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A circular, half-day coast walk around the spectacular sandstone headland near St Bees, best-known to walkers as the starting point for the Coast to Coast walk. There's plenty to enjoy on this shorter walk, including the lighthouse and the bird colonies on the cliffs around the headland.
Loop or linear? Loop
Map: OS Landanger: 89 West Cumbria, Cockermouth & Wast Water
Total distance: 15.2km (9.4 miles)
Total height gain: 559m (1833ft)
Start and Finish: St Bees, OS Grid: NX969118
Unsuitable for: younger children, buggies, wheelchairs
Public transport: either the Cumbrian Coast Railway to St Bees station, or bus services from Keswick
1. St Bees station OS Grid: NX969118
Start the walk from St Bees station.
2. Scale Barrow OS Grid: NX967122 About 0.4 km (roughly 0.2 miles) from 1
Head left out of the station, then right along Abbey Road. At the junction, turn left along Scale Barrow towards the coast.
3. Rottington OS Grid: NX960126 About 0.8 km (roughly 0.5 miles) from 2
Not the most charming of village names, but don't let that put you off. Continue through the village along the road.
4. Sandwith Newtown OS Grid: NX961143 About 1.7 km (roughly 1 miles) from 3
At Sandwith Newtown, turn left at the first junction.
5. Lane to the beach OS Grid: NX957149 About 0.7 km (roughly 0.5 miles) from 4
Follow the road and keep heading towards the beach.
6. Saltom Bay OS Grid: NX956154 About 0.5 km (roughly 0.3 miles) from 5
You join the coastal path at Saltom Bay. Head southwards along the path.
7. St Bees lighthouse OS Grid: NX940144 About 1.9 km (roughly 1.2 miles) from 6
As you turn the corner, you reach St Bees lighthouse. This is a new lighthouse; the old one was the last coal-powered lighthouse in Britain.
8. St Bees Head OS Grid: NX943134 About 1.1 km (roughly 0.7 miles) from 7
Continue along the path to St Bees Head, home to thousands of black guillemots
9. South Head OS Grid: NX953118 About 1.9 km (roughly 1.2 miles) from 8
Continue past Fleswick Bay and on to South Head. This is the start of the coast to coast path (not marked on OS maps as it's not an official long-distance path).
10. Beech Road OS Grid: NX962117 About 0.9 km (roughly 0.5 miles) from 9
Just beyond the camping and caravan park, head up Beech Road into St Bees.
11. St Bees OS Grid: NX971118 About 0.9 km (roughly 0.5 miles) from 10
The Queens Hotel near the station is a good spot for a post-walk drink, and popular with those setting off on the Coast to Coast.
Cover image: Roger Hiley loweswatercam.co.uk