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Self Guided Walking Tours & Cycling Tours

The Cumbria Way

The Cumbria Way is a 72 mile walk through the stunning wilderness of the Lake District. This classic walk links the charming town of Ulverston with the historic city of Carlisle and showcases the natural beauty of the Lake District.

Follow in the footsteps of the great poets Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southley and discover how being immersed in the inspiring scenery of the Lake District allowed them to create some of the country’s best known verse.

Your walking holiday begins in the friendly, market town of Ulverston, with its cobbled streets and festival atmosphere. From Ulverston your walk takes you through the natural beauty of the English Lake District before you finally arrive in the historic City of Carlisle.

The bulk of the trip is walking on well marked paths through the stunning Lake District and takes in a wide variety of terrain. Long stretches through heather filled valleys, jaunts through native oak forests, punctuated with a few of the Districts peaks give you a chance to see all that this part of the Lake District has to offer. The route is dotted with charming villages and towns, filled with delightful food, galleries and the warmest of Cumbrian welcomes.


Highlights

  • Picture perfect Lakeland views of Tarn Howes and the Coniston fells.
  • The breathtaking, rugged valleys of the Lake District.
  • The famous Cumbrian hospitality.
  • The bustle of the Lakeland towns and galleries.

This is a general stage by stage guide. For all the available day by day itineraries, please see the options on the right.


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.


Depart Carlisle

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).  


Choose Itinerary



The Cumbria Way - 8 Days & 7 Nights

Code:WESCBW2 Grade: Duration: 8 Days & 7 Nights Description: This itinerary splits the longer day allowing you to spend more time in Keswick and Borrowdale
Daily Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrive Ulverston and Overnight
Day 2: Walk to to Coniston: 16m
Day 3: Walk to Great Langdale: 13m
Day 4: Walk to Rosthwaite: 10m
Day 5: Walk to Keswick: 6m
Day 6: Walk to Caldbeck: 16m
Day 7: Walk to Carlisle: 15m
Day 8: Onward Travel
Book Now - from : US$920

The Cumbria Way - 7 Days & 6 Nights

Code:WESCBW1 Grade: Duration: 7 Days & 6 Nights Description: This itinerary is suitable for regular walkers with the average walking day being around 6-7 hours
Daily Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrive Ulverston and Overnight
Day 2: Walk to to Coniston: 16m
Day 3: Walk to Great Langdale: 13m
Day 4: Walk to Keswick: 16m
Day 5: Walk to Caldbeck: 16m
Day 6: Walk to Carlisle: 15m
Day 7: Onward Travel
Book Now - from : US$805
Available
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

You can start your Cumbria Way walking holiday from the April until 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 on Friday and Saturday and it can be 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 nearby or book 2 nights accommodation in either Great Langdale or Rosthwaite. 


Please try and avoid staying in Coniston over the weekend as accommodations only take a minimum of a 2 night stay.


Due to the Keswick Christian Convention, Keswick is extremely busy between 11th July and 1st August 201h5 so please avoid these dates if possible.


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.


Code Tour Name Duration Grade From Book
WESCBW2 The Cumbria Way - 8 Days & 7 Nights 8 Days & 7 Nights US$920 Book
WESCBW1 The Cumbria Way - 7 Days & 6 Nights 7 Days & 6 Nights US$805 Book

Included

  • 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.

Excluded

  • Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.

Options

  • 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.

Options / Extras

Type Name Description Price From
Accommodation Extra Night (Per Person Per Night) Additional night's accommodation at any point along the route. Specify location in Special Requests on the next page. Price per person per night. US$75
Accommodation Single Room Supplement (Per Night) The single room supplement is per person, per night. US$45

Accommodation

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.


Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable.


Meals

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.


Dogs

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers do not accept pets.


Additional Nights

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.



 

 

 



Virginia House - Ulverston



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 - 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.


 

 

 


 

 

 



The Briars - Caldbeck



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 - 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.

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.



Price from: US$805 Book Now

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