The Cumbria Way - 7 Days & 6 Nights7 Days & 6 Nights 4.6 Read 49 reviews
- Walking the Cumbria Way from South to North across the English Lake District
- Picture perfect Lakeland views of Tarn Howes and the Coniston fells
- The breathtaking, rugged beauty of the Lake District
- The famous Cumbrian hospitality
- The bustle of the Lakeland towns and galleries
The Cumbria Way is a classic 76 mile walk across the Lake District from South to North. On your walk from Ulverston to Carlisle, though the natural beauty of the Lake District, you will follow in the footsteps of the romantic poets Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southley and discover how being immersed in the inspiring scenery of the Lake District inspired them to create some of the country’s best known verse.
The Cumbria Way begins in the market town of Ulverston, with its cobbled streets and festival atmosphere and takes you north via Coniston, Great Langdale, Rosthwaite, Derwent Water, Keswick and Caldbeck to Carlisle. A predominantly low level walk, but with some significant climbs, the Cumbria Way is a fine way to explore the best of the English Lake District in a week of inn to inn walking.
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.
Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night
Ideal if you have an interest in:
National Parks & Trails, Mountains
Activity Level & Terrain
This tour is graded moderate as even though you are in the hilly Lake District this route tends to stick to the low-level trails. This means you get to enjoy stunning views from the valley floors, without having to climb endless hills and summits.
The route starts among farms and fields, then runs through Lake District National Park. The first real climb is to the top of Stake Pass between Great Langdale and Borrowdale, apart from that there is little elevation gain in the first section just north of Ulverston.
Then the route goes over the summit of High Pike (part of the Northern Fells), which does feel more exposed, but this can be skipped by the lower-level alternative if visibility is poor. The final stage into Carlisle is mostly flat and easy-going, following riverside paths and tracks.
The way is generally well waymarked, especially where the route leaves roads but it tends to be less well marked in fields and in the fells. Sometimes there are small arrows or plastic discs with small writing indicating ‘Cumbria Way’. To allow you to switch off, and enjoy your adventure, this trip utilizes our free, detailed Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app. The app allows you to easily locate yourself on the trail using offline mapping.
One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of accommodation. You will stay in carefully selected 3 or 4-star B&B's, Guest Houses, country pubs and small hotels. Your room will always have an ensuite or private bathroom. A delicious breakfast is always included.
We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed in your itinerary. Occasionally, because of limited availability, there is the option to be accommodated at an alternative location. In the unlikely event that we have to accommodate you elsewhere, we will advise you of this before confirming your booking.
If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable. This trip is also available to solo walkers although again a supplement will apply.
- Hand picked B&B, Guest House and small hotel accommodation in en-suite rooms
- Door to door baggage transfer
- A detailed digital information pack
- Access to the Macs Adventure smartphone App
- 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
- Extra nights
When To Go
The Cumbria Way is available to start daily between April and October. Select which itinerary you would prefer and then select your preferred start date. There is never a bad time to be walking the Cumbria Way, but our personal favourites are spring and autumn.
Please note that as there are some restrictions in Great Langdale and Rosthwaite with 1 night bookings at the weekend, we may have to book you for 2 nights in either Coniston or Keswick with return transfers for a small additional cost.
Getting to the Start
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 from the End
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).
Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person. Please ensure that you do not bring more than one bag of 20kg, as if this occurs, the luggage transfer company will ask you to pay an additional fee (approx. £8.50 per day, per bag). This additional payment, should it be necessary, needs to be made locally to the driver and in cash. Any additional bags need to labelled as if they are not labelled we cannot guarantee that they will reach you at the next accommodation.
If you are travelling from far afield and do have more than one bag it is possible to arrange for the extra luggage to be stored whilst you are on the tour for a fee of £25 per bag. These additional bags would be picked up at your accommodation at the start point (St Bees or Kirkby Stephen) and dropped off wherever you finish depending on the itinerary you choose to do. Please contact us if you are interested in this option.
The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes.
We recommend you walk from Ulverston to Carlisle as you will have the wind at your back.
Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and trousers), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.
As this tour is available through our Macs Adventure Smartphone App you will be using your smartphone. Keeping the device in flight mode will keep the battery from running out too quickly, however, always ensure your phone is fully charged before setting off; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
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.
As far in advance as possible! We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as The Lake District is extremely popular. If booking at short notice we will always try and accommodate your plans.
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.
The Cumbria Way is very enjoyable at any time between April and mid October.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.
You can use local bus services or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive in Ulverston and overnight
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.
This accommodation has a warm, homely and relaxed atmosphere. The rooms are large and combine genuine antique beds with modern luxury mattresses and linen along with tea making facilities, televisions, hairdryers and bathrobes to guarantee absolute comfort. Outside the gardens overlook the countryside of Ulverston and Morecambe bay and in the spring come alive with daffodils. There is also a large conservatory to relax in, which has views over the Bay.
Church Walk House is a Grade II* Listed Building is in the heart of Ulverston's historic Market Town. It is the closest accommodation to the start of the Cumbria Way - just step out the door! Martin and John look forward to offering you a very warm welcome in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
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 Campbells 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.
