Planning your Cumbria Way walk

Published 17 April 2011. Last updated 13 October 2023

Cumbria Way sign near Coniston campsite

Created by the local Ramblers Association in the 1970s, the Cumbria Way starts in Ulverston near Morecombe Bay, the 70 mile route goes through the Lake District before ending in Carlisle city centre. It’s a fantastic tour of of a fantastic county, and a celebration of some amazing landscape.

It’s a low level route that’s a great introduction to both the Lakes and long distance walking! So go on, get your boots out and let’s go!

In this guide

  1. What is the walk like?
  2. The Route
  3. Planning an itinerary
  4. Finding and booking accommodation
  5. Getting to/from the Cumbria Way
  6. Guide Books and Maps
  7. And finally, and any questions

What is the walk like?

Houses near a stream in Caldbeck
Caldbeck village

Although the walk spends most of its time in the Lake District National Park, it is notably not the Lake District Way. The Cumbria Way is more than that, heading across the county from north to south. Although if we’re fair, the Lake District sections are the true star.

Despite going through the Lakes, this is a relatively low level route. There’s only one Wainwright fell on the route, and even that’s an optional extra.

Still, even from the valley floors, the views are stunning. The Cumbria Way takes an easy route for the most part, allowing you to take in the sights without providing endless hills and summits to climb. Although the ending in Carlisle does rather let the route down, spending the last few miles heading down a tarmacked cycle path before dumping the walker on the outskirts of Carlisle city centre.

Dedicated fell-baggers may find it all rather lacking, but for those that want a relaxing amble, it’s perfect. This means it’s great for novices and beginners, but more experienced long distance walkers will certainly find plenty to enjoy as well.

You can read about my own Cumbria Way journey.

The Route

The Cumbria Way goes between Ulverston and Carlisle, and you can see the route using the map above. Using the controls you can scroll around, zoom in and explore the route. The map shows both the high level and low level versions for Skiddaw. Note that this map is a guide only, and should not be used for navigation.

Planning an Itinerary

Smithymire Island
Smithymire Island

Most people tend to split up the Cumbria Way over five days, although it is possible to extend to six. However as, in the main, the route does not go through many villages and towns, it is difficult to walk in sections.

The usual itinerary is listed below, with the five or six day options. All distances are approximate. Locations with railway stations are marked with a 🚂.

5 Day Itinerary
Day From To Distance
Miles Km
1 Ulverston 🚂 Coniston 14½ 23½
2 Conistion Old Dungeon Ghyll 1 11 18
3 Old Dungeon Ghyll 1 Keswick 15 24
4 Keswick Caldbeck 18/20½ 2 30/33 2
5 Caldbeck Carlisle 🚂 15½ 25
6 Day Itinerary
Day From To Distance
Miles Km
1 Ulverston 🚂 Coniston 14½ 23½
2 Conistion Old Dungeon Ghyll 1 11 18
3 Old Dungeon Ghyll 1 Rosthwaite 12
4 Rosthwaite Skiddaw House YHA 3 12½ 20
5 Skiddaw House YHA 3 Caldbeck 13/15½ 2 20/25 2
6 Caldbeck Carlisle 🚂 15½ 25
  1. There is limited accommodation around Dungeon Ghyll however there is a bus service to Elterwater and Ambleside
  2. Between Skiddaw and Caldbeck there are two routes – the low level western route and the high level eastern route. The low level route is 2½ miles longer.
  3. Only accommodation is the remote YHA hostel, which is self-catering only. It has a small shop where you can buy basic meal kits. Alternatively you can carry supplies up from Keswick. There is no alternative accommodation in the area and no road access. Booking is, therefore, strongly advised if you wish to take this option!

The low level route, relatively easy navigation and generally good paths mean the Cumbria Way has all year round walking potential. There are few tricky parts, and certainly none that would dangerous in bad weather. However winter conditions may make walking through Langdale and Skiddaw more difficult, so you may prefer to go between April and October.

Finding and booking accommodation

Sign at the Old Dungeon Dhyll

There is currently no accommodation guide published for the Cumbria Way. Thankfully though, the Cumbria Way towns and villages well supplied with walkers accommodation which can be found with a quick Google search or from the Cumbria Tourist Board.

