Cumbria Way

Possibly England's best kept secret, the 73-mile Cumbria Way plots a course from the market town of Ulverston overlooking Morecambe Bay, right through the mountain heart of the Lake District, to Carlisle close to the Solway Firth. The Cumbria Way passes through a remarkable variety of scenery ranging from the ordered pastoral landscapes of its beginnings, the mixed woodland of the lake shores, dramatic peaks in central Lakeland and the wild reaches of the northern Caldbeck fells, before finishing in the historic Cumbrian city of Carlisle.

Prices are per person based on twin share and include all accommodation in twin share rooms on bed & breakfast basis, luggage transfer, information pack including map & guidebook and our emergency contact.

Single rooms are available. We only apply a supplement for single accommodation when there is a direct cost to us and we cap this in line with our ‘Fair pricing’ policy. Solo walkers pay a supplement of £8 per walking day, plus any single room supplement which may be required.

This option for the Cumbria Way splits the walk into 5 stages averaging 15 miles. The day from Langdale to Keswick is quite long and only suitable for seasoned long-distance walkers.

Arrive Ulverston and check in.
Day 1 Ulverston to Coniston 15 miles
Day 2 Coniston to Langdale 12 miles
Day 3 Langdale to Keswick 16 miles
Day 4 Keswick to Caldbeck 15 - 17 miles
Day 5 Caldbeck to Carlisle 14 miles
Depart Carlisle

This option walking the Cumbria Way over 6 days, allows you to split the big day from Langdale to Keswick into two 8 mile stretches. For experienced walkers, this option also makes it possible to vary the route to take in the Langdale Pikes, a worthwhile detour.

Arrive Ulverston and check in.
Day 1 Ulverston to Coniston 15 miles
Day 2 Coniston to Langdale 12 miles
Day 3 Langdale to Rosthwaite 8 miles
Day 4 Rosthwaite to Keswick 8 miles
Day 5 Keswick to Caldbeck 15 - 17 miles
Day 6 Caldbeck to Carlisle 14 miles
Depart Carlisle

This option walking the Cumbria Way over 7 days, allows you to split the longest day of the walk from Keswick to Caldbeck. The only accommodation on this leg is the atmospheric Skiddaw House, the highest wayfarers hostel in the country, and a stay here is a trip highlight.

Arrive Ulverston and check in.
Day 1 Ulverston to Coniston 15 miles
Day 2 Coniston to Langdale 12 miles
Day 3 Langdale to Rosthwaite 8 miles
Day 4 Rosthwaite to Keswick 8 miles
Day 5 Keswick to Skiddaw House (no access to main baggage) 6 miles
Day 6 Skiddaw House to Caldbeck 9 - 11 miles
Day 7 Caldbeck to Carlisle 14 miles
Depart Carlisle

This option splits the Cumbria Way into eight easier stages of around 9 miles each except for the final level walk into Carlisle. By following a detour trail around the flanks of Skiddaw to Bassenthwaite this option also avoids the high and wild crossing of the Caldbeck Fells.

Arrive Ulverston and check in.
Day 1 Ulverston to Lowick Bridge 8 miles
Day 2 Lowick Bridge to Coniston 8 miles
Day 3 Coniston to Chapel Stile/Elterwater 9 miles
Day 4 Chapel Stile/Elterwater to Rosthwaite 9 miles
Day 5 Rosthwaite to Keswick 8 miles
Day 6 Keswick to Bassenthwaite 9 miles
Day 7 Bassenthwaite to Caldbeck 9 miles
Day 8 Caldbeck to Carlisle 14 miles
Depart Carlisle

Wainwright Summit Options

This option includes an extra day in Coniston for the ascent of the 'Old Man'. The ascent of the Old Man is very straightforward on a clear track all the way to the summit and is well worth doing for views of the surrounding peaks and over the west coast.

Arrive Ulverston and check in.
Day 1 Ulverston to Coniston 15 miles
Day 2 A day for climbing Coniston Old Man 6 miles with 2450ft of ascent
Day 3 Coniston to Langdale 12 miles
Day 4 Langdale to Keswick 16 miles
Day 5 Keswick to Caldbeck 15 - 17 miles
Day 6 Caldbeck to Carlisle 14 miles
Depart Carlisle

This option includes an extra day in Keswick for the ascent of the Skiddaw. Skiddaw is England's fourth highest mountain and an ascent from Keswick is very straightforward on a clear track all the way to the summit.

