Coast to Coast Day 1: St. Bees to Ennerdale Bridge

It took us just over 7 hours to walk these 14.5 miles. The weather was kind, providing some beautiful views while also giving us a taste of how English rain can be cold and wet. The highlight for everyone was the walk along the cliff tops of St. Bees Head, looking out over the Irish Sea.

Most of us had a rough night due to jet lag, which made us all the more ready to get down to the beach and start this thing! We followed the tradition of dipping our boots in the waters of the Irish Sea (to be repeated on the other side) and collecting a pebble to be thrown in the North Sea on completion. Then, it was a climb onto the cliffs, which got the heart pumping, but also opened up remarkable views. The path was often perilously close to the cliff’s edge as it weaves its way through fields of sheep or cows and above nesting birds. Towards the end of this 5-mile stretch, a band of rain came through with strong wind, so we were happy to head inland. With the path alternating between road, old track, and trail around the edge of the fields, we passed through the classic villages of Sandwith and Moor Row before arriving at Cleator where we enjoyed our packed lunch. From Cleator, Bailey and Samuel chose the “high route” which took them 1000 ft up Dent Hill, while the rest of us took the more leisurely direct route. All were satisfied with their hike, while also very happy to arrive at the Shepherds Arms in Ennerdale Bridge which lies on the boundary of the Lake District. We could see the landscape starting to change. While muscles were weary, we are all looking forward to tomorrow, though the forecast looks like it will rain all day. It’s lucky that you can’t rely on the forecast!

The Relive video is at https://www.relive.cc/view/vdORM25NyKv.

The day begins
… before taking the essential “starter’s” photo
Though a drone video is far more fun! The walk starts on the cliffs behind us in the video.
You might be able to spot five of us on the cliff’s edge from another drone shot.
Though the perspective from the cliff path is unforgettable.
The path wound around an inlet as it followed the cliff top.
The inlets providing an exciting new perspective on the cliffs.
Lambs and sheep covered the fields, with their bleating filling air.
Most of the cows correctly predicted the rain’s arrival by sitting down, but as our Kindergarten teachers know, there is always one who tries to be different!
The rain arrived, and made us realize it is best not to pack the waterproofs at the bottom of the pack! Fortunately it wasn’t too cold today.
After heading inland, the rain stopped allowing us to enjoy a Coast to Coast statue
And a fitting war memorial.
It started to rain again just when we stopped for lunch in Cleator, but the children were able to find shelter in a playground.
After Cleator, Samuel and Bailey went their own way up Dent Hill, enjoying views all the back to where we had started.
Climbing that hill was Bailey’s highlight of the day.
Meanwhile, the adults enjoyed the 3-mile hike on the road that followed the river.
Tracy was ecstatic to enter Ennerdale Bridge, while seeing the Lakeland Fells starting to appear in the distance…
We were all happy to arrive at the night’s destination!
The picturesque village of Ennerdale Bridge, with the Shepherd’s Arms right in the middle.
Ennerdale Water and her surrounding fells look forward to welcoming us tomorrow.
I hope the day suitably honoured Dean and Tracy’s 30th wedding anniversary. The sticky toffee pudding and hot chocolate fudge cake did!

This page is linked to from my England’s Coast to Coast home page.

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Published by Peter Ireland

I am originally from England, and my wife Janet is from Louisiana. When we started Geocaching in 2002, we needed a name, and the Cajunlimeys were created, and that is the name I use for my blog. Even though Janet has no Cajun blood, her cooking is excellent! “Limeys” comes from the nickname for English sailors, who ate limes to prevent scurvy. We live in Houston, Texas, with Bailey and Samuel. We love adventures and want to share the experiences with others. When planning trips, I have found other people’s sites very useful, so I want to give back and add a different perspective.

4 thoughts on “Coast to Coast Day 1: St. Bees to Ennerdale Bridge

  1. What incredible pictures! All I can say is, “God did GOOD!” His creation is magnificent!
    So proud of my fit friends! Have a sticky toffee for me. Can’t believe I’m praying for warm weather!! Love you guys!!

    Like

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