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St Bees and Maryport - Day 1

Discover St Bees. Towering red sandstone cliffs, a perfect sandy beach and a rich past – part of England’s only Heritage Coast between Scotland and Wales. Enjoy a walk round the Cumbrian coast on the towering cliffs of St Bees Head, taking in the largest sea bird colony in the North West (during spring and summer).
Then head up the coast to Maryport, a bustling harbour town with Roman roots. Discover its maritime past and enjoy a Roman ramble.



Alight at St Bees station and follow the road signposted “Beach”.
The dramatic cliffs of St Bees rise from the seafront and are the highest and most westerly point in England, made up of vast slabs of red sandstone laid down some 240 million years ago. Home to an array of sea birds and wildlife, these cliffs will inspire you to use your coastal escape to explore.
Discover the legend of the Irish princess who fled across the Irish Sea to St Bees to avoid an enforced marriage, wonder at the carved stones in the priory left by Irish-Norse Vikings who settled in the area in the 10th century and marvel at the tale of St Bees Man. There is a wealth of history just waiting to be unwrapped.
Explore the promenade and beach and don’t forget to pop in to Hartley’s for an Ice-cream

St Bees

The magnificent, mile-long, sandy beach at St Bees is one of the best on the whole Western Lake District coast. The wide promenade along this popular beach, which is the start of the famous Wainwright 'Coast to Coast walk.



There are several pubs and eateries within walking distance of the beach.


The four miles of St Bees Head’s stunning red sandstone cliffs is well worth the walk. It’s the source of St Bees’ sandstone – the red stone used for many buildings in Cumbria. The area is a RSPB nature reserve and provides nesting sites for more than 5,000 pairs of seabirds. It’s also famously home to England’s only colony of Black Guillemots.

Almost 100m in height, the towering cliffs are topped with grassland and patches of wild gorse, which also provide havens for a wide variety of small birds. Keep cameras and binoculars on standby for the Peregrine falcons that often hunt along the coast and can sometimes be seen flying overhead or perched on the cliff face.

Access to the reserve is via the path over the metal footbridge at the north end of the promenade. From here follow the coastal path to St Bees Head and back. Tread carefully, as this is an unprotected cliff-top route.

St Bees

This is a pretty route, beginning in the historic village of St Bees. The route follows narrow country lanes with lush green fields on either side and glimpses of the glittering sea can be seen along the coastal edge.

Cycle Route: St Bees, Egremont, Beckermet

  • Miles: 13




Catch the train to Maryport or spend a night in one of the pretty coastal villages along the way.

Other Itineraries

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