Cumbria Coastal Way

Our final day! Ravenglass to St Bees. Around 15 miles in total. Driving down to our start point, the rain was even more torrential than yesterday – just to say we weren’t looking forward to our day. However, getting out of the car, the rain had almost stopped. Lucky to say the least!

Our day started off slightly inland from the estuary going up to the small village of Drigg. From here we back tracked towards the coast with a strong breeze from the west making us put our coats on. The next part of the walk was quite enjoyable – a meandering path through the dunes along the beach with glorious views out to sea. 

After twisting through the dunes, we arrived at Seascale – a grand little village however dwarfed by the ugliness of Sellafield where we then headed towards on an easy cycleway. By the time we reached the barbed wire confines of Sellafield, we were ready for another easy stretch alongside the railway. But no! The path past the nuclear pipeline had been closed since 2010 meaning a long diversion through the heart of the plant itself.

We were certainly pleased to escape the mugginess of Sellafield to reach boggy fields. From here we crossed the railway and over to more winding sand dunes. With the dune path disappearing, we escaped onto the beach, now at low tide. This terrain allowed us to clock up the miles past Braystones but just before Nethertown our progress slowed with slimy boulders.

With the path worsening and night drawing in, we decided to escape to the road above us. We ended up, like yesterday, trudging the last few miles on the concrete with darkness closing in. We finished off along the beach before St Bees in darkness – a tranquil way to end our trek around Cumbria.

If you would like to sponsor us for our efforts (in aid of church lighting) please either call the Parish Office on 01484 427964 or sign the sheet at the back of church! 

Thank you!

A late alarm meant that we rushed out of the B&B before a 30 or so minute drive to our start point of St Bees. Our drive down consisted mainly of torrential rain yet when we arrived at St Bees the rain had stopped and the air was clear so we set off yet with raincoats in tow.

Climbing onto the cliffs, the Isle of Man was visible but the wet weather from the south was chasing us. We continued to climb with wet ground underfoot. It had to happen eventually though…

The rain had set in although not too heavy as had been forecast previously. Thankfully, it seemed to be just a shower and by the time we reached Whitehaven there was only a tiny bit of drizzle to accompany our fish and chips on a damp picnic bench.

With fish and chips consumed, we continued by skirting the railway line along a gravel path until we reached the tired village of Parton where drizzly rain began to set in – again! Our spirits undampened, we carried on up onto a cliff top where we could see the sun beginning to come across to land. 

With the drizzle almost gone, we reached Harrington – a small suburb of Workington. From here we trotted along the backstreets of Workington. Here we had a decision: take the coastal path up to Flimby aware that darkness was setting in or march up the main road. We decided road would be best. We didn’t care about plodding; we were just happy to arrive in Flimby, with a few aches, 17 miles later.
Our day started off just a few miles south of our B & B in the somewhat dilapidated seaside village of Flimby. Our path was, at first, alongside the sea through meandering dunes with tall marram grass. Soon we arrived back in Maryport where we could see our B&B up on the hillside. We resisted temptation to sneak back and go back to bed. Instead we continued along past the harbour and on to the promenade which went on for a mile or so.

The boring concrete ended and we had an undulating path alongside the golf course with views out to the sea which was getting rougher as the day went on. We were then left with views to a settlement. Scotland? Silloth? Allonby? It turned out to be Allonby – a welcome relief as a cup of tea waited to go alongside our lunch.

Our path turned out to be on the beach for the rest of the day – quite an interesting walk along soft sands as a well as pebbly ground and criss crossing rivers. The beach continued for over 7 miles until we reached Silloth where our car awaited. Here at Silloth another cup of tea awaited us at a Kathleen Ferrier café.

Back at B & B we lounged for a couple of hours before a good dinner. Our conversations focussed on the weather. Either we take Chris’ local forecast from this morning – fine weather Tuesday and Wednesday or the BBC tonight – heavy rain all of Wednesday. We will decide tomorrow whether to curtail the proposed 18 miles and complete the docked miles on Friday or trek in the rain the whole day. 

Our decision… this space….!

Today our day started in the small seaside town of Silloth, (birth place of HPC’s own Isobel), we walked along a promenade with magnificent views over to Scotland across the Solway Firth. As the houses ran out, we turned off from the village of Skinburness to make a decision – traverse the salt marshes or plod along the road? With road walking coming up the later in the day we decided to risk the salt marsh.

Thankfully, the route,on the whole, wasn’t too boggy yet regular meandering streams made the walk slow. Leaping from one bank to another aggravated Chris’ ever ageing hip joint. After a fair few miles of salt marshes in glorious weather, we reached a more sedate path that followed the sweeping river until it diverted off at Abbeytown.

From Abbeytown a lot of the day would be on quiet country roads: boring on the feet yet excellent for ticking off the miles. After Newton Arlosh, however, a path off the road was a welcome sight – no more plodding! Instead going along the perimeter of a field boundary until that path ended too. This left us with a wooded ‘path’ amongst brambles and bracken that would have been thriving in the summer. Still, as a result, our progress slowed.

It wasn’t long until we reached Angerton meaning a finish before the sun went down to cross off another 15 miles in our trek.

This blog is being written from a homely B&B – base for for the next three nights. Having had a delicious meal in the local pub and full English ordered once again, we should be well set up for tomorrow’s jaunt of 15 miles.

This is a first in the series of blogs about our walk around the Cumbria Coastal Way. (‘Our’ being Rev Canon Simon Moor, Peter, his son, along with Chris – the same team that walked The Great Glen Way and The Arran Coastal Way.) We are walking the 60+ miles for sponsorship in aid of church lighting. 

Today was a small section – around 4 miles thanks to the clocks changing. Having driven up to small settlement of Kirkbride, we set off knowing that we only had around 1 hour and a half of daylight left meaning a speedy march would be required! To start with a bit of road walking – always good to clock up the miles on! Yet the road had to end eventually and we followed a bridalway for a mile or so until we reached familiar territory – part of Hadrian’s Wall Path that we walked a few years previous. This final stretch into Angerton was short thankfully with the early darkness closing in as well as a bit of drizzle settling in. 

Today was only a short taster into our adventure with a 14 mile stretch tomorrow but after some hearty pub grub, a sleep and a full English Breakfast, we should be well stoked for the day ahead.