Described by The I newspaper in 2019 as “England’s most forgotten coastline”, it’s a common mistake for visitors to Cumbria to overlook more than 150 miles of stunning shores and beaches.

While lakes are more commonly associated with Cumbria than the sea, The Lake District Coast gives visitors plenty of good reasons to see the county differently, reinforcing the message that it’s not just all about the lakes and mountains.

From the town of Haverigg on the southern tip of the beautiful Copeland district up to the Solway Coast, there’s plenty to discover everywhere in between. From seaside towns like Ravenglass and St Bees, to fantastic beaches, scenic estuaries, historic harbours, marine nature reserves and imposing clifftops, a visit to The Lake District Coast will remain with you long after you leave.

The Peninsulas

Start your Lake District Coast Experience in the southeast of our region, where the dramatic Morecambe Bay meets Cumbria’s south coast – also known as ‘The Lake District Peninsulas’.

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Offering wooded estuaries, sea-washed turf and fine views over the Kent estuary, take a trip along the coast by train at sunset, passing through an official area of outstanding natural beauty at Arnside and Silverdale along the way.

Take in the famously peaceful seaside town of Grange-over-Sands with its Edwardian promenade and art deco Lido, flanked by a rail journey whisking you over no less than two estuary viaducts for an unbeatable photo opportunity.

The South West

Work your way ‘around the corner’ of the South Cumbrian coast, taking-in the famous festival town of Ulverston and the shipbuilding town of Barrow, before heading north along the Lake District Coast.

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The birthplace of comic actor Stan Laurel and overlooked by the famous Sir John Barrow monument at the top of Hoad Hill, the cobbled streets of Ulverston are just a short stroll from the railway station. The town also acts as a gateway to the Furness peninsula, which stretches out towards the Isle of Man, isolated by the Irish Sea on three sides.

At the peninsula’s tip, explore Piel Island – a vehicle-free zone, complete with its very own ruined castle and very own king, who will happily serve you a beer after an exciting crossing by modest “ferry”. Boasting two nature reserves, Walney Island is re-establishing itself as a destination for bird-watchers and those seeking some peace and tranquility, while Sandscale Haws nature reserve and the Roanhead sand dunes lie quietly on the peninsula’s north western side.

The West

From Furness, head up to the Lake District coastal town of Ravenglass, proceeding past Silecroft’s sandy beaches before stepping over the Esk estuary at Muncaster and up to the heritage site of St Bees Head, where daunting cliffs await the intrepid explorer. In short, this is where two World Heritage Sites collide.

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The estuary at Ravenglass sees three rivers converge, while two UNESCO World Heritage Sites meet – Hadrian’s Wall, and The Lake District National Park.

Now a quiet and pretty seaside village, Ravenglass’ history paints a different picture. Once a strategic Roman port, the town supplied the occupying forces along the Empire’s northern frontier. Look closely and you can find some of Britain’s tallest remaining Roman structures here.

Also home to the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, fans of sustainable travel can take a 45 minute train ride to the foot of England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike. The famous Muncaster Castle is here too, which to the best of our knowledge is the only castle in the UK which still employs a full time Jester…

With fine beaches as far as the eye can see, this stretch of The Lake District Coast also boasts a special site of scientific interest: The dune reserves at Drigg, as well as the impressive red sandstone cliffs of St Bees.

The North

You’ve seen the beauty of both the land and seascapes of the Lake District Coast; and now it’s time to get a taste of Cumbrian life, thanks to insights offered in quick succession by the towns of Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport, before reaching the beautiful Solway estuary.

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North of St Bees sees a change in emphasis, with the Georgian port and modern marina town of Whitehaven, the former industrial waterfront of Workington and the ancient port of Maryport, dotted along the coast, one after the other.

From here, the coast reverts to wilder loneliness with the working port and holiday destination of Silloth guiding the traveller into the Solway Estuary, from where views across to the Southern Uplands of Scotland can be enjoyed. Turning inland, the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site stretches eastwards towards the Pennines, bringing our journey along the Lake District Coast to a memorable end.

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14 Heritage things to discover whilst you are here…..

Visiting the Lake District, Cumbria soon? Then discover the amazing heritage it has to offer with the help of this blog. Discover 14 heritage sites across the West Coast of Cumbria on your next visit. 1. Millom Tin Chapel, Mainsgate Road – A late-19th century chapel...

