The first half mile or so was through Saltmarshe Park, peculiar as ploughed up parkland, but prettily lit up by horsechestnut candles.

Another half mile of back lane took us past a nature reserve called Saltmarshe Delph where there was duck traffic to a large pond. Then came the River Ouse.

A maroon and gold Trans-Pennine train rattled through the six steel arches of Goole Bridge; down river the tidal sum of the Ouse, the Aire, the Wharfe and the Derwent flowed very wide and very smooth and quite low between slick muddy banks.

At Sand Hall (1777) we came across two magpies in a chicken wire trap, the 'tame' one and another which had been lured inside to be killed later. This is legal.

We had been planning to stop, but up bounded a one-eyed black labrador brandishing a fresh rabbit, which put us off our sandwiches. We accelerated and regained our appetite, and then put in mile after mile on the floodbanks round a great curve of the river.

Inside the curve was one huge field of fine soil, and beyond a low horizon elevated in places by the Wolds. On the outside of the curve, over the expanse of water, we saw Goole as a skyline of church spires and cranes, then Victoria Dock, then Old Goole, then the village of Swinefleet. But these were busy interludes; most of the riverside is empty of buildings and indeed trees.

We would have had hours of tranquillity had not the one-eyed black labrador attached itself to us. Attached is not the word, 'one-eye' spent the rest of the walk charging around, splashing through the salt marsh reed beds and foolishly trying to dig holes in the river. He put up herons and more and we heard the continuous alarm calls of marsh birds otherwise invisible in the dense six foot-high reeds.

At the finish of our riverside walk, I asked a farmer if he knew 'one-eye'. The farmer suggested drastic action that I vetoed and we moved on by, to Saltmarshe Park again.

As for 'one-eye', after making inquiries we transported the muddy delinquent to his home in nearby Skelton; he was very cool and jumped in the car without being asked. To everybody's amusement we learnt his name was George. I have given you his ID to forewarn you should you do the walk.

Fact file

Distance: Six miles.

Time: Three hours.

General location: About fifteen miles west of Hull.

Start: The hamlet of Saltmarshe.

Right of way: The complete route is along public rights of way.

Date walked: Saturday May 11, 2002.

Road route: Saltmarshe is three miles south of Howden.

Car parking: Roadside in and around Saltmarshe and Saltmarshe Park.

Lavatories: None.

Refreshments: None.

Tourist and public transport information: Hull TIC 01482 223559.

Map: Based on OS Explorer 291 Goole & Gilberdyke.

Terrain: Riverside.

Points of interest: Marsh Harriers have been reported.

Difficulty: Flat, simple, few stiles.

Dogs: Suitable. There were cows and calves on bank near Saltmarshe.

Weather forecast: Evening Press and recorded forecast 0891 500 418.

Please observe the Country Code and park sensibly. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers set out at their own risk.


When in doubt look at the map. Check your position at each point. Keep straight on unless otherwise directed.

1. Road west out of Saltmarshe (ignore turn offs).

2. Left at T-junction, pass house, under bridge, stile on right and left to riverside path (stiles), through parkland.

3. Marshy ground/reedbeds between path and river. Path rejoins riverside.

4. At farm, temporary diversion from floodbank until June 4 2002, so in meantime left immediately before farmhouse, right between farmhouse and barn to track, ignore first track on left, left-hand bend and pass entrance to hall, track swings right and rejoins outward road.

Updated: 08:43 Saturday, May 18, 2002

Click here to view a map of the walk