Whitehaven's colourful coast

Rosebay willowherb on the Whitehaven coast, Cumbria

From the muddy depths of the Irish Sea, a high-energy rocky coast emerges. Towering red sandstone cliffs dominate the scene offering fantastic vantage points in all directions.

Across the Solway Firth lies Scotland’s most southern reaches with enchanting seascapes conjuring images of wilderness close at hand. Across the Irish Sea you’ll find the Isle of Man staring back, its commanding summit, Snaefell, forms a perfect peak to scrape the sky, whilst inland, Cumbria’s fells rise to encircle you with far off mountainous landscapes.
 

Coastal wildlife

 
All along this coast you’ll find wildlife a plenty, thanks to the low nutrient soils caused by past mining and land left fallow with the decline in industrial activity. There are plenty of habitats and niches to exploit such as St Bees Head cliffs where seabirds nest by the thousands, and England’s only nesting colony of Black Guillemots meet annually.
Sand leek flower, Whitehaven
Sand leek flower at Whitehaven Coast, Cumbria

Colourful history

From Romans to Vikings, miners to sailors, there have been plenty of human influences, allowing Whitehaven’s beautiful Georgian town to grow off the mineral riches of the area to become an international trading hub and industrial hot spot.
 
Today you’ll find there’s plenty of space for all to enjoy: hidden coves and bays, industrial heritage, miles of footpaths and cycling routes and a wealth of wildlife, you really are spoilt for choice.

Find out more about the Colourful Coast partnership