St Bees

By popular request we decided in 2007 to introduce a third possible start to the route: St Bees, the seaside neighbour of the newly vibrant Egremont. St Bees is the tried and trusted start to the Coast to Coast walk, famously founded by Alfred Wainwright in 1973. It is also a lovely coastal setting and a splendid but smaller alternative to the bustling charms of Whitehaven and Workington. The Egremont area has been mining iron ore and quarrying for more than 800 years and it is home to Florence Mine, the last deep Iron Ore mine in Western Europe. There is plenty of eager and competitive accommodation in Egremont, plus numerous hostelries and eateries in the area. Indeed, huge efforts are being put into the regeneration of this former weaving and dyeing town. Egremont’s hidden gems include the Norman Castle with its literary connection to Wordsworth’s Bal ad of the Horn of Egremont; Hartley’s ice cream factory and shop; Lowes Court Gallery and its Tourist Information Centre, 01946 820693, with exhibitions of Cumbrian artists and local crafts. As a ‘Fairtrade Town’ Egremont has a number of shops sel ing locally produced and sourced foods and holds a Farmers Market on the third Friday of every month in the Market Hal .The main street has a variety of facilities, shops, pubs and takeaways catering for visitor needs. During the annual Crab Fair, which celebrated its 840th anniversary in September 2007, the greasy pole climbing and gurning (face pulling) events draw large crowds of locals and visitors. Indeed, the town is synonymous with that time honoured English tradition of gurning.

This year wil see further improvements to the town and its facilities, such as circular cycling routes, riverside walks and new planting to the town’s entrances as part of the Egremont Market Town Initiative work.

The Tourist Information Centre at Lowes Court Gal ery is always there for details of things to do in and around the town. 01946 820693

The local regeneration partnership is keen to improve the visitor offer further and welcomes your comments, suggestions and information by email, through its website or by post:

De Lucy Centre, 15 Market Place, Egremont, CA22 2AF 01946 828 101 or 07795 290826