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 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. The original Wainwright Coast to Coast board is also on display.
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 to 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 Chris Robson on 01946 822468 (email: email@example.com).
Parish Circular Walks
A collection of eight circular walks, starting and finishing in the village and following public footpaths, the ECP, and quiet roads, has been created by the Parish Council, and first issued in 1997.
They are available in print from St Bees Post Office or as a pdf download from this page. They have all been revised in 2021, and No.8, a walk around the parish boundary, has been added.
The guides contain maps of the routes and describe the historical and geographic features to be seen.
Download parish walks leaflets from here
Circular Walk 1 – Down the Coast from Seacote to Seamill, & return via the Village
Circular Walk 2 – The Beach, the Dandy Walk & Scalebarrow Brow
Circular Walk 3 – Two walks on St Bees Head
Circular Walk 4 – Coulderton & return via the England Coast Path
Circular Walk 5 – Loughrigg, St Bees Common & Outrigg
Circular Walk 6 – Rottington Hall & return via Byersteads Road
Circular Walk 7 – Wood Lane to Stanley Pond & return via High House Rd or Byersteads Rd
Circular Walk 8 – The Parish Boundary (New addition!)
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.