Written on 29/07/15 by Paul Oldham

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 signpost near Tottlebank

This week we've launched our guide to the Way. It consists of our usual detailed descriptions of the walk you're used to from our other walks with maps and photos but this time broken down into five sections which is the classic way to do the walk thus:

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

As well as offering descriptions of each section we have pages listing accommodation within easy walking distance of the start of some stages1, suggestions for paper guide books and also details of the maps you may find useful.

We found that 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.

Anyway we hope you will find our guide useful if you're thinking about walking the Cumbria Way, either in whole or in part.

  1. We're still trying to track some down for the first and fifth stages in Ulverston and Caldbeck - if you have suitable accommodation then why not be the first to advertise with us and get some business from Cumbria Way walkers?

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