Fort Paull is a gun battery situated on the north bank of the Humber, near the village of Paull, downstream from Hull in northern England and is part of the wider Fort Paull Nature Reserve.
WHAT IS IT?
Fort Paull is Yorkshire’s only remaining Napoleonic fort. Sadly the museum closed prior to lockdown 2020 and it looks unlikely to reopen. A combination of lack of funds and reliance on local volunteers meant the listed building ended up in a state of disrepair. However, there is a nature reserve surrounding the fort which is still accessible.
WHERE IS THE JUNGLE WALK AT FORT PAULL NATURE RESERVE?
If you’re arriving by car the address and postcode is:
Main St, Paull, Hull HU12 8AW – this is for public on street parking if you want to enjoy a riverside walk up to Fort Paull Nature Reserve.
Alternatively use: Thorngumbald Rd, Hull HU12 8AX to park in Fort Paull Nature Reserve car park.
If you’re using public transport for your visit:
- Bus: 79
The car park at Fort Paull Nature Reserve is really spacious.
Dogs: This walk is popular with dog walkers but I didn’t see one litter bin so be prepared to take your poop home with you.
Prams/wheelchairs: You can make this walk as adventurous as you want it. The bankside walk is nice and flat, however it is very uneven terrain beside the outside of Fort Paull.
Also note, coastal erosion is real here so please be careful where you’re walking! Remain behind the barriers where they’re present if you’re near to the edge of the estuary.
Once you’ve made it to the public footpath sign outside the lighthouse – make sure you let little ones spot the huge anchors! Walk along this private road (do not park on here!) in front of the coastal cottages and behind the splash screens and flood barriers.
It’s a short walk to the huge playing field next to the Fort Paull Nature Reserve.
Ahead you can take a further walk along the Humber Estuary to read the information board.
And from here you can explore further down the Humber or inland to the Fort Paull Nature Reserve woodlands.
WHAT IS THERE TO DO?
Taking the walk down the riverside to do some wildlife spotting is fab for adults and children.
According to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, “migrant waders, such as black tailed godwit, bar tailed godwit and avocet come to feed on the rich mud flats. Flocks of thousands of golden plovers are regularly sighted during October and November, an amazing sight. During the winter the mud flats are important for waterfowl such as barnacle and Brent geese. Breeding waders, such as dunlin, can be spotted on the reserve in the summer months and with the warm weather, butterflies and dragonflies can be spotted flitting across the reserve.”
However, all we saw today was seaweed and boats, but the kids were happy enough with that!
Then heading into the woodland, the trees are really well established. So fab for climbing.
The boys loved swinging on some rope left behind!
Then further into the woodland are the walls of the actual Fort.
This is a great opportunity to chat as a family about the history of the Fort as you explore the walls. Batteries were built at Paull by Henry VIII, during the Civil War during the siege of Hull and the Napoleonic Wars. The first fort built on the site was started in 1542 with a capacity for 12 guns. The current fort is of pentagonal design and was built in 1861–4 and on the recommendations of the Royal Commission, hence it is one of the Palmerston Forts.
Or just let the kids think they’re in the jungle as its the only place I know near to Hull with such amazing climbing ivy and hanging vines. It was the boys that named it the jungle walk at Fort Paull Nature Reserve! I can only imagine how overgrown and exciting the walk must have felt to them.
You can only go so far around the walls until it becomes too overgrown with nettles but this was still a fair distance for the boys.
However, if you make your way back around and follow the edge of the museum’s iron fencing and you will spot the front to Fort Paull.
In 1960, Fort Paull was released from the Ministry of Defence and closed down. In 1964, a group of volunteers, the Friends of Fort Paull took over the site and began to restore the fort as a heritage museum. Fort Paull opened to the public in 2000.
Fort Paull housed a waxwork museum showing figures which had influenced the fort’s long history as well as an armoury showing various artillery pieces and armoured vehicles. The fort also played hosts to various military re-enactments from time to time.
Although not open for the 2020 season, my boys enjoyed peering through the locked gates to see the canons and army tank.
There is also a really nice public playpark nearby. Obviously this is closed during the lockdown though.
WHAT ABOUT TOILETS?
Watmaugh Arcade, St Augustine’s Gate, Hedon HU12 8EZ
Open business hours Mon-Sun
Includes baby changing facilities.
*Subject to lockdown restrictions so check before going.*
WHERE CAN I EAT?
There are plenty of benches with wonderful views of the River Humber.
Alternatively, there are a number of pubs in Paull subject to opening such as the Humber Tavern.
If you like the look of this little adventure – then check out lots of other brilliant places we recommend a visit to here.