St. Bees- Ennerdale Bridge (14 miles : 6-7 hours). We arrived in St. Bees by train from the famous Carnforth station (of Brief Encounter fame). We walked past the statue of the Irish Princess St. Beagh, who gives her name (or a corruption of it) to the village, down to the Seacote hotel, our accommodation for the night.
Day 1 of the walk dawned fine, with blue skies, light winds and warm, but not too hot temperatures- ideal for walking. We performed the obligatory 'boot dipping' in the Irish Sea (or rather a puddle of it at the top of the beach - the tide was out !) and the photo-call by the start point.
Then off we went - the first part of the walk actually heads north up the cliff top above St Bees head, with great views of the Irish Sea and back to St Bees bay. The cliffs are favourite nesting grounds for sea birds, with several RSPB viewing points alongside the path.
After passing St Bees lighthouse, the path swings east, then inland to the pleasant village of Sandwith, where the pub was in use as a polling station on the day we passed through (it was EU Referendum day) - then on to the village of Moor Row, where there is a statue of a Coast-to-Coast walker as you enter the village.
A short distance further on brings you to the village of Cleator, with its famous pie-selling village store- a good place to stock up on refreshments for the rest of the day's walking. Then comes the only real climb of the day - up to the top of Dent Fell (352 metres), with the last good views back to the Irish Sea, before you head on east towards the Lakes.
Dropping down from the top of Dent Fell (via a steep, knee-testing path), you start to get a glimpse of the dramatic scenery to come in the Lakes, with various Lakeland Fells coming into view in the distance.
The last few miles walking involve a pleasant ramble next to the Nannycatch Beck, then alongside the road down into Ennerdale Bridge.
We walked into Ennerdale Bridge, slightly weary and sore-footed after a good 14-15 miles walking, but it was generally easy walking over pleasant terrain and good paths. Navigation was generally straightforward, but some attention to the map was needed near Bell House (after Sandwith), coming out of Cleator and also over Dent Fell, to avoid going off course. We stayed at the Shepherd's Arms Hotel in Ennerdale Bridge, which was quite comfortable, but the better food is to be found at the Fox and Hounds pub in the village.
Peter and Lorraine, owners of Ty Uchaf since 2011. We will post occasionally items that may be of interest to our guests, past, present and future !