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2021 is Cumbria's Year of the Coast. Most people know the Lake District, Cumbria for our lakes and mountains but our rugged coastline is certainly worth a visit. In 2021 we are celebrating our rich coastal landscapes, villages and towns.

How much coast is there in the Lake District, Cumbria?

The Lake District, Cumbria boasts more than 100 miles of stunning coastline from the Solway Firth in the north, to Morecambe Bay in the south.

Where to visit on the Cumbrian Coast?

The Solway Firth is the UK’s third largest estuary and is a designated area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. And it’s easy to see why. There you’ll discover rare birds, important plant life, sand dunes, salt marsh, raised mires sand and mud flats that provide an array of different habitats for many animals. Be sure to bring your binoculars.

2021 - The Year of the Cumbrian Coast

The docks at Whitehaven are ideal for a picnic or a day out at the Beacon Museum is an interactive experience exploring the area’s fascinating history and culture.

2021 - The year of the Cumbrian Coast

Towering sandstone cliffs dominate St Bees. The beach at St Bees Head is also the starting point for the 190-mile Coast to Coast walk, made famous by Alfred Wainwright in one of his celebrated guides. It’s also the site of an RSPB nature reserve.

2021 - The year of the Cumbrian Coast

Ravenglass is the Lake District National Park’s only coastal village and is simultaneously located in both of Cumbria’s World Heritage Sites – a very special place indeed.  The stunning secluded beaches combine the coast with a backdrop of dramatic Lakeland fells. There is loads to do to entertain the family too. A trip on the narrow gauge Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway is a winner with kids and big kids too! The nearby Muncaster Castle is famous for extensive gardens, Castle tours, the bird of prey shows and their various events throughout the year. The Halloween spectacular is one not to be missed.

2021 - The year of the Cumbrian Coast

Silecroft needs to be on your list of places to visit. This pretty coastal village with adjoining beach are overlooked by the towering Black Combe.

2021 - The year of the Cumbrian Coast

For twitchers, a visit to Walney Island is a must. And it’s not just birds to spot but an abundance of wildlife, including seal pups, thanks to its two nature reserves.

2021 - The year of the Cumbrian Coast

From Walney head down the north-western peninsula coast to find Roanhead beach and sand dunes, alongside the Sandscale Haws Nature Reserve. A sun-trap on a bright day, families will love exploring the natural world and playing hide and seek among the dunes.

Piel Island, just off the Furness Peninsula is a vehicle-free zone and a great place for camping with the ruins of a 14th century castle as a backdrop. If you are seeking a bit of peace and quiet this is the place for you. The only way to reach the island is by ferry.

2021 - The year of the Cumbrian Coast

Further round the rugged Cumbrian Coast, the Lake District fells hug the magnificent Morecambe Bay. Guided cross Bay walks are a unique experience to sample the tranquillity of the Bay. However, the tide comes in so fast and with the hazard of dangerous quick sands, this must only be done with an official guide to the sands.

2021 - The year of the Cumbrian Coast

The seaside towns and villages along the Bay are just waiting to be explored. The cobbled streets of Cartmel pave the way to the world’s most famous sticky toffee pudding. This little village punches well above its weight with a 12th Century Priory, a racecourse and a Michellin star restaurant. You’ll find regular race days and large outdoor concerts. Grange-Over-Sands is a gentil Edwardian seaside resort with independent shops and tea rooms. Arnside is the perfect place to enjoy fish and chips and admire the views of Morecambe Bay.

2021 - The year of the Cumbrian Coast

Not content with just one, our second Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is Arnside and Silverdale. There are ancient woodlands, wildflower-rich limestone grasslands, protected limestone pavements, coastal salt-marshes and rare butterflies.

The 81 mile ‘Bay Cycleway’ takes riders through the AONB, whilst the Cartmel Peninsula is a stunning rural landscape consisting of green meadows, narrow country lanes and quant villages. Explore over the course of a week where no two days will be the same.

Related

Whitehaven
Town
Whitehaven

A delightful Georgian town with its street grid pattern and buildings largely still intact and harbour signifying the town's rich maritime heritage.

St Bees Village
Village
St Bees Village. Photo: Doug Sim, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The cliffs at St Bees (named after St Bega) are dramatic, composed of striking red sandstone some over 300ft high. There is an RSPB nature reserve.

Ravenglass
Village
Ravenglass

Where the Lake District meets the sea - an intoxicating mix of coast, mountain scenery of the highest order and top tourist attractions.

South Walney Nature Reserve
Nature Reserve
South Walney Nature Reserve

A wild, exposed coastal reserve with thousands of breeding seabirds, wintering birds, grey seals and coastal Flora. Four miles of trail and 8 hides give amazing views of Morecambe Bay.

Cartmel Village Shop
Shop - Food
Cartmel Village Shop

Birthplace of Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding, also stocks the very finest local produce and speciality food. It really is a foodies paradise.

Grange over Sands
Town
Grange over Sands

Grange-over-Sands is Lakeland's Riviera. Cradled between the hills and the sea it has one of the mildest climates in the North of England.

A trip to the seaside - Milnthorpe & Arnside
Cycle Route
A trip to the seaside - Milnthorpe & Arnside

Cycle south from Kendal on Sustrans NCN 6 on quiet lanes enjoying views across low rounded hills to the Lakeland and Howgill fells.

Bay Cycle Way
Cycle Route
Bay Cycle Way

NCN 700 – From Walney Island near Barrow to Glasson Dock, Lancaster, this cycle route takes in breathtaking scenery of Morecambe Bay spectacular coastline, quiet roads, greenways, canal towpaths and promenades.

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