Goole

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Goole is a small market town in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Despite being quite a long way from the coast, Goole is an inland port town with a rich maritime heritage. It was once an important hub for the local coal industry, but with the decline of the coal mining industry, Goole has reinvented itself as a thriving community with a strong cultural centre.

Photo by Dave Sample
Photo by Dave Sample

Goole’s Maritime Past

The Yorkshire Waterways Museum is a good place to start if you want to learn more about Goole’s maritime past – and it’s completely free! The museum was developed to keep the traditional skills unique to the local area alive. It has a large collection of books, photographs, paintings, objects and boats, which have been carefully curated to teach visitors about the development of the Aire and Calder Navigation and its role in creating the modern town of Goole. You will learn all about how coal was transported from the coalfields of Yorkshire, through Goole Docks, and over to the continent. Explore the exhibits at your leisure, or pick the brains of one of the staff or volunteers who man the museum if you want to find out more about a particular subject.

At weekends, you can take boat trips from the museum; these last around 45 minutes. Visitors can also book longer boat trips along the canal or the River Humber. There is also a café at the museum, and a gift shop.

Shopping in Goole

Modern Goole is a very multi-cultural place. There has been a large influx of east Europeans over the last few years and you are just as likely to overhear Polish conversations as you are English. This multiculturalism has had a good effect on the local economy and there are now a large number of small shops selling a wide variety of different goods.

If you love to shop, Goole is a great place to visit. Unlike many other market towns, independent shops thrive here. You will still see the big name brands in the centre of the town, but take a walk down some of the back streets and there are some hidden gems selling everything from household goods to collectibles.

Nature Walks in Goole

Goole is a great place to explore on foot, but if you head to the bank of the River Ouse, you can follow a footpath all the way to Hook and Howden Dyke. It’s a lovely walk on a fine day, especially if you have a dog.

The Tow Path Nature Trail begins at the Waterways Museum. The path follows the bank of the Aire and Calder Navigation tow path. It meanders around ponds and there are several interesting features along the way. Walk, cycle, or even jog if you are feeling energetic.

Nearby Thorne and Hatfield Moors is well worth a visit. This is the largest peat bog in Britain and a protected site. More than 200 species of birds live there. You may also wish to visit Blacktoft Sands Nature Reserve if you enjoy bird watching.

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