River Boathouse


We offer a cosy single room overlooking the old parade ground in this quirky, former coastguard cottage with a shared bathroom and use of kitchen and garden.


The accommodation is situated at the start of the Viking Way beside the wild and evocative estuary coastline with a magnificent view of the Humber Bridge and right beside a nature reserve.  


The small market town of Barton boasts heritage trails, a Victorian school museum and a wide range of historic buildings and independent shops. It is an ideal location to explore both Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.  Normanby Hall, Thornton Abbey and the beautiful chalk uplands of the Wolds are within 10 miles whilst across the toll bridge lies The Deep undersea experience in Hull (6 miles). Cleethorpes for seaside fun is 20 miles and the cities of Lincoln and York are both within 40 miles.

Golf, fishing and sailing are available locally. Shops pubs and restaurants are within a ¼ mile. including the Viking Cafe housed in the former boathouse opposite, Waters Edge Visitor Centre & Cafe, The Old Tile Works Cafe and The Sloop Inn (with good food) around the corner.  The Ropehouse Arts Centre is just next to the boatyard and offers exhibitions, films, comedy, live music and workshops throughout the year at very reasonable prices.    


Barton upon Humber was a very busy port in the 1800s, in fact, it was the largest port on the River Humber. This made it an obvious choice for the coastguard station which was to be the main R.N. Coastguard station for the River Humber. It controlled not only all the coastguards in the villages from South Ferriby to the North Sea on the south bank of the river but also those on the north bank.

The station was manned by 6 men and an officer in 1851 though this rose to 8 men later. In 1851 the coastguards all lived in Barton but not necessarily near the river as Barton had spread quite a way inland. In 1862 eight houses were built down at the "point" near to the river which was called Humber Terrace.

The station did of course have boats. They had two boats, the largest being a whaler type which needed several men to operate, and the smaller a skiff or rowing boat. These were housed in a disused stable at the rear of the Old Waterside Inn. This caused the men problems since when the boats were required they had to haul them over Waterside Road and then into the Haven ( the tall embankment had not been constructed at this time ) before they could ever set sail.

In 1821 the Steam Packet company who ran the ferry across the Humber to North Ferriby and Hull built a jetty and a slipway down at the end of Waterside Road. When this ferry stopped running in the 1880s the land became available and was purchased by the coastguard service to build a boathouse. This also allowed them to use the slipway alongside the jetty to launch their boats no matter what was the state of the tide.


The boathouse was finished in 1880 and was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh, which once again shows the importance of Barton at that time. The building doubled as a boathouse and a lookout point from the room above which was reached by stone steps outside the building. Outside the boathouse to the west was erected a mast on which they raised flags to communicate with the coastguard station at Hessle.

By the number of men involved, it can be seen that the duties of the coastguards were quite varied. The day to day duties included marking, with buoys the channels in the Humber, conservation and collecting the harbour duties from the vessels. The more dramatic activities were the rescue of people from wrecks in the river which was not too uncommon and the capturing of smugglers which was even more common.

 As Hull became a larger port it was inevitable that the station at Barton would soon become redundant and in 1924 it finally closed.

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The cottage offers accommodation in a single or double room with shared use of the kitchen, bathroom and garden.  




Far Ings National Nature Reserve


The reserve comprises the open water of Ness Lake, large areas of reed bed, grassland, hedgerow and scrub.

Historic Buildings & Museums


The area has a wealth of historic buildings and heritage attractions from St. Peter’s Church to the fascinating Wilderspin National School Museum and The Ropewalk Arts Centre & Museum.  

Food & Drink 


Restaurants, cafés, pubs and delis for all tastes are available in the town.  Nearby, the Old Boathouse and Sloop Inn serve food and drink. 

Leisure Activities


Barton upon Humber has a leisure centre and swimming pool, football pitches, cricket pitch, two bowling greens, a dance school, cycling club and a sailing club. 

Bird Watching


The area boasts pipits, finches, swallows, martins, swifts, larks, starlings, redshank, wigeon, black-tailed godwit, skeins of pink-footed geese, bitterns, teal, waders and wildfowl.  

The Viking Way 


The Viking Way is a long-distance trail in England running 147 miles between the Humber Bridge and Oakham in Rutland.


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