C2C - Plymouth to St Bees


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May 17th 2022
Published: May 17th 2022
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When you’ve grown up thinking anything past Bristol counts as the North, spending over 9 hours, on 4 different trains, makes you realise just how much more North there actually is in England! Thankfully, the whole journey (Plymouth to Bristol, to Birmingham, to Carlisle, to St Bees) went smoothly to plan, with just the very last train teasing us with its inability to keep the engine running (blocked filter which was quickly sorted).

It was a long journey which went surprisingly quickly, spent people watching, listening to music, learning Spanish, eating (grateful for the pre bought snacks and lunch we had as there was no other opportunity to get anything with no time or no facilities; Carlisle station, our longest stop of 1hour, at 5:30pm, had nothing to offer other then a closing bar), and watching the changing landscape and undecided weather. The last train from Carlisle to St Bees was only a small one, ageing and loud with old style open windows and clunky tracks. There was also an ageing population on there too, with one group loudly sharing stories from memory lane (“oh, and that’s where nana used to come out and wave her handkerchief at us”) whilst drinking Prosecco and eating Pringles; pretty fascinating and entertaining really, which we could tune into, like a local tour along the coastal part of the track.

Anyway, arriving at the hotel (The Seacote) at 19:30 we made it just in time to check in and grab some food from their bar before it shut. A slightly tired but clean place, with all that you need and friendly staff we were glad we had made it up and excited to explore the next day; we had given ourselves the next day here incase the journey up had not gone so well / give time to double check bags / explore the local area.

Which we did the next morning. A very blowy day, with a rough, grey sea smashing onto the many smooth pebbles, and the sun trying hard to gleam between breaks in the stormy clouds, we enjoyed a refreshing walk along the coast. We found the starting plaque for the coast to coast trail, dipped our fingers into the sea and chose a pebble to take across England (tradition apparently), as well as exploring the small town and learning about some of its history in the local chapel; including learning about the St Bees man, a mummified knight! There’s also a couple pubs which seem to only open in the evening, a beachside cafe, and decent play park, a school, a caravan site and locals houses, but that is about it. According to their events board though, there may be more happenings in St Bees…just only at weekends and for certain events of the year.

A pretty chilled afternoon followed, and with everything good to go, a relaxed evening too. Excited to start the 190mile trail tomorrow! Wish us luck!


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18th May 2022

Good luck and godspeed!
Loving the blog and pics, and looking forward to hearing your adventures!

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