Arrive Ulverston and check in.
Day 1 Ulverston to Coniston 15 miles
Day 2 Coniston to Langdale 12 miles
Day 3 Langdale to Keswick 16 miles
Day 4 A day for climbing Skiddaw 11 miles with 2850ft of ascent
Day 5 Keswick to Caldbeck 15 - 17 miles
Day 6 Caldbeck to Carlisle 14 miles
Depart Carlisle

This option includes an extra day in Coniston and an extra day in Keswick for the ascent of both Coniston 'Old Man' and Skiddaw. Both of these ascents are very straightforward on a clear track all the way to the summit and both are excellent viewpoints.

Arrive Ulverston and check in.
Day 1 Ulverston to Coniston 15 miles
Day 2 A day for climbing Coniston Old Man 6 miles with 2450ft of ascent
Day 3 Coniston to Langdale 12 miles
Day 4 Langdale to Keswick 16 miles
Day 5 A day for climbing Skiddaw 11 miles with 2850ft of ascent
Day 6 Keswick to Caldbeck 15 - 17 miles
Day 7 Caldbeck to Carlisle 14 miles
Depart Carlisle

The price includes:

  • All accommodation in twin/double rooms (with private bathroom where available) in guest houses, inns or hotels
  • All breakfasts
  • Luggage transfer between hotels
  • A Wandering Aengus information pack containing all necessary maps, a current guide book, laminated locator maps for each night's accommodation, and our own weather-proof 'info cards' with local information - including locations and opening times of restaurants, cafes, ATMs, supermarkets etc.
  • Our emergency contact number

Not included:

  • Lunches and evening meals (we provide full details of your options)
  • Extra costs incurred through using escape routes or abandonment of the itinerary
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses such as drinks etc.

Our Accommodation:

As keen walkers ourselves we appreciate the importance of the place you put your feet up and rest your head in at the end of each day. We very carefully select our accommodations whether they be a cosy pub, family run guest house, or established town centre hotel. We choose places directly on the route or within easy walking distance of it and if we ever have to transfer you because of limited availability, we will always contact you to discuss this and never just leave you to find out later. We provide comfortable, clean and warm twin or double rooms, with private bathroom wherever available. A single exception is on our 7 day itinerary which spends one night in Skiddaw House, a self catering youth hostel in a remote location. There is no access to your main bag during a stay at Skiddaw House, but bedding is provided and there is a shop selling all you need for your evening meal and packed lunch (it also sells beer and wine), so there is no need to carry a heavy bag for this night. Accommodation in Skiddaw House is in a twin room (depending on availability at the time of booking). Single occupancy of rooms is also available for a supplementary cost.

Meals:

Breakfast at your accommodation is included in the holiday price. In most cases your accommodation will serve dinner and will be able to prepare a packed lunch for you. Sometimes this will have to be arranged in advance and we will let you know if this is the case. Alternatively you can use our detailed notes to make your own dining and lunch arrangements using local restaurants, cafes and supermarkets.

ULVERSTON: There are regular trains to Ulverston from Preston and Lancaster on the main North-West rail link between London and Glasgow. National Express operate buses to Ulverston and from Carlisle. Alternatively, if you are arriving by car we can usually arrange parking and transfers from the end of the walk (at extra cost )

RETURN: Carlisle is on the main North-West rail link between London and Glasgow. There are also regular trains between Carlisle and Ulverston if you are returning to your car. The main line route involves a change of train or alternatively, there is a direct rail link between Carlisle and Ulverston along the west coast. This is a longer journey but is highly scenic.

Book this Holiday

Cumbria Way Map

For the most part, the Cumbria Way follows the low ground through the mountains, linking existing footpaths and rights of way along lake-filled valleys. There are two significant ascents along the Way, the first when you cross the central watershed of the Lake District over Stakes Pass and the second, when crossing the Caldbeck Fells where the Cumbria Way reaches its highest point on High Pike at 2159 feet. For this second ascent there is an optional low-level alternative in case of bad weather.