New Solway Coast cycleway opens

A new accessible cycle route along Cumbria’s stunning Solway Coast was officially opened on Thursday, 17th June 2021. The ‘Solway Coaster’ is a 14.1km route between Allonby and Silloth and has been created to join onto the already successful route from Maryport to...

New long-distance running challenge showcases Lake District’s little-known coastline

Undeterred by pandemic restrictions, a new long-distance virtual running challenge is taking place throughout May, to help people across the UK explore the Lake District’s ‘hidden’ coastline and reconnect with coastal landscapes. ‘Run the Edge’ gives participants the...

£335,000 restoration: Historic Railway Pullman Camping Coaches unveiled as quirky staycation accommodation

Ravenglass in the Western Lake District is home to some new quirky ‘railway holiday’ accommodation, following the remarkable transformation of two near derelict Pullman Camping Coaches dating back more than a century. Originally built in 1917 as part of a World War...

West Coast Photo Festival 2021 Relaunch

Exciting Debut International Photography Festival explores and celebrates the Cumbrian West Coast. With the first ever Festival having to be postponed in March 2020, just days before the first Coronavirus lockdown, there is now a two-part relaunch, with even more...

Collection of Photo Negatives Shines New Light on Popular Railway’s History

A new window into post war life at England’s first public narrow-gauge railway, the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, has recently been acquired by Ravenglass Railway Museum in West Cumbria. In December 2020, a lot consisting of negatives taken by well-known railway...

Cumbria’s coastal path continues to take-shape

More than just lakes and mountains, a stretch of path along ‘Cumbria's Hidden Coast’ is due to open in 2021: A 40-mile-long trail linking Millom to Whitehaven, as part of national efforts to link the entire UK coastline. Among the highlights and tucked under the...

2021: Cumbria’s Year Of The Coast

2021 has been designated as Cumbria’s Year of the Coast, celebrating everything this diverse but little-known stretch of coastline has to offer. Our coastline’s stunning rural landscapes and breath-taking sunsets perfectly complement the wider North West region’s...

Work begins on New Cycleway for Solway Coast

Work has begun to create a new cycleway along the Solway Coast. The ‘Solway Coaster’ project will see a 14.1km route between Allonby and Silloth created and join onto the already successful cycleway from Maryport to Allonby. The link between the coastal towns will...

New exhibition reveals a weird & wonderful world of hidden treasures at Senhouse

‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ – New exhibition reveals a weird & wonderful world of hidden treasures You may be forgiven for thinking Cumbria’s Senhouse Roman Museum is just about the Romans, but a new exhibition launching next week, Friday 4 September, will throw the...

Be Inspired

14 Heritage things to discover whilst you are here…..

Visiting the Lake District, Cumbria soon? Then discover the amazing heritage it has to offer with the help of this blog. Discover 14 heritage sites across the West Coast of Cumbria on your next visit. 1. Millom Tin Chapel, Mainsgate Road – A late-19th century chapel...

9 days photographing the Western Lake District Coast

2021 is Cumbria's Year of the Coast. In late summer of 2020 Cornwall based photographer Sam Scales spent 9 days travelling through Copeland as part of a shoot to capture the beauty of the Lake District Coast. His body of photographs, which were commissioned as part of...

Discover Josefina de Vasconcellos on the Lake District Coast

The late Josefina de Vasconcellos MBE is responsible for no fewer than 14 stunning stone carvings which can be found across Cumbria, including along the Lake District Coast. Born in 1904, Josefina was the daughter of a wealthy Brazilian diplomat and quickly honed her...

Explore Eskdale & Wasdale this Spring

Taking a little more effort to reach – but well-worth that extra effort upon arrival, Eskdale and Wasdale in the western Lake District is a great choice for those visitors who prefer a far-flung experience with more rugged beauty and less ice-cream. Famous for being...

Spend a weekend exploring The Lake District Coast by rail

With more than 100 miles of coastline, there’s more to Cumbria than just lakes and mountains. For those who want to explore some of Cumbria’s more intriguing offerings, why not try an alternative to the norm by jumping on the train and heading for some fresh, sea air?...

Explore the Western Lakes by bike on ‘The Lakes 100’ route

With more than 130 miles’ worth of spectacular routes listed, ‘The Lakes 100 Road Trip’ guide is well-worth checking-out. Offering cyclists a brilliant suggested circular itinerary, the map covers all of The Lake District’s ‘must see’ beauty spots, with around half of...