The two places with limited accommodation are Skiddaw House (as noted above) and Dungeon Ghyll. However Dugeon Ghyll is served by Stagecoach’s 516 Langdale Rambler bus which goes to Ambleside, via Elterwater.

Accommodation Booking Services and Baggage Transfer

Several operators will book a Cumbria Way trip for you. We suggest a good web search using your favourite search engine to find them. Most operators will also include baggage transfer in the price.

The following companies also provide baggage transfer services for those planning their own walk:

Hostels and Bunkbarns

The Lake District has a host of hostels, and as such the Cumbria Way is very well served by it with almost all the hostels being either on the route or a very short distance from it. You can find hostels at:

  • YHA Coniston Holly How, Coniston – note that the YHA has two hostels in the Coniston area however the other (Coniston Copper Mines) is not actually in the village so be sure to book the correct one!
  • Elterwater Hostel, Elterwater – former YHA hostel, now independent in the village and close to the trail
  • YHA Langdale, High Close – a mile off route, from Elterwater
  • Great Langdale Bunkhouse, Dungeon Ghyll – once known as the Sticklebarn, this bunkhouse is located near the New Dungeon Ghyll Inn.
  • YHA Borrowdale, Rosthwaite – on the edge of the village of Rosthwaite
  • YHA Keswick
  • YHA Skiddaw House, Skiddaw – remote YHA hostel right on the route.

You may still find references to an independent hostel at Ulverston, however this has long since closed.

If you plan to stay at multiple YHA hostels, it’s well worth considering becoming a member as this will save you some money.


The Cumbria Way is also well served by campsites between Ulverston and Keswick and you should have no trouble with just turning up and finding a pitch. Notable sites can be found at Ulverston, Coniston, Langdale and Keswick.

However between Keswick and Carlisle, options are far more limited. Caldbeck offers two sites. Caldbeck Camping is on the trail, on the edge of the village. Throstle Hall is a little off the route. It’s a dedicated caravan site, however it is also open for overnight stays for Cumbria Way walkers. There is also a campsite near Dalston.

As the Cumbria Way is a mostly low-level route through the Lake District, wild camping is generally not an option, although you should be able to find suitable spots on the high level sections beyond the Old Dungeon Ghyll and Skiddaw House.

Getting to and from the Cumbria Way

A cow on the Cumbria Way
It’s a cow!

Both ends of the trail are well served by public transport. At the top, Carlisle sits on the busy West Coast Mainline with a plethora of train, coach and bus services across the country.

At the bottom, Ulverston station is a little quieter. Its train station sits on the Furness Line, with local services to Lancaster and some services to Preston and Manchester.

More information on train services can be found on the National Rail Enquiries website.

Most of the towns and villages on the route have good local bus services, mostly operated by Stagecoach in Cumbria.

Guide Books and Maps

A boat on Derwent Water
A boat on Derwent Water

Walking the Cumbria Wayby John Gillham

The most up to date book is Cicerone’s Walking the Cumbria Way, most recently updated in 2022. Naturally it contains detailed information about the walk, and OS mapping for the whole trail.

Rucksack Readers Cumbria Wayby Paddy Dillon

Paddy Dillon’s Rucksack Readers Cumbria Way was published in 2013 and updated in 2021. It contains a detailed guide to the walk, as well as accommodation and travel guides. However the book only contains a very high level map of the route, and separate map is recommended to find your way.

The Cumbria Wayby Anthony Burton

Aurum Press’s The Cumbria Way by Anthony Burton is long out of print, however can often be found second hand. You may be able to pick up a used copy at a cheap price and if you can, it is worth getting. The route hasn’t changed much, and the book contains detailed Ordnance Survey maps at the 1:25,000 scale meaning you don’t need to carry maps and a guidebook at the same time.

Cumbria Way XT40 Mapby Harveys

The route is generally well waymarked, however there are a few tricky areas and a good map is highly recommended. Harveys publish a map for the whole route.

Alternatively if you prefer to use Ordnance Survey Explorer maps, then you’ll need the following maps. The route is marked on them all:

  • Landranger (1:50,000): 85, 90, 97
  • Explorer (1:25,000): OL4, OL5, OL6, OL7, 315

And finally, and any questions

Two Herdwick sheep

The Cumbria Way is an excellent walk, although admittedly does tail off near the end. The hours spent on a cycle track approaching Carlisle are not its finest, nor is the fact that it takes in a bin lorry depot near its conclusion.

