Day 1: St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge

A long day’s travel from Dorset had left us tired enough to be asleep by 8pm so we were up breakfasted and walking from The Manor Hotel in St Bees towards the start of Wainwrights C2C at the beach at 8am.

The first day of July in 2016 promised to be changeable. It was cool grey and breezy.
As we approached the beach we glimpsed a lively sea crashing up into the foreshore.

We had a photo taken at the official start sign by some guys who were setting off to cycle C2C on a different route to our walk…

At the start in St Bees

At the start in St Bees

…and then we were off heading up the cliff along the coast path. There are lofty cliffs at an average height of 300 feet which are divided at Fleswick Bay by a rocky gully.

On the cliffs to St Bees Head

On the cliffs to St Bees Head

The weather was improving and in the brightness we had stunning views out to sea to the Isle of Man. After a couple of miles St Bees lighthouse is reached. There has been a lighthouse here since 1917. After the lighthouse the cliff turns east with a fine view of Sallom Bay and across to the Solway Firth.

The route leaves the coast and heading east goes through the sleepy village of Sandwith. The distant view was becoming rather exciting as our first hill, Dent, came into view with the Lakeland fells beyond.

First hill of many...Dent.

First hill of many…Dent.

Once through the village of Cleator we began to climb. Dent is an excellent viewpoint with a wide panorama. The whole Cumbrian coastal plain is in view and we could still make out the Isle of Man. However, it was the view to the west of the Lakeland fells that drew my attention.

Lakeland draws the eye

Lakeland draws the eye

We met 4 Australians on Dent who were lost so we were able to help them out and they kindly took a picture of the three of us.

The three of us on Dent

The three of us on Dent

It was becoming increasingly cloudy so we hastened onwards down the steep slope to Nannycatch Beck. A heavy shower came through which had us digging out our waterproofs. We wandered up the little ravine containing Nannycatch Beck before climbing up to the lane which led us down to our destination for day 1, the Fox and Hounds at Ennerdale. The wet grass soaked our socks and into our boots. It was this early in the walk that we decided ankle gaiters would be a useful addition to our kit.

Ennerdale Bridge

Ennerdale Bridge

27 km with 830m of elevation.

The GPX file for the route that we followed is here

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