|Name of walk||St. Bees to Whitehaven Cliff Path with Fr. John|
|Date of walk||2017-08-04|
|Distance walked (miles)||7|
|Duration of walk||4 hours 0 minutes|
|Weather||rain and overcast.|
|Peaks on walk||None|
|Walked with||Fr. John Inglis|
Fr. John met me off the train at St. Bees’ station and we drove down and parked at the beach. We were going to walk the cliff path to Whitehaven, then catch the train back to St. Bees. The walk was 7 miles and would take about four hours. It was quite windy and rain was forecast, but it is an easy walk and on a good day has great views.
We had a coffee at the beach cafe before we started the walk, at this stage there were still bits of blue sky. We would be heading up the cliff ahead.
A closer view. It was windy, but not too bad for walking a cliff path. I have walked it before in a gale.
This route is the start of the Coast to Coast walking route to Robin Hood's Bay. We would be walking the first few miles as far as Sandwith, where the route then heads inland and we stay on the coast path.
View back to St. Bees.
We head up to the top of the cliff.
We can just see the lighthouse on the horizon.
It was raining by the time we reached this first view point. John put his waterproof trousers on. There wasn't much of a view in the rain so I took a photo of what we should have been seeing!
The path has lots of new gates and bridges since my last visit three years ago, and some bits of the path are now away from the edge.
We head down towards Fleswick Bay.
In spring there are hundreds of guillemots and various other birds nesting on the cliff faces, but in August we have to make do with other forms of wildlife. This rabbit wasn't at all bothered by our proximity.
Excuse the rain on the lens!
A new path was being built. We helped trample down the new soil.
The purple heather is just starting to flower.
Not a bird in sight!
I lied....a few herring gulls.
In the rain we head for the shelter of the lighthouse wall to have our lunch, which John has once again provided.
The lighthouse was built in 1822.
Lunch spot out of the wind.
Time to get going again.
The cliff edge building that contains the Fog Horn.
Whitehaven can only just be seen through the rain clouds.
I thought I'd take a break from photographing sheep, I'd not like to become too predictable!
Whitehaven harbour wall in the distance.
Looking back towards the lighthouse.
The sign post at the Sandwith turn-off where the Coast to Coasters divert inland.
This dinghy was in a garden at the signpost for the route to Sandwith. No, it is not Father John after a night on the tiles!
We take the diagonal path that leads down to sea level.
We follow the footpath towards Whitehaven, passing the Haig Colliery, now a mining museum.
Looking to the outer harbour and the Candlestick (an old chimney connected to the Wellington Pit). The first time I walked here in a gale, the waves were so high they were breaching the harbour wall.
John descending to the inner harbour and marina.
Memorial to the Wellington Pit disaster.
Map of our route from St. Bees to Whitehaven.
John Paul Jones led a naval raid upon Whitehaven in 1778 during the American War of Independence; it was the last invasion of England! Mildred Gale, grandmother of George Washington is also buried here in the grounds of St. Nicholas` church.
We had a well deserved coffee and cake at Tesco cafe, which is next to the train station, then caught the train to Barrow, John getting off at St. Bees to collect his car for the drive back to Cockermouth. Despite the rain it was an excellent day.