One alternative would be to go north to south instead, thus ending on a high in Ulverston which is a town which really appreciates the walker. Indeed many of the pubs sell Hartleys Cumbria Way Ale, and a pint of that would be the perfect way to end the trip.

Whatever way you do it, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable walk that deserves to be better known and enjoyed. And I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

If you’ve any questions feel free to ask them in the comments box below.

We update our planning guides on a regular basis, and welcome reports of errors, clarifications and additions. If you have any, please email us using our contact form.


Matthew King (@hillplodder)

5 February 2012 at 11:02 am

I walked the Cumbria Way in March/April 2011 and can thoroughly recommend it. But I wanted to take in more hills along the way so customised my route, eventually ending up with a 7 1/2 day itinerary. Plus I also spent 2 extra nights at Skiddaw House to explore the fells around there.

Another accommodation option to consider is Camping Barns ( I used 3 – Fell End between Ulverston and Coniston (because my first day was a half day), Dinah Hoggus barn in Rosthwaite and Hudscales Barn near Caldbeck. They were cheap and solved the problem of where to stay in places where there isn’t much on offer. Hudscales Barn is particularly impressive.

An account of my walk is on my website if anyone is interested (

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

5 February 2012 at 2:29 pm

When I walked past Skiddaw House I just knew that one day I’d have to go back there for a good stay. Still yet to do it but it’s on the list along with Black Sail! Now if only I had more free time…

Still yet to stay in a camping barn which is probably why I’ve barely mentioned them on these guides. Maybe it’s time to buy that sleeping bag.

Jem Willett

1 June 2014 at 8:51 am

Having finished the walk only yesterday I would recommend that you ditch the last day of caldbeck to Carlisle and instead walk back to Keswick via the alternative western route. The section from caldbeck to Carlisle holds very little interest and indeed became very tedious for the final 4 miles into Carlisle. The finishing spot in the town centre is not marked or celebrated at all. If Carlisle town council cannot be bothered to mark the end, don’t bother going to their city centre. Whilst you then couldn’t say that you did the whole of the Cumbria way, at least you get to do a decent walk on the final day. The rest of the walk is truly lovely.

Mark Smith

24 August 2014 at 12:07 pm

Hi this looks interesting… We want to park and leave the car in Caldbeck then travel to Ulverston to start the walk – any thoughts best travel bus/taxi/train also would our car be OK/where could we park it? Any help would be very welcome…

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

25 August 2014 at 8:04 pm

Mark – can’t tell you about parking as I didn’t pay any attention to that. What I can tell you is that Caldbeck’s bus service is very limited. You’d probably be looking for a taxi to Penrith or Carlisle for the train.

Maria Anna

27 August 2014 at 6:58 pm

I’m going to walk this way, hope it’s not too late, weatherwise. Is there any difference where I start? I mean should I start in Ulverston rather than Carlisle? Or should I make a detour and start somewhere else?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

28 August 2014 at 9:51 am

Maria – I wouldn’t say there’s that much difference other than the last few miles into Carlisle is rather lacklustre. You may well wish to start there and head south to get it out of the way!

Maria Anna

28 August 2014 at 10:26 am

Thank you Andrew, then that’s what I’m going to do. I’ve never been to the Lake District before so I’m quite excited and want to use my time (9 days) well.

Andrew Tawn

2 September 2014 at 12:19 pm

I am about the walk the Cumbria way starting this weekend and camping along the way. I rely on picking up food for lunches along the way. Can anyone tell me where there are shops – obviously in Ulverston, Keswick & Carlisle but are there village shops in other places along the way?

Many thanks.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

5 September 2014 at 11:27 am

Hi Andrew – there’s shops in Conniston, Chapel Stile and Caldbeck as well. You shouldn’t have any problems finding food. Have a good walk.


23 November 2014 at 7:59 pm

I would advise anyone proposing to do the Cumbria Way starts at Ulverston rather than Carlisle.
The prevailing winds are from the south west.
Walking from Ulverston,the wind is at your back.
If you follow the river from Dalston to Carlisle,don’t cross it but continue on the west side,the path will take you directly to Carlisle Castle.

Chris Simmons

7 April 2015 at 12:27 pm

I am intending to walk the Cumbria Way from North to South, but I can’t find any reference to which guide books, if any, cover it in that direction. Can anyone help?


