At the end of the Cumbria Way

Published 28 October 2012

The end of the Cumbria Way. Well, according to my guide book anyway.

I recently said that many would believe the West Highland Way to have the worst ending of any trail. Not so, I declared. For there is one far worse.

Far worse is the Cumbria Way.

Why? Well it’s like this.

The last four miles of the route go down a frankly dull tarmac path towards Carlisle. It’s mainly a cycle route and has lots of signs extolling the virtues of jogging. To make you wonder if you’ve gone the right way, all Cumbria Way signage mysteriously stops (at least that was the case in 2009.)

Then you head in to a rather scruffy housing estate.

Then you appear at a bridge with some steps.

At the top of those steps is the end of the Cumbria Way. And what’s just beyond the end of the Cumbria Way, you ask? A bin lorry depot.

I kid you not.

Most people just head on in to the city centre and collapse on a bench in the marketplace. It’s as good a place as any to end, with the cathedral nearby. And many guidebooks tell you to do just that.

But mine didn’t. My guidebook told me the actual end was at the bin lorry depot, and that’s what I’m sticking with.

Incidentally, those not of a completionist attitude may want to take my advice. Skip the final few miles of the Cumbria Way. They ain’t worth it. Stop at Dalston instead and get the train in to the city centre. You won’t regret it. Honestly.



2 April 2013 at 3:43 pm

Totally agree but the rest of the trail was well worth it. By the way, do you know of any sites that sell Cumbria Way t-shirts?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

2 April 2013 at 3:48 pm

The rest of the trail is absolutely worth it – I loved it to bits. I just wish it had rained less when I did it!

Afraid I’ve never seen Cumbria Way t-shirts. Indeed it seems to be a rather unloved trail in that respect. No badges, no certificates, nothing.

Dave C

14 August 2014 at 1:44 pm

Exactly what myself and a mate did in a very wet July 2012.
A great walk but we did go over dale Head on route to Keswick on our only dry day

Jason Neil

19 June 2023 at 12:50 pm

Yep we totally agree on the end. The biggest anti climax of any long distance walk we have ever done. Having just finished it 19/06/23 after a very hot week. Some excellent camping spots. Skiddaw house a must for any way walker. The only bonus regarding the finish point it’s only a 40 minute train ride back to Appleby.

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