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Pictures of St Bees

a Seaside Town in the county of Cumbria
St Bees as seen from clifftops

About St Bees

St.Bees, the most westerly coastal village on the wild cumbrian coast, is a vision of loveliness, with dream-like scenery to which the red sandstone bluff of St.Bees Head forms a dramatic back-drop. There is a unique sense of peace pervading this special place, perhaps this is due to the legend of a priory being founded here by St. Bega who landed here in 900 AD and who was thought to be an Irish princess.

The scenery here inspired Alfred Wainwright to choose St.Bees as the start of his 'coast to coast' walk devised in 1972. And a wealth of fascinating wildlife is largely responsible for the RSPB Nature Reserve perched on the headland that is home to a variety of wild sea birds amongst which are Puffins, terns and a rare colony of Black Guillemots. From the soft, springy turf of the headland there are fabulous views of lofty sandstone cliffs sweeping down to lonely beaches fringed by tumbling waves.

Attractive buildings are a feature of St.Bees village. As you wander around you note a pleasant mix of architecture, sweet cottages dating from around the 17th-century blend easily with handsome Georgian dwellings, grand Victorian Hotel's and historic, atmospheric inns. The village has the usual assortment of village shops here the owner greets you with a welcoming smile. Any visitor arriving here in search of accommodation, will find themselves spoilt for choice. The village stages several enjoyable music, drama and art festivals throughout the year and at the side of the beach there is an adventure playground for children.

The beach is a paradise for everyone. High tide reveals a beach of golden shingle but once the tide recedes you see a vast expanse of gorgeous red sand. It has an ENCAMS seaside award, so you are assured of the quality and cleanliness of the water. There is no harbour but boats can be launched and landed from a slipway of a nearby hotel. Footpaths lead from the beach to the top of the headland and to the lighthouse at North Head. It is well worth the long walk up, for from the top on a clear day there are extensive views across the ocean to the Isle of Man. It is an unforgettable sight, a memory to treasure forever.

Places to visit include: The Church of St.Mary and St.Bega, St.Bees Head Nature Reserve, Egremont Castle, Ennerdale Water, Ennerdale Forest and Calder Bridge.

Recommended towns & villages near St Bees

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Complete A to Z of attractions in England