DAY 1 ... ST BEES TO ENNERDALE BRIDGE ... 14 MILES

My itinerary; started the C2C May 6 in St Bees on the Irish Sea, finished 18 May in Robin Hoods Bay on the North Sea, 195 miles in 13 days. I'll be adding another 15 miles down the coast to Scarborough to catch the train to York. This morning I'm well rested and raring to go. After a very nice English breakfast with four eating mates, I was off by 8:45. Robert was gone by the time I finished breakfast and I didn't see him again. At the beach carpark, I saw a group of 8 leaving a van and hoisting their backpacks. I'll glimpse them every day until we reach RHB and the Bay Hotel where we hoisted some pints.


Statue of St. Bega


Overlooking Start of C2C


Up Onto St. Bees Head

From St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge was sloshy, muddy and rainy. Light clouds hovered along the clifftops as I pass a couple struggling up onto St. Bees Head, a rocky cliff with soaring seagulls, crashing waves below. At Fleswick Bay, I followed the ravine to the beach with high red rock cliffs. Wonderful pebbles here, I selected one to carry across England and throw into the North Sea, an old tradition. Passing the lighthouse, everyone else is behind me except for a fresh set of boot prints. Could it be Robert who had left by 8 am?


Birds Below St. Bees Head


Fleswick Bay Where Wonderful Pebbles Are Found


Cliffside Path Near The Lighthouse

Away from the coast, I pass under RR tracks and into bog/water heaven, primed from yesterdays rain. Map is vague here, can this really be the right way? The van group catch up and I follow across the water logged field. They have a good navigator. At Cleator, they stop for lunch and I pass them for good. I'm in familiar territory now. In 2004, I walked from Cleator to Richmond, about 2/3 of the C2C, skipping St. Bees by bussing to Cleator from Whitehaven just up the coast.

Climbing up Dent Hill I pass a couple putting on their waterproofs. It's getting very windy and rainy and they are having a hard time. My Marmot jacket is keeping me snug and dry. The cairn at the top of Dent has been built into a wind shelter since I was here last. It's so foggy I can hardly see the way. If clear, there would be a wonderful view. Down, down, down to Nannycatch, one of the most invitingly beautiful, isolated dales in England but its hard to tell on this rainy day. There is a stone circle around here, but I couldn't find it. Not much further to Ennerdale Bridge.


Nannycatch Beck - A Little Bit of Heaven

Cloggers B&B is a cozy and friendly place but bare bones, shared bath, no TV, no cookies with tea/coffee. Also no cell phone reception. Tom suggested the old oak tree across from Shepherds Arms was the best place to catch a signal, but I had no luck. My wife will just have to wait another day. Had a very good pint of Speckled Hen ale at the pub, but the food was as mediocre as it was 5 years ago. I had a beef stroganoff but should have tried the spinach Wensleydale tart just for fun.

Oh my god, I just found the room key from Stonehouse Farm. What to do? Luckily, Tom said he will give it to the postman who stops at St. Bees. It will get back by tomorrow. Whew, I hate it when this happens; last time was 12 years ago in Ireland.


Shepherds Arms in Ennerdale Bridge

<<< Previous                              Next >>>