17 April 2015 at 3:49 pm

Hello Andrew I know it is a long way off, but I work full time 7 days a week during spring, summer and autumn and hope to walk the path mid feb to early march period 2016. As it is a lowish walk I am hoping, with up to 2 weeks to complete it, it will be possible even in winter. If the weather turns out to be as mild as this year it may also be possible to attach some of the coastal way on as well. I am very wary of walking in bad weather and would change my plans if the winter was harsh.
Any advice? best wishes and thanks Jenny

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

17 April 2015 at 4:01 pm

Hi Jenny – there are two sections of the walk which, whilst not summit tops, are pretty high, and these would be my concern with walking at that time of the year. The section on the Stake Pass – between Old Dungeon Ghyll and Keswick – gets to a height of 480m as I recall. The bit near Skiddaw YHA (between Keswick and Caldbeck) is similar. You’ll probably have to face some snow on both sections. How much is another matter. It might not be much, or it might be very heavy.


17 May 2015 at 8:08 am

Hi Andrew
I am walking the Cumbria Way starting on 23 May 2015. You mention in your article that wild camping isnt an option. Why is that? I am going to do the walk without much money:) I am planning to camp wild all the way through. Are there and tips you could give me about it? Thank you.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

19 May 2015 at 12:30 pm

Hi Martin – my view on the practicalities of wild camping is mainly because the route goes near and through a lot of villages and a lot of fields with livestock in them. As such, finding suitable wild camping spots is difficult. It’s not impossible, just difficult.

Jean-Marc Simar

27 May 2015 at 8:28 pm

Dear Sir,

I intend to do Cumbria way in July. Can you tell me if the path is well marked and it is easy to follow these marks?

Thank you for you answer,

Jean-Marc Simar

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

28 May 2015 at 9:21 am

Hi – it’s waymarked in parts, and is reasonably good. But I wouldn’t rely on them entirely for navigation. There are gaps and some areas where you’ll need a map.


4 June 2015 at 12:58 pm

Hi Andrew,

I’m walking part of the Cumbria Way (Ulverston to Keswick) next week and am intending to use the Footprint route map ( Do you know whether this one is as good as the Harvey map of the route? I don’t really want to carry all the individual OS maps with me, although I will also have the Cicerone guide book.

Also, do you know whether there are any partial closures of the route at present?

Many thanks in advance.

Michelle and Pauline

20 July 2015 at 11:04 pm

We have just returned from the Cumbrian Way and we had a brilliant time, some negatives were Caldbeck to Carlisle, just don’t bother, it’s a muddy, beastie infected walk with no real views…..we stopped at one of the villages on route then caught a bus to Carlisle. Route was very busy and we met loads of people from all over Britain/Canada/Japan/American. We didn’t find it particularly well signed posted and got ‘lost’ several times but all in all a great time.
Michelle & Pauline from Glasgow July 2015


28 September 2015 at 2:55 pm

We’re thinking of walking at the end of October with a dog. I’ve read there can be cattle issues along the route – does anyone have any advice?

Sheila Hilton

27 January 2016 at 8:02 pm

Bell Bridge, Sebergham was washed away today 27/01/2016. You may want to work out detour when walking Caldbeck to Carlisle part of Cumbrian Way Route

Julie Wareing

30 March 2016 at 10:14 pm

Hi , I am thinking of doing this walk through the summer months starting from Carlisle so I get the boring bit out of the way. Can you recommend any groups that do this walk as my husband isn’t interested in doing it. Purely for safety as I havnt done long walks before ,I am pretty fit , run half marathons.


2 April 2016 at 7:39 am

Hello :)
My only time off this year (2016) will be at the beginning of October; can I still hike the Cumbria Way? (I can leave as early as October 1st) will I be able to camp along the way? are campsites still open?
Or maybe I’d better be betting on the South West Coast Path (Dorset section)… ?
Thanks for advice, love your page!

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

2 April 2016 at 10:02 pm

Can’t tell you about the campsites but you should have no major problems in early October. May be wet though.


4 April 2016 at 2:29 pm

Thank you Andrew; I know my timing isn’t ideal but its the only time I will have this year… I hiked the West Highland Way (Scotland) in early October and handled the rain quite well… but when looking at campsite opening dates, it seems like many of them will be closing.


