A trip to the seaside

St Bees from the coastal path
St Bees from the coastal path

After a couple of days of hot weather it is a bit colder, so with a change in the weather we felt our bodies needed a change of terrain. We decided a trip to a couple of RSPB sites on the coast was in order. First we would go to Millom to look round RSPB Hodbarrow NR, then on to St Bees Head where there is a watch point.

We left hut 09:30ish and headed down the valley road to pick up the A595 that runs north south along the coast.
The land on the coast is very agricultural, I guess it is the only opportunity between the barren lake land and the sea, also being some what cut off they would have needed to be self sufficient in days gone by.

Millom is an old iron ore mine, opened in 1850 and closed down in 1968, and at it’s peak employed 1,000 workers. The old mine explains all the grand buildings in the town center, it now looks a bit down on it’s heal but there is clearly still industry around, which we noticed as we drove around lost looking for the RSPB signs. The shops seemed to be mainly independents, I tried a hardware store to get an imperial nut for my panorama instrument, I had left at home, they were very helpful, but could not find one. They said they knew some one 300 miles away that sold all sorts of imperial stuff, I laughed and said I have a nut but it is also 300 miles away!

View of St Bees coast

The nature reserve is formed by the harbour wall built for the mine, but now flooded and forms a big lagoon. There were lots of Warblers signing we got Chiffchaff, Willow, and Sedge. There is a good hide and the list on the whiteboard was impressive, we got Merganser, Eider, Sandwich and Common Tern, Ringed Plover, Mute Swan, Shelduck, and Tufted to mention most of those I remember.

We stopped off Tesco to get some lunch, then drove on to St Bees where we parked at the beach car park £1.40 for 2 hours.
**stop press as I write this sat on a cliff at St Bees head, I get a message from my phone, that I am roaming, so I want to turn data off? It turns out I am connected to MANX the Isle of Man mobile provider. **

We walked up the coastal path and found a bench for a rest and a chance to update the blog and do a bit of sea watching. There were Guillimots and Razor bills about. The parking money was running out so we headed back to the car to driver to Egremont to stock up on supplies for the next few days walking, we wanted to not be tied to stopping at pubs, for lunch so we got some rolls and stuff to fill them with.

Wasdale valley view

Next stop would be Wasdale we wanted to go and have a look, at the lake. The village of Wasdale seemed a bit more tourist developed than Eskdale. We drove through the village and up to the lake, the views from the lake are stunning even when it is a bit hazy (although not as hazy as it has been). The lake look deep not very wide but quite long, the mountains descend very steeply down to the lake, particularly on the Eskdale side, when you look up the lake it is framed both side and at the end by high Lakeland Fells. There were clouds about so the photo’s should be a bit better than then pones taken in the past few days, with the harsh sun, and cloudless skies.

We took the shortcut back to Eskdale Green, over the hill, had a quick refresh and headed down to the Bowerhouse Inn where there is free WiFi so if you are lucky you may get some photo’s for the previous three posts. They are uploading as we speak.

Tomorrow we are thinking that we need to drive back over to Wasdale and do some walking around the end near Wasdale Head. Perhaps even having a go at Scaffell Pike, but that is quite a big under taking, so watch this space.