The largest seabird colony on the west coast of England is at St Bees Head.
The four miles of St Bees Head’s stunning red sandstone cliffs is well worth the walk. It’s the source of St Bees’ sandstone – the red stone used for many buildings in Cumbria. The area is a RSPB nature reserve and provides nesting sites for more than 5,000 pairs of seabirds. It’s also famously home to England’s only colony of Black Guillemots.
Almost 100m in height, the towering cliffs are topped with grassland and patches of wild gorse, which also provide havens for a wide variety of small birds. Keep cameras and binoculars on standby for the Peregrine falcons that often hunt along the coast and can sometimes be seen flying overhead or perched on the cliff face.
There are plenty of opportunities to tie up those bootlaces and stride out on beautiful walks taking in the coast and the surrounding countryside. Reach the lighthouse at North Head or explore the rich green valley leading down to Fleswick Bay.