Sunday 27 September 2015
Whitehaven to Braystones
Tarnside Caravan Park
What a beautiful, sunny day for a drive through the Lake District. Jenny kindly drove me all the way back to Whitehaven to start walking again and it was a lovely drive via Keswick with great views of the mountains.
As it was Sunday, Whitehaven was quite peaceful and the views across the harbour were lovely.
When I cycled the Coast-to-Coast in 2010 we started our ride from here and I had been told that it was good luck to take a stone from one coast to the other. When I was in Robin Hood’s Bay I found the smallest stone possible and carried it all the way around with me so I threw it into the Whitehaven harbour.
The Candlestick was rather imposing on the cliff and there was a monument to signal the end of mining at Whitehaven when the Haig Pit closed in 1986.
There was a steep climb up the cliff to the site of the coal pit, which is now a museum.
From here it was more uphill to get around St Bees Head, which looked beautiful in the sunshine.
It was an excellent, and well travelled, cliff top walk. The views across the sea and back to Scotland were outstanding on such a sunny day. Of course if I had the added bonus of great views of the mountains if I looked inland. It doesn’t get better than this.
As I rounded St Bees Head I waved goodbye to Scotland and looked ahead towards Sellafield Nuclear Power Station and Morecambe Bay.
There was a beautiful little beach tucked into the cliffs between North and South Head and there were a few people sat enjoying the day.
I carried on to the town of St Bees, the actual start of Wainwright’s Coast-to-Coast walk. I think people thought that’s what I was doing.
I decided to stop here and get a late lunch at the cafe as I didn’t think I’d find anywhere to eat near the campsite (this proved to be a good decision). So Slab pie and peas it was for me.
From St Bees I walked a mixture of the stony beach and the cliff top or minor roads, depending on whether a path was visible across the fields or not. It looks like some of the cliff top path has been eroded away.
The last section was along the shingle beach and I was surprised to see a long row of houses built on the beach. The ‘road’ is just the beach and most cars were 4x4s. Very strange.
In the middle of this ‘street’ of houses was Braystones train station and the entrance to my campsite for the night. Great views.