St Bega’s Way
The stunningly beautiful St. Bega’s Way follows a 36 mile (58km) route through delightful, rural West Cumbria and the magnificent scenery of the English Lake District. This walk takes you from the Norman Church of St Mary and St Bega at St Bees, on the Irish Sea coast, to the pre-Norman Church of St Bega on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake. The walk begins with coastal views towards Ireland and the Isle of Man and continues with picturesque dales, peaceful lakes and majestic mountain scenery. If you can’t spare the time for two weeks on Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast then this four-day pilgrimage is for you.
Bega was the daughter of an Irish chieftain who fled Ireland to escape marriage and settled in St Bees to live a life of piety. Fearing Viking raids Bega left St Bees for Northumbria. The walk connects St Bees priory with St Bega’s church on the shores of Lake Bassenthwaite, two places associated with St Bega’s life. Although there is no evidence that this is the actual route followed by St Bega this glorious walk through the iconic Lake District should not be missed.
This fantastic walk, which provides a great opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Walking in a small group (maximum size 6) we will have plenty of time to visit places of interest, enjoy the scenery and connect with nature.
For those who would like to enjoy the magnificent scenery for longer it is possible to continue walking and return to St Bees via the new St Bega’s Way Back – a 56 mile, 5 day long distance footpath. If you don’t want to go home we now provide a combined St Bega’s and Saint Bega’s Way Back package – an unmissable 8 days walking (10 nights).
What to Expect
Our itinerary includes 4 days walking and 5 nights accommodation. A brief route is provided below with an estimate of the miles walked each day. We will stay in simple accommodation, spend time together and have a great time.
- Start – Meet at St Bees where the first night’s accommodation has been booked
- Day 1 – St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge – 10.5 miles (16.5km)
- Day 2 – Ennerdale Bridge to Honister Pass – 11 miles (17km)
- Day 3 – Honister Pass to Portinscale – 9.5 miles (15km)
- Day 4 – Portinscale to St Bega’s Church – 6 miles (10km)
- Finish – Depart from Keswick after breakfast
Fitness and Experience
During this pilgrimage we walk 6-11 miles per day (average 9 miles) on good paths and tracks. Generally there is one steep climb per day otherwise the gradients are generally flat and gentle The hill climbs are non-technical of between 200-500m and never steep for long. This is not a strenuous walk and no mountain experience is necessary. We will walk at a comfortable pace with plenty of time to visit sights and enjoy the magnificent lake and mountain scenery. If you are walking fit and healthy and can carry a 15-18kg rucksack with your food, water and camping equipment you should be able to complete this walk.
Transport and Meeting
The walk starts from St Bees and finishes in Keswick. We will all meet in St Bees in the afternoon at our pre-booked accommodation. Here we will get to know one another, discuss the walk and talk about the days ahead.
The nearest international airports to the start and finish of the walk are Glasgow, Glasgow Prestwick and Manchester.
There is a railway station at St Bees and it is possible to get a train from London (Euston) to St Bees.
The nearest rail stations to the end of the walk (Keswick) are Aspartia (about 13.5 miles away) and Penrith (about 17 miles away, mainline London to Glasgow).
A bus service runs between Keswick and Penrith.
Return to St Bees – it is possible to take a bus or taxi from Keswick to Aspartia and a train service runs between Aspartia and St Bees.
During this walk we will use a range of different types of accommodation and it may include camping, hostels, bed and breakfasts and small country hotels
The cost of this fully guided walk will depend upon the accommodation selected.
We require a deposit of 50% at the time of booking and the balance is usually due 2 months before the walk starts.
We are currently working on our 2020 programme. However, if you would like to book a private group trip please contact us using the links below. It would be helpful if you could provide preferred dates and group size. The maximum group size is 8. Young people are welcome but under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
St Cuthbert’s Way
Melrose to Lindisfarne
62 miles in 6 days
St Bega’s Way
St Bees to St Bega (Bassenthwaite)
40 miles in 4 days
Bardsey Island Pilgrimage
Clynnog Fawr to Bardsey Island
47 miles in 5 days
Mary Jones Walk
Bala to Llanfihangel-y-Pennant
28 miles in 3 days