(70 miles, 4/7 days)
“An arrow through the centre of the spectacular Lake District”
The Cumbria Way is a mainly low level route which passes through the heart of the Lake District, starting in Ulverston on Morecambe Bay and finishing in Carlisle 70 miles (or so) later. However these bare facts hardly tell the story of one of the most popular long distance paths in the country. Coniston, the Langdale Valley and Keswick are the headline makers on the route and the passes and valleys which link them, but no less enjoyable are some of the less frequented areas at each end of the walk, the route connecting Keswick and Caldbeck to the North being a particular favourite of mine.
The Cumbria Way offers many temptations and variations to the walker, particularly as the official route sticks to a low level (except on High Pike near Caldbeck) but is surrounded by magnificent highland scenery throughout. The temptation to take a little longer on the route and visit the summits of such beasts as Coniston Old Man, the Langdale Pikes and Blencathra may be too hard for many to resist and I don’t blame them! The places to stay are endless in the central section of the walk but less so south of Coniston and north of Caldbeck so my itinerary suggestions below are just that, suggestions. However they are based on an in depth knowledge of the routes and the underfoot terrain – one thing to always remember is that due to the undulating nature of the landscape and the condition of many of the footpaths, a day may take longer than you expect!. It is also perfectly possible to complete the trail ‘the wrong way’ and start off in Carlisle but I prefer walking north as a rule and your back (hopefully!) to the sun which always offers the best views and least discomfort.
To book a Walking Break on the Cumbria Way click here
Typical 6 Days Walking/7 nights Itinerary
Day1. Depart Ulverston, arrive Coniston 14 miles
Highlights: A visit to Beacon Tarn, lakeside walk on Coniston
Day 2 Depart Coniston, arrive Langdale 11 miles
Highlights: Tarn Hows and lovely Elterwater
Day 3 Depart Langdale, arrive Borrowdale 8 miles
Highlights: the Langdale Valley and Langstrath
Day 4 Depart Borrowdale, arrive Keswick 7 miles
Highlights: Surprise View, Walla Crag & Derwentwater
Day 5 Depart Keswick, arrive Caldbeck 14 miles
Highlights: Climb over High Pike, Back o’ Skidda
Day 6 Depart Caldbeck, arrive Carlisle 14 miles
Highlights: The River Caldew, completing the Cumbria Way!
Typical 5 Days Walking/6 nights Itinerary
It is perfectly possible to combine days 3 and 4 and complete the Cumbria Way in 5 days.
If you would like Where2walk holidays to book the Cumbria Way; accommodation, maps and an optional baggage service further details are available by clicking here
The route starts to the south at the foot of the 3rd map down and travels North
Maps: O/S 1.25,000 Explorer Series OL 6, OL4 and OL5 going south to north.
Places to Stay
The Crown Inn. Coniston
Ambleside Backpackers, Ambleside
Mary Mount Hotel, Derwentwater
Dancing Beck B & B, nr Keswick
Old Rectory, Caldbeck
Some useful information from keswick.org
Jim Watsons book on the Cumbria Way & the Allerdale Ramble