18 April 2016 at 9:05 am

Hello Andrew
I plan to hike through the Lake DIstrict for one weekend in June and thought that I could walk a part of the cumbria way. My idea is to walk from Ulverston to Keswick. Do you think that is a good part to choose? Also it is the first time that I go hiking so would you recommend the way for beginners? Thanks for your help and your website: It’s great!

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

22 April 2016 at 9:20 am

Hello Miriam – Ulverston to Keswick is a great section as you go through Langdale and Borrowdale. It’s wonderful scenery. And yes I recommend the Cumbria Way to everyone, including beginners. It’s very easy to navigate.


11 May 2016 at 8:01 pm

We walked the Cumbria Way from North to South at the beginning of May mainly because we live in Ulverston , so walking home was the logical thing to do. Bell Bridge (between Caldbeck and Carlisle) is still out, having been washed away in the floods in December 2015.
Signposting is not always good , and a map and compass should be part of your kit. At Newbiggin (just outside Ulverston) the route is very obscure going from North to South, not least because one of the house owner has partially painted over one of the yellow signs. All in all, a lovely walk.


7 July 2016 at 3:08 pm

It is possible to camp outside Skiddaw House en route to Caldbeck. We charge £7 per person, which includes use of the hostel facilities (common room, kitchen, toilets and showers). The hostel has a well-stocked shop and bar. Please phone/email to check availability, as we sometimes have a sole-use group.

[email protected]

Ross Madden

23 July 2016 at 5:19 pm

I will be in Ulverston shortly (at the Buddhist Festival), and would like to take some day trips on the Cumbrian Way. Will I be able to locate a trail map somewhere in Ulvertson? Thank you very much.


31 July 2016 at 4:57 pm

This is a great website Andrew, comments and answers are very informative and helpful too. Especially for those of us that have very little experience or knowledge..

I want to walk around the Lake District and realize I need some sort of plan, so I’ll get the best waterproofs as advised, buy the book by Anthony Burton, then start off on the Cumbrian Way with the wind behind me as it seems a good easy intro to get my walking legs going again, stopping at Caldbeck and then heading south back into the N.Park. to discover the rest of the lakes.

But reading about your journey it seems that the YH’s, although warm, dry, friendly and cheap, are difficult to get a good nights sleep in ! … so I am now thinking about camping all the way but have never done that before either and surely that has its pitfalls too, apart from carrying the extra weight.

I would be on my own with no time restrictions and could stay a few days in one place along the Cumbrian Way to explore the area a bit more, (like Skiddaw, as Suzy says camping is possible), so do you have you any advice please from your experience about preparing for a walking/camping holiday ?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

1 August 2016 at 10:24 am

Hi Eddie – you can get private rooms in hostels, although they’re often hard to get hold of and obviously bump the cost up. Personally I don’t mind sharing dorms but if you get a loud snoorer then it can be a fractured nights sleep. Thankfully I’ve not had many of them, and sometimes have had dorms to myself!

Camping is also fun, however it’s hard work carrying everything and can slow your progress down a lot.


5 August 2016 at 3:36 pm

Hi I’m thinking of walking Keswick to ulverston end of Aug on the cumbria way . Never done it before …will 3 days be plenty of time ?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

8 August 2016 at 10:24 am

Hi Paul – three days for Keswick to Ulverston is a good amount of time.


10 September 2016 at 3:11 pm

looking for a place midway between Coniston and Ulverston for a night in late October. any recommendations?


28 December 2016 at 11:17 pm

Really great website! I tried the CW with my brothers in 1994 but only got to Coniston as my eldest brother sprained his ankle in the Lakeside woods & on the drive home that evening my other brother started vomiting!!! Disaster, and it has irritated me for the last 12 years that I didn’t complete it!
My son has recently started his Duke of Ed Bronze & has been bitten by the bug, but importantly we both have the necessary kit to hand.
We’re looking at October half term 2017 as my son has GCSE exams early this summer so the next suitable holiday will be then, not too far into A level course etc.
Because I have notched up Ulverston to Coniston I’m considering starting in Coniston & keeping the route only as far as Keswick, or maybe Skiddaw House with a return to Keswick, due to the dreary final miles to Carlisle.
Does a route coniston-ODG-Rosthwaite-Keswick sound like a reasonable route breakdown?


29 December 2016 at 1:05 am

Thinking of giving this a go in 2 days.
Anybody know if theres a b&b about halfway?
Also, where are the hardest parts of the walk?


Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

29 December 2016 at 9:16 am

Jonathan – sounds good to me, although it’s not all dreary beyond Keswick. There’s some nice stuff to Caldbeck too!

Brian Wiles

30 January 2017 at 10:00 pm

Hi all, been great reading your comments. I am planning to do the CW in 24hrs, this summer 24th June 2017, the plan to walk from Carlisle to Ulverston, fair point about the wind direction but as I live in Ulverston want to feel like I am walking home. All in aid of Charity mate local St Marys hospice and scout group (I am a leader of) going to benefit from proceeds. lots of planning and walking to go.


17 June 2017 at 10:10 pm

Hi all,

I’m doing this walk starting next with with some friends. Just looking for some advice from others who’ve already completed it please. I’m wondering if walking poles are of any use here? I don’t want to be carrying them with me if not needed but would also hate to get to some sections where they’re required and I’ve left them at home.



Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

25 June 2017 at 10:19 pm

Hello Mike – personally I don’t think you’d need poles on the Cumbria Way. Basing that on the fact that I wouldn’t take them, anyway.


27 June 2017 at 11:17 pm

Just finished the Cumbria way today, 27 the June, walking south to north
A brilliant walk but agree with other comments that the final section from Calbeck to Carlisle is a little dull made even worse for us because it rained all day. But still enjoyed it and had a great meal out in Carlisle to finish off! Accommodation along the route can be limited but don’t go for yha automatically. If you can plan in advance there are some fantastic bed and breakfasts en route. We used Millbeck farm at great Langdale, Greystones at Keswick and the old rectory at Caldbeck. All fantastic and cheaper than yha.


22 August 2017 at 6:16 pm

I’m a firsttimer and planning to do the walk alone (mid September), Might seem like a silly question, but what should I have in my backpack? any advice is high appreciated:)

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

22 August 2017 at 8:04 pm

Lebo – one of these days I’ll get round to writing about what I pack for a trip. But in the meantime, the London Hiker website has a packing checklist that’s quite useful.


18 September 2017 at 5:56 pm

Doing Cumbria Way South to North early Oct. Will Ciccerone’s The Cumbria Way and a Harvey Map 1:40,000 sufficient to navigate this hike? Thanks

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

18 September 2017 at 10:35 pm

Hi Mark – generally I recommend the Ordnance Survey Explorer maps at 1:25,000. I haven’t seen the Harveys map for the Cumbria Way but they are usually okay, but lacking a little detail here and there. However as the Cumbria Way follows some good, solid footpaths, I suspect you’ll be fine.

Lester Chine

15 January 2018 at 9:52 am

Hello Andrew,
Here’s a challenge for you. Me and a friend want a 3 day walk that can start close to a rail station, with the 3 days bringing me back to the same station. I’m tempted by Staveley and want to get to perhaps Hartsop/Patterdale, then to either Grasmere/Ambleside then back to Staveley. Distance around 15 miles per day, so many options!!! would like Helvellyn to be included if possible, any ideas for a route would be most appreciated. Need B&B accommodation on route.

Trish Norman

25 March 2018 at 8:07 am

Hi Andrew
Three Aussie ladies wanting to walk some of the Cumbrian Way in May. We have 5 days. Best starting place?
Best places to stay?


26 March 2018 at 3:24 pm

I walked it last June with 2 friends, started at Ulverston,stayed at Royal Oak, Spark Bridge,day 1 walked to Consiton stayed at YHA. – a bit expensive for what you get and the food isn’t that good. Day 2 walked to langdale stayed at Mill Beck farm – excellent. Day 3 walked to Keswick stayed at Greystones- excellent. Day 4 walked to Caldbeck stayed at the old rectory – better than excellent. Day 5 walked to Carlisle. We used Sherpa van to transfer bags but it is possible to carry them. There are a few good hills in the middle days. If you want to drop a day, day 5 is pretty boring and not in the lakes. Each day is about 15 miles. It is an excellent walk through the lake district. Enjoy!


