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" A West Coast ~ St Bees ~ Sunset "

Date & start time: 12th January 2013, 3.45pm start.

Location of Start : The beach car park, St Bees, Cumbria, Uk ( NX 961 117 )

Places visited : St Bees foreshore up to South Head

Walk details :   1.5 mls, 325 ft of ascent, 1 hour 10 mins.

Highest point : South Head 300 ft - 92 m.

Walked with : Joan, Ann and the dogs, Wattie, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Blue skies with cloud out to the west.

 " A West Coast, St Bees Sunset " at EveryTrail

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Time today for an afternoon walk and with the prospect of a good sunset we headed out west to the coast.

We had been driving through Loweswater and met a neighbour out for a walk with her dog.  When we told her we were off to the coast

she said that she had thought of doing the same but decided against it due to the twenty minute drive.

We invited her to join us . . . she said yes . . . and then there were three !

So we ventured out . . . down to the beach for a bit of a change.

Swings and slides are not the normal features of our playground but here we are at the seaside.

Perfect time for a sunset walk . . . starting at the Coast to Coast sign.

The Information board.
The view across the beach . . . where some dip their boots.

The start of the 190 mile walk across the backbone of England.

As the footbridge over Rottington Beck has been damaged and removed,

the river at the right hand side of the beach has to be crossed on the beach itself.

It's low tide so the river is easy to cross.

The sun had begun to set behind a bank of clouds . . . I hope it will show again before it goes.

The footpath was in the news last year as a landslip damaged the coast path.

This was one of the areas where the damage was obvious . . . the path has been re-opened further back from the edge.

As we climb we get a view back over the small coastal town of St Bees.

This rectangular structure is an old open-air swimming pool.
A burst of light bodes well for a final sunset.

30 miles out west, in the middle of the Irish Sea, we could see the Isle of Man

its summit of Snaefell reaching to over 2000 feet above sea level.

Another close up of the sunset . . . but we've lost the direct sun again.

South Head . . . looking across to Black Combe.
Looking north  . . . to the cliffs at Fleswick Bay.

Guardian of the headland . . . the St Bees Lighthouse.

. . . and a close up of the red sandstone cliffs, home to the only English breeding colony of black guillemots

The big picture as we wait for the sunset.

Chance to watch the birds as they flew around beneath us.

Better show you a picture of Joan and her dog Watson (Wattie)

as she was there and enjoying the view too.

Yes . . . we were in luck . . . the cloud didn't reach down to the horizon . . . we would get a true sunset tonight.

Sun-gazing from the old wartime coastguard lookout point.

I wonder how many fine sunsets they saw as they maintained their vigil on these high cliffs all that time ago.

Take one . . .
Take Two . . .
Take three . . .

The magic of the sun seen through the eye of the telephoto lens.

Ponder this if you will . . . the sun isn't setting . . . it is stationery . . . we are the ones that are rotating away from it at 1070 miles an hour !

Makes you feel just that little bit smaller doesn't it !

Going . . .
Going . . .


We are left basking in the afterglow of another spectacular sunset.

Time to be heading back to St Bees before the light fades.

A hint of red in the sky over the high Ennerdale Fells.

Back at the beach ready for our short-ish drive home.

- - - o o o - - -


Building of the swimming pool under the headland.

This was master-minded by Isaac Spedding, an unemployed marine engineer who enlisted unemployed volunteers to assist him. A lease on the land was given by the Lowther Estates, and work started in 1933. Six hundred tons of rock were removed with the aid of explosives and a 3 ton crane lent by Stouts Foundry. A rectangular pool was constructed which could hold 80,000 gallons of sea water and was 31/2 feet at the shallow end and 7 feet at the deep end. It had a diving board, and an apparatus to give swimming instruction.

The first picture shows tamping the dynamite before blasting during the construction of the pool.

The Pool was maintained by the St Bees Unemployed Mens' Club, who kept it clear of debris and could empty it with a petrol-driven pump. Pensioners and unemployed had free access, but children paid a penny and adults twopence. During the early part of Second War it was cleaned by boys from St Bees School, but it had silted with shingle and rocks by the War's

The Coastguard lookout on Tomlin, manned 24 hours a day,

and the scene of mock attacks by the Home Guard WW2.


With thanks to Sheila from Gosforth on the west coast.


- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, my Canon G10 or 1100D SLR digital cameras.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a selection of lenses.

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Previous walk - 10th January 2013 - Catbells Inversion

A previous time up here - Thursday 25th June 2009 A St Bees Sunset Walk

Next walk - 13th January 2013 - Barrow Fell in the Snow