We offer two itineraries on the Cumbria Way, which are detailed to the right. Both are made up of the following sections.
Arrive Starting Point: Ulverston
Ulverston is easily reached by train from Manchester Airport (2h20) or London (4h20). Ulverston is a delightful friendly town with a unique charm. Olde worlde pubs, cafes and cobbled streets hold many surprises.
Ulverston to Coniston—15 Miles
Starting from The Gill and perhaps paying a visit to the Laurel & Hardy Museum or Barrow Monument, you quickly leave Ulverston. A pleasant walk through rich farmland soon brings you to the Lake District National Park and the views across the Coniston Fells are splendid. A rough Lakeland path brings the chimneys of Coniston Hall into view, which marks days end.
Now mainly a base for outdoor enthusiasts, Coniston was originally a slate mining village. Famous for being the site of Donald Campbell's ill fated world record water speed attempt, it is a lovely town and nearby Tarn Howes is one of the lakes most popular beauty spots.
Coniston to Great Langdale—12 Miles
An absolutely delightful day of Lakeland walking delivers views that will take your breath away. Elterwater and Chapel Stile both make excellent lunch stops. Dungeon Ghyll is just one of a few hamlets and lodgings which have been welcoming Lakeland travellers for centuries.
Great Langdale to Rosthwaite—10 Miles
The amazing Mickleden Valley makes up most of your walk, surrounded by Bowfell and the Pikes. Then a zig-zag ascent up the fellside before dropping back down into Langstrath valley. The view down to Rosthwaite is one you won’t forget in a hurry.
Rosthwaite is a small village with a couple of hotels and pubs tucked away at the head of the valley. You can’t help but feel relaxed.
Rosthwaite to Keswick—6 Miles
First the delightful Borrowdale Valley and then tranquil woodland walking with views to Derwent Water. Walking in the Lake District simply doesn’t get any better. You would be foolish to miss the tea shop at Grange!
Keswick is the largest tourist centre in the Northern lakes and can get busy. There is plenty to do in this buzzy lakes town.
Keswick to Caldbeck — 15 Miles
There is a choice today between a high level walk or a low level one today. The low level walk is a little longer, but a much easier option. Either taking the route over the fell tops or skirting round the bottom, you are assured a great days walking.
Caldbeck was once a thriving industrial town with woollen mills, bobbin mills and a brewery all powered by the river which runs through the town. (Cald Beck) Today it is a friendly and proud village largely untouched by tourism.
Caldbeck to Carlisle —14 Miles
Leaving the Lake District behind you walk through the rich farmlands of the Eden Valley, escorted most of the way by the river Caldew before reaching the historic City of Carlisle. Carlisle has plenty of places to visit and welcoming pubs and restaurants to celebrate the end of your walk on the Cumbria Way.
Carlisle is on the West Coast mainline and regular trains will whisk you back to London, Manchester (with a change at Preston or Wigan) or Ulverston (Change at Lancaster).
We recommend you walk from Ulverston to Carlisle as you will have the wind at your back.
The Lakes are utterly beguiling and we would recommend adding extra nights at Coniston, to explore some of the history of the area and beautiful landscapes, Great Langdale to enjoy a quiet corner of the lakes or Keswick to do some shopping, cruise on Derwent Water or climb Skiddaw.
Tailor Made Holidays
We are always more than happy to tailor our standard itineraries to suit. Just let us know what you would like and we will be happy to arrange your tailor made walking holiday.
The Cumbria Way is generally clearly defined on the ground but waymarking is sparse so you will need to be comfortable reading a map and know how to use a compass.
The way is on well maintained footpaths, bridleways, across fields and on some minor roads. It does involve some steep ascent and descent from the escarpment but in general the walking is fairly easy.
One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. You will stay in carefully selected 3 or 4 star B&B’s, guesthouses, country pubs and small hotels. Your room will always have an ensuite or private bathroom. A delicious breakfast is always included.
If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable.
This walking holiday is available to solo walkers but as we incur additional baggage transfer costs their is a solo walker supplement payable.
A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included. Most of your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or at nearby pubs or restaurants.
Daily door to door baggage transfer is included in the cost of your holiday. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg per person.
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers do not accept pets.
We supply a detailed guidebook and map but you may find room for a few titles in your pack. I suggest you visit Books Cumbria for a wealth of inspiration and books relating to the Cotswolds.
Virginia House - Ulverston
A friendly, family run Georgian Town House, offering excellent accommodation. There are a number of pubs, cafes and restaurants close by in the centre of Ulverston where you will be able to get evening meals.
