Cumbria Way

The Cumbria Way is a 112km (70 miles) linear long distance footpath in Cumbria, England through the heart of the Lake District National Park linking the two historic Cumbrian towns of Ulverston and Carlisle. The route cuts through classic Lakeland country via Coniston, Langdale, Borrowdale, Derwent Water, Skiddaw Forest and Caldbeck. It is a primarily low-level long distance footpath but does contain some high-level exposed sections.

Cumbria Way map


The Cumbria Way was originally devised in the 1970s by local Ramblers' Association members. The waymarking of the entire route was completed by volunteers and national park staff in May 2007.


Overall the route can be characterized as being in three sections with two different characters. The southern section and the northern section are through pastures and this can cause problems for you in the summer as you will find cows in the fields which can be a problem, especially if you intend to walk with a dog, to the point where we would recommend not walking the Cumbria Way in the summer with a dog or if you are cautious around cows. Other than that the main difficulty is that the poor waymarking means that you need good map reading to make your way across the fields from stile to stile if you are going to make progress.

The centre sections, over Stake Pass between Langdale and Keswick and across Back o'Skiddaw and High Pike to Caldbeck are much more classic Lakeland fell walking and we have lots of good resources on walking safely in these conditions under the SAFETY tab of our web site.

The route can be walked in either direction but is described here from south to north beginning at the Cumbria Way monument in Ulverston and ending in Carlisle tourist information and our guide tackles it using the classic five day method.

  1. Ulverston to Coniston
  2. Coniston to Dungeon Ghyll
  3. Dungeon Ghyll to Keswick
  4. Keswick to Caldbeck
  5. Caldbeck to Carlisle

To help you with your walk along the Way we offer the following to purchase and then download:

Item Price
Our guide to the Way in Adobe/PDF format for printing or putting on your phone or tablet £4 Buy
Five GPX route files for the five stages of the Way to put on your GPX device £4 Buy
Our guide to the Way plus the five GPX route files as a bundle £8 Buy

You can also purchase Adobe/PDF guides and GPX routes for each stage individually for £1 - just visit the appropriate walk page and then use the purchase links on that page.

Planning Your Walk

Many people now walk the Cumbria Way with help. At the most basic level there are companies who will carry your luggage from B&B to B&B each day, so you only need to carry a day pack. At the top level they will organize the accommodation, ferry you to and from the start point each day and provide guides. We're not going to try to list them here as the list of people offering such services changes all the time but Google is your friend.

Other Useful Information

WalkLakes recognises that hill walking, or walking in the mountains, is an activity with a danger of personal injury or death.
Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions.