Wainwright's Coast to Coast and other walks
St Bees is the start of the Wainwright Coast to Coast Walk, devised by Alfred Wainwright in 1973
At the main beach next to the RNLI lifeboat station is the “Wainwright Wall” which is where the walk starts. The picture on the right shows the interpretation board and steel banner which were installed in 2013 by St Bees Parish Council and the Wainwright Society. A few yards away is the boat ramp which makes it easy to access the beach and dip your boots in the water – as Wainwright suggested.
Coast to Coast – Setting out from the village
Whilst all Coast to Coasters have usually spent time planning their route, if you have time may we recommend that you follow this initial route to get to the start at the beach.
From the Railway Station walk to the Priory and have a look at the interior of this church, one of the best mediaeval buildings in the north west of England. There are extensive history displays, including the story of St Bees Man.
When you leave the West Door turn right up the graveyard path and follow the wall round to the left (and left again at the end ). This will take you through the graveyard to Priory Paddock, which joins the Dandy Walk where a right turn will take you to the road to the beach for the start of the route.
Local walks in the parish
St Bees has many other local walks for the visitor (and their dogs) to enjoy.
A collection of seven circular walks, starting and finishing in the village and following public footpaths is available in print from the Post Office or as a download from this page.
Those who are planning to undertake the walks are strongly advised to use the leaflets as these will help not only with the route but also with describing the historical and geographic features to be seen..
Staying in St Bees before you start the walk?
St Bees Priory has an display of village history and you are strongly recommended to visit the Priory. Admission is free and it is open all day, every day.
We can also offer short talks about St Bees history and the story of St Bees Man (~20-30 minutes) from St Bees History Group members by prior arrangement. We can usually include a brief talk and demonstration of the wonderful Willis Organ, one of the top organs in the country.These have proved very popular and the Sierra Group of USA for one has incorporated this into its regular itinerary.
A charge is made which is divided between the Priory, Organ Fund and History Group.
Contact the webmaster to arrange a talk and tour.
Download walks leaflets from here
Walk 1 – Coast & Village
Walk 2 – The beach & Scalebarrow brow
Walk 3– Fleswick Bay & St Bees Head
Walk 4– Coulderton & the Beach
Walk 5– Loughrigg & Outrigg
Walk 6– Rottington & Byersteads
Walk 7– Wood Land & Stanley Pond