Lakeland House - Coniston
Lakeland House is ideally situated in the heart of Coniston village and just a few minutes walk from the beautiful Coniston Water, shops and dining. All the rooms have en-suite facilities and most have stunning views of the village, fells and Coniston Old Man.
New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel - Great Langdale
The New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel is a family owned hotel with a passion for friendly & quality service. They are located in a stunning location in the heart of the Lake District Nationl Park.
Royal Oak Hotel - Rosthwaite
The Royal Oak is a small family run hotel, Once an 18th Century farmhouse the hotel has been accommodating walkers for over 100 years and is still the perfect base for exploring the beauty of the Northern Lakes.
Latrigg House - Keswick
Latrigg House offers an individual and relaxed atmosphere where you can be assured of a great stay. They are ideally located only 5 minutes walk from Keswick town centre.
The Briars - Caldbeck
The Briars is a comfortable Guest House, ideally located close to the centre of Caldbeck village itself, with views towards St Kentigern's Church, Caldbeck and the Northern Fells in the distance.
Langleigh Guest House - Carlisle
Langleigh Guest House is situated on a quiet tree lined street a few minute’s walk from the centre of Carlisle. All rooms are en-suite and very comfortable.
Getting to Ulverston
Ulverston is easily reached by train from Manchester Airport (2h20) or London (3h20). See National Rail Enquiries for details.
It is also serviced by National Express coaches and easily reached by car.
You can find information for travelling to and from Cumbria by clicking on the Traveline Website.
Getting back from Carlisle
Carlisle is on the West Coast mainline and regular trains will whisk you back to London (3h55), Manchester (2h10) (with a change at Preston or Wigan) or Ulverston (2h05) (Change at Lancaster).
We are often asked the following questions by walkers planning The Cumbria Way and I hope that you will find the following information useful.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.
How fit do I need to be?
We offer a range of itineraries so you can choose your preferred daily distance so hopefully you will find an itinerary that suits your preferred level of activity. If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.
How far in advance do I need to book?
As far in advance as possible! We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as The Lakes are extremely popular. If booking at short notice we will always try and accommodate your plans.
What personal equipment do I need?
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. You can download a full equipment list from the downloads page of our website.
When is the best time of year?
The Cumbria Way is very enjoyable at any time between the end of March and beginning of October although my personal favourite time of year is the spring and Autumn.
Am I able to take my dog?
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.
What happens if I can’t walk a stage?
You can use local bus services or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
You can start your Cumbria Way walking holiday from the 4th April until the 15th October subject to availability. To make a provisional reservation select "Book" for the itinerary you are interested in.
Option prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.
Please note that Keswick gets very busy at the weekends on Friday and Saturday evenings, and it can be very difficult to get 1 night bookings on these nights. For this reason if you can avoid ending up in Keswick on a Friday and Saturday, it can help with availablity. Otherwise we may need to look at accommodation somewhere closeby or book 2 nights accommodation in either Great Langdale or Rosthwaite.
Because every Cumbria Way walking holiday we book is unique availability changes from day to day and our booking process works as follows:
- You provisionally book the tour you are interested in for your preferred dates and pay a 20% deposit online or by phone.
- We confirm availability and book all your accommodation and options and send final confirmation as soon as everything is confirmed (max 5 working days).
- If we are unable to accommodate you on your confirmed dates/tour or an alternative of your choice your deposit is fully refunded.
The Cumbria Way is very popular so please book as far ahead as possible and bear in mind bank holidays book up a long way in advance. May 2013 is booking up quickly, please book in advance to ensure your holiday is available.
||The Cumbria Way
||7 - 8 Days
||The Cumbria Way
||8 Days & 7 Nights
||The Cumbria Way
||7 Days & 6 Nights
- Hand picked B&B, guesthouse and small hotel accommodation in en-suite rooms.
- Door to door baggage transfer.
- A detailed info pack, guide book and map for the group leader.
- Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.
- Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
- Travel Insurance.
- Personal Equipment.
- Single room supplement - If you require a single room in your party there is a single room supplement payable for each single room required.
- Solo walker supplement - If you are walking solo there is a solo walker supplement payable to cover the additional baggage transfer costs. This is in addition to the single room supplement.
- Extra nights - We suggest you extend your stay in the Lakes with an extra night in either Coniston, Great Langdale or Keswick. You can of course add extra nights anywhere along the way.