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By Air to St Bees

St Bees HelicopterYou are either joking or own a helicopter!

Well this chap did, and landed at the Parish Council "Heliport", filled up at the Station Garage (now closed), and was on his way.

The nearest international airport is Manchester (2.5 hours fastest by car), with Glasgow or Edinburgh (2.75 hours), and Durham Tees Valley and Newcastle airports within 2.5 - 3 hours drive. There is not much to choose in onward road journey time. These times given without hold-ups or stops.

For information on these airports and airlines flying to them, see
British Airports Authority - Manchester Airport - Durham Tees Valley Airport - Newcastle Airport

Note: Carlisle airport does not have public passenger services.


Airport Access
St Bees is about the furthest you can get in England from a commercial airport, so train travel from Manchester Airport is an attractive way to travel here after an international flight. On weekdays, the first train departs at 04.00 arr St Bees 08.01, and after 6.00, it is limited only by the local hourly service north and south from Barrow and Carlisle. Trains run direct from Manchester airport to Barrow or Carlisle, run by Trans pennine Express. Average journey time 3.5 - 4 hours. Manchester airport station in within the airport and is easily accessible by travelator from arrivals at both terminals.

Rail travel from Newcastle airport is via the Newcastle Metro (station at the airport) then Via Newcastle Central station along the Tyne Valley Line to Carlielse, and then to St Bees.

Travel from Glasgow airport requires bus to Glasgow Central station, then south to Carlisle and St Bees.

Tips for International travellers

You can reach St Bees quite readily by train from all the major international airports, though probably Manchester is the easiest. Sunday travel is more limiting as there are fewer trains to Whitehaven and none to St Bees. See Train.

Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and London all have direct rail links to Carlisle and a branch line runs down the coast. There are later trains to Whitehaven, 4 miles north of St Bees, than to St Bees itself. A taxi ride from Whitehaven to St Bees costs around £8 or £9. Some of the B&Bs in the village will provide transport if they can.

Personally, whilst not enamored by any airports, I find Manchester one of the more civilised ones! It also has the easiest train link, with trains serving the airport itself; unlike the other airports which require a train/bus/taxi from the airport to the main line station in the nearby city. And the fare will not cost you an arm and a leg. Maybe an arm, or if you buy tickets in advance, possibly just a forearm. A taxi from Manchester to St. Bees is possible but very expensive.

I have not given train fares as the price will depend on whether or not you are travelling during a full moon, with or without a card certifying you are under 16, over 60, sane, and have your own teeth. Basically look at the options - the difference in prices is extraordinary and complicated. Time of day and route can make a substantial difference. Contacting the train companies direct (rather than an agency) often gives the best price.

From these airports, once at the train station, there are direct trains to Carlisle and from Manchester, some to Barrow. From here you can catch trains on the Cumbrian Coast Line.

A rail network map can be seen here:


The normal advance booking horizon is 12 weeks. This link will give access to booking horizons: