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A bumblebee visits the bright yellow gorse flowers on the Whitehaven Coast in spring.
Gorse in bloom by the Candlestick monument | © Chris Gomersall
Lake District

Whitehaven colourful coastal walk

This dramatic clifftop walk starts at Whitehaven’s historic 17th-century harbour, passing the town’s industrial archaeology to join Wainwright’s Coast to Coast path.

See the work of the Colourful Coast project

Experience wild, secluded beaches and discover a series of hidden gems such as Saltom Pit, the Haig Pit and Fleswick Bay. Wander through flower rich open access grasslands near Whitehaven managed by the National Trust in partnership.

Total steps: 5

Total steps: 5

Start point

The Beacon, Whitehaven

Step 1

Start by Wellington Terrace at Whitehaven Harbour (just past the Beacon Museum). Follow waymarkers up to The Candlestick (Wellington Pit's imposing chimney), then continue to the Haig Pit. On the clifftop you'll join the wagon way where trucks full of coal used to be shunted down to the harbour.

Step 2

Just after Haig Pit, follow the side path to the right to a board above Saltom Pit. There was once a path here which led to the ruined winding house. Continue along the cliff path.

Step 3

Follow the path for a short distance to come to another junction. Here, the wagon way continues on to the left, while the narrower footpath runs along the clifftop to the right. Follow the cliff edge path beyond the fields up the heathery slopes ahead onto St Bees Head. You will join an incline sloping up the cliffside towards the sandstone quarry. Here you can choose to drop down to Barrowmouth Bay.

Step 4

At the quarry follow the waymarked path on the seaward side of the quarry gates for stunning precipitous cliff top views of the coastline to the North all the way to Workington.

Step 5

This path brings you to the lighthouse, RSPB viewing points, Fleswick Bay and eventually to the beach at St Bees. To reach the railway station next to St Bees Priory, take the road running out of the car park behind the beach. When the main road curves to the left, turn right onto a side-road and then onto a footpath which crosses a field towards the Priory. The station is 220yd (200m) to the right of the Priory.

End point

The Beacon, Whitehaven

Trail map

View down to the Wellington Lodge and harbour from up on the grassy bank on a sunny day
Wellington Lodge, part of the buildings remaining in this industrial landscape | © National Trust Images / Joe Cornish

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Get in touch

Whitehaven Coast, Haig Pit Car Park, Solway Road, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 9BG

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

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