9 December 2018 at 8:44 am

I’m planning to do CW on June, what’s the best way to get to starting/finish points from London? preferably the cheapest way..

and – are there any camp sites? or is wild camping aloud along the trail?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

9 December 2018 at 8:36 pm

Hello Shira. Both Ulverston and Carlisle are on the rail network and this will be by far the easiest way from London. Carlisle is also served by coach services and they will be cheaper. Ulverston isn’t on the coach network but you could get coach then buses but it will take a while.

Ewan Macfadzean

17 February 2019 at 10:55 pm

Campsite in Caldbeck. Right on the Cumbrian Way. 500 yards to post office and Pub.


20 February 2019 at 11:02 pm

Hi. I’m planning on walking the Cumbria Way in June usin Sherpa van service. I’ve contacted a hotel in Ulverston and they have said I can leave my car there until I return. Very good of them.

I am taking my dog and the concern I have is how do I get back to Ulverston from Carlisle?

Thanks for your help.


Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

21 February 2019 at 1:30 pm

Steve – let the train take the strain. The fastest route is to get the train from Carlisle to Lancaster, then change for a train to Ulverston. The BEST way is to get the direct train that goes along the Cumbria Coast line. It’s longer, but far more scenic.

Mike Temple

2 March 2019 at 2:50 pm

Hello all. The bride and I are walking Ulverston to Keswick the 2nd week of April. Any advice on trail conditions? I know that snow is possible but specifically curious about packed snow / ice. Here in Colorado we are used to crampons or cleats for early season hiking. Should I bring along or will the trails be clear but for the possibility of a late season dusting?
I would ask about weather but I am guessing the answer would be… Yes.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

3 March 2019 at 10:55 pm

Hello Mike. By April chances are that any snow remaining will be on the summits. The Cumbria Way is a mostly a low level route, and when it does go up, it doesn’t go that high. The chances are you won’t encounter any major snow on it in April. There may still be some snow on higher ground, but on the Cumbria Way you should be fine.

Hope you have a good time!

Mike Temple

3 March 2019 at 11:44 pm

Thanks, Andrew. That is very helpful and good to hear. Always look forward to great U.K. hiking and hospitality.
Happy trails!

Eric Klein

13 May 2019 at 1:57 am

Andrew great source of Information. I will be starting the Cumbria Way on June 9th. Staying at Church walk house in Ulverston. My one question will we be able to buy canister fuel for our backpacking stoves in Ulverston? Surprised on how hard it is to get that info with goggle 🤣
P/s flying in from California

Petra Berendsen

14 May 2019 at 12:55 am

Hi everyone, I plan to walk the Cumbria way from North to South at the end of May. I have the cicerone guide book, and it mentions an alternative route over the Fells. And I am interested in taking the mountain alternative route. Please do you know of any more publications describing this alternative route?
Thank you so much for any help on this, happy hiking!


16 May 2019 at 1:50 pm

Mountain Warehouse in Ulverston has fuel canisters. Short walk from the city center. They do not carry the small 4oz. so if the weight is a big deal, might look elsewhere. Good luck, this is a great walk!
Mike – Colorado


25 May 2019 at 11:11 am


I’m running the Cumbrian way later this week over a few days. Can anyone tell me if bell bridge is still gone and is there an obvious alternative?



Malcolm Thompson

14 June 2020 at 11:01 pm

Anyone know best site to get best walk route as im walking from Carlisle to Ipswich when lockdown is over in aid of Kevin Beattie Foundation


7 November 2020 at 9:10 am

Hi Malcolm

Commendable cause you’re walking for and wish you all the best. I’ve got a photo of a walking route but don’t know how to put it here!! ( has a route that maybe helpful). I’ve done a couple of long distance challenges, so if you need any support with the route, planning or onroute just drop me a line. Happy to help. Btw- Great player


11 March 2021 at 1:30 pm

Great write up and lots of useful information. We did the 5 day itinerary in December and really enjoyed the route.

Carole Davy

21 May 2021 at 1:50 pm

WE are walking from Keswick to Caldbeck BUT we do want to stop at Bassenthwaite, I can’t find where we leave the main route to the village and how far it is. If anyone could help that be grea.


Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

21 May 2021 at 2:06 pm

Hello Carole – at Skiddaw House the Cumbria Way has two options. To get to Bassenthwaite, you need the low level route that goes North West. From there go about four miles to Peter House Farm. Just after the farm the Cumbria Way turns north, but if you keep going west you’ll get to Bassenthwaite. It’s about a mile and a bit from the farm.