Orchard Cottage is a charming 4 Star guest house in Coniston offering spectacular views towards Coniston Old Man and the surrounding Lakeland Fells. It has three comfortable en-suite bedrooms (all have walk in showers). All rooms are on the ground floor and include flatscreen T.V’s, tea/coffee making facilities, hairdryer and free wi-fi access. All the bedrooms are accessed from the central guest lounge. The lounge is a comfortable space with cottage style furniture in which to relax, get to know other guests or sit with friends.
The Crown Inn has 12 en-suite bedrooms, all rooms are centrally heated and have high quality mattresses, televisions, coffee and tea making facilities, hair dryers and direct dial telephones. Whilst staying at The Crown Inn all guests receive complimentary usage of Langdale Leisure Club, which has a swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi and gymnasium and is just a 15 minute taxi drive away.
The Bluebird Lodge Guest House is in a quiet corner of the English Lakes and offers comfortable rooms, a warm welcome and some of the best views in the area. Situated within 15 minute stroll from the village centre of Coniston, one of Lakeland''s more typical villages, and only a short stroll to the North end of Coniston Water.
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.
The New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel is a family owned hotel with friendly service. Each of the comfortable en-suite rooms are individually furnished to reflex the family nature of the hotel, rooms enjoy dramatic of views of the Lake District, whether over Stickle Beck or the Pikes themselves.
In the restaurant all meat and fish products are locally sourced from their local suppliers and fruit and vegetables are hand collected every week from the local market. In the summer months some fruit, vegetables and herbs are home grown at the hotel itself.
They also have a drying room for those unfortunate wet walking days!
For 300 years the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel has offered accommodation to weary walkers in the midst of some of the highest mountains in England. They have 12 guest rooms, each is different, but they all retain original features of antique and vintage décor. There is a spacious guest lounge with an open fire, where you can relax in the evening.
A warm and friendly welcome awaits you at this Traditional Lakeland Farmhouse along with a complimentary Tea/Coffee and homemade cake on your arrival. The Farmhouse dates from 1621 with oak beams, paneling and log fires. All three rooms have wash basins, tea making facilities, hair dryers and are fully central heated. There is a bath, shower and second separate toilet for guest's use. The position of this property is enviable from its setting at the foot of Side Pike and has glorious views across the valley to Stickle Ghyll, Pavey Ark and the Langdale Pikes.
Outside you will find a seating area with garden chairs and views down the valley. Parking for one car. Wifi is available.
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.
After the small village of Rosthwaite, you will pass 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.
This renovated Victorian home is family run and Carol and Paul will provide you with a very warm welcome. The rooms have splendid views across such notable landscape features as Cat Bells, Grisedale Pike, Skiddaw and Latrigg.
The Beeches is a large Victorian residence built in 1884 which has recently undergone extensive restoration by its owners Brian and Irena Hough. The house has been sympathetically refurbished in a contemporary, yet comfortable style retaining many of the original features. Their lounge and dining room, both with open fires are the ideal places to relax and unwind. They have 5 en-suite rooms which are all decorated to a high standard and have all the amenities you require for a lovely overnight stay (including free wifi).
This guest house has been completed refurbished since Andy & Mandy took it over in 2012, all bedrooms are en-suite with new bathrooms, complimentary toiletries, flat screen TV’s and they have WIFI throughout. There is the use of the guest lounge with free drinks, snacks and access to newspapers and magazines. They also have drying facilities for those rainy days.
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. (Caldbeck) Today it is a friendly and proud village largely untouched by tourism.
Denton House is a wonderful family run 4 star Enjoy England rated B&B guest house in the picturesque village of Hesket Newmarket, close to Caldbeck, in the Northern Fells of the Lake District National Park. The bed and breakfast has been managed by Susan and Alan Armstrong for over 8 years and has a reputation for spacious comfortable guest rooms and superb breakfasts, using only the finest local produce.
This beautiful house and garden are set in the centre of Caldbeck Village, right on the Cumbria Way and 2 minutes’ walk from the Oddfellows Arms.
Cumbria Way walkers walking south to north can enjoy a comfortable stay in spacious rooms. Drying facilities are provided for wet boots and clothes.
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.
Fernlee Guest House is owned and run by Debbie and Mark Armstrong and offers B&B accommodation in a delightful Victorian property which is well deserving of its 4 Star Visit England Silver Award. Their modern, spacious and well-furnished rooms provide en-suite facilities, towels/toiletries, tea/coffee making facilities and free Wifi. They also have a drying room for wet clothes and guest lounge where you can relax in the evening.
Howard Lodge is a friendly family run Victorian guest house located a short walk from Carlisle city centre. All the rooms are spacious, tastefully decorated and have en-suite shower rooms. The dining room which is modern, bright and airy, with many original features, will make a relaxing start to your day.
Langleigh is situated on a quiet tree lined street a few minutes’ walk from the centre of Carlisle. All rooms are en-suite and have all the amenities you require for a lovely overnight stay. They have a laundry service for those unfortunate wet weather days and charge £5.00 per load.
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).
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