St Bees

St Bees to merge point with Whitehaven route

St Bees Ruin

Those arriving at St Bees by train should leave the station to the Priory Church side and make their way along the ‘Coach Road’ past the petrol station and garage to the beach.

St Bees Head is the most westerly point in the North of England and on a clear day from the promenade you can look out to the Isle of Man, 20 miles or so off the coast.

The first stage of the route takes you to Egremont, four miles away. Leave the beach car park and take the first right along the straight road to the Station. Cross the level crossing and continue up the Main Street past the Platform 9 restaurant and the Queens Hotel on your right, the Manor House Hotel and the post office on your left.

At the next junction you have the choice to take: The challenging route left up Outrigg (20%) and over Baybarrow, with rewarding views over to Ennerdale, Wasdale and down the coast to Eskdale and further

Or continue up the Main Street to take the second right – signposted for the Hadrians Way C72 route – and fol ow the coast (Nethertown Road) and charming single-track lanes to Coulderton, then head inland for Egremont and the Lakes.

At the T-junction in Coulderton head right to Middletown, taking first left just before the telephone box. Fol ow the lane for a short while, but instead of heading right, go straight on past Black Ling and Pickett How, up the narrow minor road. Make sure to enjoy views across to Dent Fel – the western edge of the Lake District as you head towards Egremont. Arriving in Egremont, take time to visit the Castle (pictured), then fol ow the national cycle route 72 which is clearly signed through the town and out to the north.

About a mile north of Egremont is Clintz Quarry Nature Reserve, a limestone quarry of dramatic proportions with 100ft cliffs. It is home to some rare orchids in May and June, and is a sanctuary for birds.