Bev Strathearn

24 August 2021 at 5:40 pm

What a great site!
We are walking the CW in a few weeks and I note from watching a video on YouTube that there is a narrow craggy bit of path with what looked like a steep drop to the side walking through Glendaterra.
I love my walking but I’m really bad with sheer drops and starting to panic!
Is it that bad?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

24 August 2021 at 6:48 pm

Hi Bev – I don’t recall that section being particularly steep myself, and the paths on that section were well made if that helps.


5 September 2021 at 12:36 pm

Err, really good article, but it’s Coniston, not Conniston.

That being said, and yes, I do feel better for it, we are walking south to north, last week in September. Looking forward to meeting folks along the way.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

5 September 2021 at 10:54 pm

No, Bill. It’s Coniston that’s spelt its name wrong all these years. It clearly should have a double ‘n’…

But seriously, ten years ten years since this page was first published. So that error’s probably been there for most of that time. Surprised no one mentioned it before… Oh well. Finally fixed now!

Emma Field

24 September 2021 at 7:30 pm

Just finishing walking the route from Ullverston to Carlisle and what a fantastic walk. The scenery is some of the best I have ever seen and although the last day doesn’t offer the same challenges or views, you have to finish this fabulous walk.
We did loose a phone along the way near Skiddaw house so if your walking the way please keep an eye out for it on Day 4 between Keswick n Caldbeck.


26 October 2021 at 7:21 pm

Is that bridge still gone and if so what’s the best alternative route?

Andrew Stewart

27 June 2022 at 11:48 pm

I’m walking the Cumbria Way in a series of separate day walks instead of on five consecutive days, using buses to get me to/from my home in Kendal. For anyone else interested in doing the same (or walking consecutive days, but staying in one place and travelling back & forth each day) the following bus routes link the section starts/ends with other nearby centres:-
— Carlisle: 554 to Keswick (or train to Penrith, or to Oxenholme for Kendal)
— Caldbeck: 73 (summer Saturdays only & only one usable journey each way) to Carlisle or Keswick
— Keswick: 555 to Grasmere, Ambleside, Windermere & Kendal or X4/X5 to Penrith
— Langdale: 516 to Ambleside, Windermere & Kendal (or change to 555 for Keswick)
— Coniston: 505 to Ambleside, Windermere & Kendal (or change to 555 for Keswick)
— Ulverston: (which also has a rail station) X6 to Kendal


29 June 2022 at 9:14 pm

Thanks for the information shared on this website, we will be walking the CW soon, and we look forward to it!
One question though, it appears that a bridge somewhere along the way is out of use / has gone,
is this still the case, (and if so, is the alternative route well-marked?)
or has it been repaired?
Thanks much,

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

30 June 2022 at 9:29 am

Hi Irene – the local Ramblers group have a page on the Cumbria Way that includes diversions and things like that. There’s no bridge closures mentioned so I’ll have to assume it’s okay now.

Chris Benton

6 July 2022 at 5:26 pm


Could we please be added to your Baggage Transfer services list.

Ewan Macfadzean

14 September 2022 at 9:06 pm

When will you update this information regarding the campsite right on the Cumbria Way at Caldbeck?
It’s been there 5 years now and still no mention.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

15 September 2022 at 9:14 am

Hello Ewan
Due to the size and scope of the whole of this website, I do rely on people letting me know when new facilities become available. Caldbeck Camping may have been there for five years, but I’m afraid this is the first time I’ve heard of it. It’s now added.

Sue Hirons

26 September 2022 at 9:17 am

Hi Andrew

We’ve just done Keswick to Caldbeck this weekend and now planning the last stage. My partner had a knee replacement last winter and therefore we split the stages over 2 days.

Could you tell me please the approximate distance from Caldbeck to Dalston? I’m hoping you are going to say around 9 miles which gives us an easier second day to finish in Carlisle. It also might help a bit more with public transport. Thanks.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

26 September 2022 at 9:20 am

Hello Sue – funnily enough, it’s roughly 9¼ miles to Dalston. And it should be easier walking for your partner as it’s flatter than most sections of the trail.


8 April 2024 at 11:54 am

I’m looking for a camping ground to pitch my tent at Ulverston the night before I start?
Or failing that, somewhere near one of the stations on the Furness line.
Do you have any ideas?

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