COAST TO COAST Walk UK

North Head, St Bees, Coast to Coast

What is North Head, St Bees?

<center>North Head, St Bees</center>
North Head, St Bees
The North Head of St Bees is a steep, stark headland, with captivating maritime views over Saltom Bay to the coastal cliffs of Whitehaven. During clear weather the Isle of Man is clearly visible to the west and Scotland to the north. Rounding the North head offers a fine view along the cliffs to the coast of Whitehaven.
In the bottom photograph below Whitehaven's west pier can be seen jutting into Saltom bay. Beneath the cliffs can clearly be seen the exposed red sands renowned in this area, as evidence of its prehistoric desert past.

The whole of St Bees Head is listed as a Site of Special Scientific Importance, and the sea below is part of the Cumbria Coast Marine Conservation Zone. Out of sight to Coast to Coast walkers are the sheer cliff buttresses and sea caves below North Head, where there are hundreds of nesting guillemots and other birds.
Stacks Image 151
Coast to Coast Trail Guide

Saltom Bay with in-rolling Sea Fog

North Head

St Bees Lighthouse from the cliffs on North Head

st-bees-lighthouse

Whitehaven Pier from North Head

Whitehaven Pier from North Head

Frequently Asked Questions for North Head

Is North Head the same as St Bees Head?

St Bees Head is the name given to the whole headland protruding into the Irish Sea between Whitehaven and St Bees. St Bees Head is divided into two heads, North Head and South Head. South Head, known as the Tomlin starts at the north end of Seacote Beach, where the headland cliffs rise and the sandy each disappears. The North Head of St Bees is the area between St Bees lighthouse and the curve to the east where the headland begins to travel in towards the general shoreline of Saltom Bay.

Where is the most westerly point of Northern England?

North Head is the most westerly point of north England. This is one of the two heads of St Bees Head on the Coast of Cumbria, a few miles from Whitehaven.

Does St Bees Head host a seabird colony?

St Bees Head is a Heritage Coastline and is protected as an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). The sea around St Bees Head is also a protected site, being part of the Cumbria Coast Marine Conservation Zone. The RSPB has a reserve here also, to protect large colonies of kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills, puffins, fulmars, shags, cormorants, rock pipits, peregrine falcons, sparrowhawks and ravens.

Where is St Bees Lighthouse?

On the North Head of St Bees Head, on the edge of the cliffs is the St Bees lookout tower. A hundred yards further back is St Bees lighthouse, distinct in its whitewashed appearance and cyan coloured footings. The lighthouse was originally erected in 1718 by Thomas Lutwig on behalf of Trinity House but was replaced in 1822 and again in 1865. It was modernised in 1987, fitted with electricity and automated, now casting a beam of 134,000 candela, visible up to 18 nautical miles away.