May Day Weekend – St Bees Head   18 comments

Our annual trip to the Lake District for May Day was upon us (we missed it last year but who’s counting). We headed up a day early (me and TBF) to make a longer weekend. Seemed a rash decision as it was grey, dreary and raining when we woke up on the Friday morning. Luckily it stopped just before lunch so rather than head to the hills we headed to the coast. First stop, Mawsons Cafe in Seascale for a sandwich and huge plate of waffles and ice cream. Then onwards to St Bees for a coastal walk (feeling rather bloated it has to be said.

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We’ve only ever been to the coast hereabouts on wet and dreary days so this made a nice change. In fact the weather had turned quite rapidly from rain to glorious sunshine.

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St Bees Head is well known to long distance walkers as the official start of the Coast to Coast walk and also home to some fine cliffs, hidden beaches and a seabird colony. It’s also home to an expensive car park by the beach. Note that in Seascale down the road the car park is free!

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The grass was green, the sky blue, the gorse flowering yellow and all was right with the world.

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It’s a splendid grassy romp along the cliff tops and on a Friday very quiet.

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Fleswick Beach is a couple of miles in and looked a wonderful place to explore.

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And just beyond is the colony of seabirds. I’m not an expert but they looked very similar to the Razorbills and Guilliemots that we’ve seen in Pembrokeshire so I’m assuming that’s what they were. The largest colony of cliff nesting seabirds in NW England said the sign. On reflection probably the only colony of cliff nesting seabirds in NW England. As far as I know there are no cliffs any further north before you hit Scotland and heading south you’d have to reach Somerset before the next band of cliffs (excluding Wales of course)

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Still it was an impressive, numerous, noisy and smelly colony and were pleased to be able to see it.

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We turned tail and headed back to the car. No time explore the beach as we were on a timetable to meet TJS off the train from Lancaster.

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The coast was just as enjoyable on the return.

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As we approached St Bees we received a message telling us he’d missed his train the hopeless git. No time to return to Fleswick Beach but we now had an extra hour to kill.

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We admired the views across St Bees beach and to the Lake District. Very different to see the mountains from this direction.

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And we did have time for a potter on the beach and a sit down on the sea wall.

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Not a bad day after such a dismal start and a superb bit of coast that is well worth seeking out. Its not all about mountains!

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The day was finished off with a pub meal and a few beers in the excellent Strands Inn at Nether Wasdale with our friends as they arrived. The mountains were calling for the next day.

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18 responses to “May Day Weekend – St Bees Head

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  1. Long while since I’ve been there, but that’s a lovely bit of coast. All those empty beaches – looks fantastic. I’m feeling jealous now. There used to be Puffins at St. Bees I think, but I see that the RSPB website has no reference to them, so I suspect they’re no longer to be seen.

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    beatingthebounds
    • I’m sure I’d read there were Puffins but I saw no sign off their burrows. I’m still hoping one day to get done to Pembrokeshire and see them on Skomer Island. Great walking there and as good as a day out in the fells for future years.

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  2. Not sure why I haven’t been along that coast, ever. Looks very good and similar to the south coast of Devon And well done on the trophy haul for City this year (said through gritted teeth)

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    • Sometimes the obsession with mountains and summits blinds you to other possibilities. First time I’ve walked here despite having stayed in this area every May Day weekend for 10 years. A lovely bit of coast and we got lucky to have such great views and clear sunshine

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      • Definitely after driving for 7 hours, walking a coast which is similar to spots only 10 minutes from home might be a bit odd. The areas around Shap and Duddon are areas that I have not been to enough, need to get the 214 done pronto and then I can get out a bit further.

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  3. Nice pics of the shoreline. Love those tall cliffs and green grassy headlands.

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  4. Wow! This was a trip down memory lane, except when we set off on our C to C walk, the weather and views were a total opposite. We walked with heads down to keep the rain out of our faces. Thankfully, looking at your photos, the tide was in to collect our pebble.

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    • Didn’t know you’d done the Coast to Coast. Shame the weather was so poor, St Bees is a lovely spot. Walking head down into rain is something I try and avoid! 🙂

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  5. Yes, four of us hiked it in September 2015. It was a dream come true and I would really love to do it again. Thankfully, once we left the coastline the weather cleared and there were only 2 or 3 more showery mornings. We were very fortunate. I am surprised that for a sunny day, there are so few people in your wonderful images.
    If you are interested, my first blog post of the journey is November 2015.

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  6. OMG. That is fantastic place. Thank You sharing Your post.

    Have a good day!

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  7. Nice coastline. I’ve been to Seascale when I was working nearby but never made it to St Bees.
    The weather on the Bank Holiday, especially the afternoon, was better than expected up there. Pity it wasn’t like that a few miles away the following Thursday!

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