St Bees Head

The last time I paddled here, in 2008, our group was stoned! To be fair, that happened as we paddled into Whitehaven harbour, but having (mis) spent my own youth here, it is perhaps not surprising that I have left it until now to return.
I had been intending to visit the boulders beneath the lighthouse however, for some time - an increasingly popular climbing area - and the calm sunny weather seemed to offer an ideal opportunity. 
Packing rock boots and chalk bag, I paddled from the beach, for the second time this year in just a t-shirt.
Gorse clad slopes soon steepen into the full blown cliffs for which the headland is famous.
While there is clean rock in places, much is vegetated and loose; a climber's nightmare but impressive nonetheless.
Passing Fleswick Bay I was soon level with the boulders (there are a number of sport routes on the cliffs immediately behind) and considered my landing. There are a number of suitable wave washed slabs upon which a seal landing would have been possible, but with the tide ebbing, if was going spend any length of time ashore, I knew launching would require manhandling the boat across the boulder field below.
In the end I decided it wasn't worth the effort and carried on, beneath the colonies of auks and gulls (no puffins), today stopping just short of Whitehaven!
Returning, I landed at Fleswick Bay on the steep pebble beach...
...and explored the surrounding caves on foot.
The sandstone platforms here have been worn and shaped by the sea...
...while the walls above are adorned with carvings from centuries past.
I returned eventually, noting one further climbing project.
A new route potentially, starting by taking the obvious left facing corner and following the grooves and corners above, to finish through the roof via a wide crack...a bit desperate maybe...perhaps it has already been climbed. Strangely enough, I find myself in no particular hurry to return for the first ascent if not.

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