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
The official start of the Walk is at the “Wainwright Wall” by the RNLI station. There is an interpretation board and steel banner installed in 2013 by the Parish Council and the Wainwright Society. A few yards away is the boat ramp which makes it easy to access the beach to dip your boots in the water – as Wainwright suggested in his guide. Be sure to do the same at Robin Hood’s Bay.
Coast to Coast – Setting out from the village centre
If you have time we recommend this initial route from the village to the start at the beach. It enables you to visit the historic Noman priory, and look at the extensive history displays.
Cross the Railway to the Priory and enter this fine medieval building by the west door. The priory was founded in 1120, and the building is still in use as the parish church. When you leave the west door, turn right and walk through the graveyard and Priory Paddock, to join the “Dandy Walk” to continue the beach.
The St Bees History Group can also offer short talks about St Bees history and the story of St Bees Man by prior arrangement. These have proved very popular. For instance, the Sierra Group of USA has incorporated this into its regular Coast to Coast itinerary. Contact the webmaster for further details.
Local walks in the parish
St Bees has many local walks for the visitor to enjoy.
A collection of seven circular walks, starting and finishing in the village and following public footpaths and quiet roads, has been created by the parish council.
They are available in print from St Bees Post Office or as a pdf download from this page. They are being revised in 2021, and No.8, a walk around the parish boundary, is in preparation.
The guides contain maps of the routes and describe the historical and geographic features to be seen.
Download parish walks leaflets from here
Walk 1 – Coast & Village
Walk 2 – 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 Lane & Stanley Pond
Walk 8 – The parish boundary – coming soon
England Coast Path (ECP)
As from 31st March 2021 the ECP is officially open from Whitehaven To Silecroft; it is a National Trail constructed and managed by Natural England.
It starts from Whitehaven and follows the cliff edge to St Bees Promenade. From there it goes south along the cliff edge behind the tea rooms to a fingerpost, where it goes inland to the golf clubhouse. From there it follows Pow Beck to Seamill. The customary path alongside the golf course cliff edge remains open and can be used as an alternative route, but is not part of the ECP.
South from Seamill car park the ECP goes under the railway and immediately to the right to Lovers Lonning, where it branches off to Primrose Valley following the landward side of the railway line. This is a spectacular portion of the coast, which has not had public access until this year.
Currently the route goes to Sea Lane at Coulderton, but then follows a temporary route along the road. Work is progressing on making direct access along the escarpment to Nethertown station. Info updated 09/04/21.
PLEASE KEEP DOGS UNDER CONTROL on all walks through fields with livestock.