Pocklington Canal to Melbourne Bielby Round

Watch the video of this walk

Pocklington, often referred to as “Pock”, is a small attractive market town, where the market is held on Tuesday’s. Pocklington is situated at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds which spread out to the east coast. The town’s sky line is dominated by a 15th century church tower and the architecture of the town is a mixture of old houses and modern buildings and has several unusual street names reflecting its history from the Iron Age. It is now considered to be commuter town for York, Hull and Leeds. Near the centre of the town is Burnby Hall Gardens and is home to the National Collection of Hardy Water Lilies, the largest collection to be found in a natural setting in Europe. There is also Millington Woods, not far away, which is well worth a visit and of course Canal Head which has been named as one of the top ten canals. Pocklington Canal is one of the most important waterways for wildlife in the whole of the UK. The canal flows through the Vale of York from the foothills of the Yorkshire Wolds to join the River Derwent. Over the years the canal was un-navigable and it became home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The canal is still under restoration so the upper reaches are not currently navigable, but the lower reaches are navigable for almost 10miles from the River Derwent to as far as the Melbourne Arm. The canal has several swing bridges, classic hump-backed bridges, and both restored and un-restored lock chambers. It is now an internationally renowned site for migratory birds and rare plant species. There is so much wildlife here as you will see in our video of this walk. Wildlife includes water plants, insects, birds and mammals in abundance. It is a fantastic place for breeding so always keep a watchful eye you never know what you might see! Bring your camera to capture those magic moments.

We park near the centre of Pocklington and walk into the Market Place or Square then over the roundabout, going towards the A1079, and walk alongside the beck and take a path on the left. The path takes us by a man-made pond and then on to a quiet road which takes us to the A1079 next to the Wellington Oak. Here we cross over the road to the Canal Head. There is parking here. We now follow the canal on our left passing Silburn Lock, Giles Lock, Sandhill Lock to Coats Lock. We cross over Coats Bridge and keep following the canal on our left passing by the Bielby Arm and then over the road at Walbut Bridge and then Church Bridge to Melbourne Arm. Here we carry on to Melbourne Ings. We then about turn back to Melbourne Arm over the bridge into Melbourne village for a look round then back to the bridge and follow the canal now on our right to Bielby. We go over the bridge and turn left through a gate and follow the path until we come to the little weir.* Here we go over the little bridge into Bielby for a look round then back to the little weir and take the path on the right and follow this back to the canal. We now follow the canal on our left back to Coats Bridge. We go over the road and follow the canal now on our right back to Canal head. We then cross over the road to the Wellington Oak and turn right and then take the path on the left, going through a farm, and follow the little stream until we come to a large thick hedge here we turn right along the side of it then go straight forward with a small hedge on our left which takes us through a gate into the cemetery. We go through the cemetery and back into Pocklington.

If you wish to do the shorter walk go over the bridge at Bielby Arm and turn left through a gate and follow the path until we come to a little weir. Now follow the way as from * above.

Please note the * for the shorter walk.

At the beginning of our video we have put in a robin feeding her chicks in a neighbour’s greenhouse. We would like to thank them for letting us film and photo them.

I would also like to thank the runner from Pocklington, who I picked up in my taxi at the station taxi rank on bank holiday Monday the 3rd May, approx 8pm, who told me about this fantastic walk as I ran him home back to Pocklington.


Flat, easy walking.


To Bielby and back approx 7miles.
To Melbourne and back 12.5miles.


Pocklington in the East Riding of North Yorkshire.


From York take the A1079 to hull road and take the turning on the left just after the Industrial site into Pocklington or carry on another half mile on the A1079 to Pocklington Canal Head on the right, where there is a car park.

Toilets and Refreshments

There are public toilets in Pocklington only.
In Pocklington there are plenty of pubs, cafes, shops and accommodation
For refreshments in Melbourne there is the Melbourne Arms.
For refreshments in Bielby there is the College Arms.

3 responses to “Pocklington Canal to Melbourne Bielby Round”

  1. Pat says:

    We found the canal head by happy accident just yesterday and as a result plan to walk along the canal. Thanks for this information it will help us to make the most of the walk

  2. Good to see real expertise on display. Your contribution is most welcome.

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