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Walk the Cumbria Way through the Lake District with a Cicerone Guidebook - Maps and Photos

Cover of The Cumbria Way
6 Jul 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 0.9cm
1st Published
11 Feb 2015
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The Cumbria Way

by John Gillham
Book published by Cicerone Press

A guidebook to the 73 mile Cumbria Way, an easy long-distance walk though the heart of the Lake District National Park, from Ulverston in the south to Carlisle in the north, with good transport links to either end. The route is largely low-level but this guide offers alternative mountain days to climb some of the famous fells en route.

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Cover: Paperback - Laminated
Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 0.9cm
Weight: 170g

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A guidebook to the Cumbria Way, a 73-mile long distance path through the heart of the English Lake District from Ulverston to Carlisle. The route is largely low-level, and accessible to new trekkers, but this guide offers alternative mountain days to climb some of the famous fells en route.

The guide divides the route into 5 stages of between 12 and 16 miles, but there is plenty of opportunity to plan your itinerary for a more easy-going 7 to 8 days. The Lake District is a walkers paradise, and there is no better way to experience the fells, lakes and woodlands of the Lake District than by trekking through their midst. 

This guidebook also provides useful information for every stage, from accommodation to available facilities en route, as well as an annotated OS map and details on points of interest. The result is a guidebook that enhances a walk on the Cumbria Way, as well as providing the walker with the tools to complete the trek.

  • Seasons
    official way can be done year-round using B&Bs or Easter to October using campsites. The mountain route is best saved for spring, summer and autumn
  • Centres
    Ulverston, Torver, Coniston, Elterwater, Great Langdale, Rosthwaite, Keswick, Bassenthwaite, Caldbeck, Dalston and Carlisle
  • Difficulty
    official Cumbria Way is easy with only two places where the inexperienced walker can go wrong (in mist) - Stake Pass and High Pike. The mountain routes require mountain experience and the knowledge of how to use a map and compass
  • Must See
    official route visits Coniston, Tarn Hows, Great Langdale, Stake Pass, Derwentwater, Back o' Skiddaw and Caldbeck, while the mountain route adds the Coniston Fells, Glaramara, Skiddaw and Knott

July 2017

Pages 122 and 123 of Appendix B The distance from Caldbeck to Dalston is marked incorrectly as 1 mile (1.5km ). The correct distance should be 11 mile (17.5km)




Stage 5

Bell Bridge, over the river Caldew, collapsed after flooding in December 2015. The Cumbria Way will remain closed at this point for an extended period of time.

A route diversion can be found on this website


The Cumbria Way
The mountain way
Wildlife and plants
Geology (Ronald Turnbull)
When to go
Getting there
Planning your itinerary
What to take
Using GPS
Using this guide
The Cumbria Way
Stage 1 Ulverston to Coniston (or Torver)
Stage 2 Coniston to Great Langdale
Stage 2A Torver to Great Langdale – mountain route
Stage 3 Great Langdale to Keswick
Stage 3A Great Langdale to Keswick – mountain route
Stage 4 Keswick to Caldbeck
Stage 4A Keswick to Caldbeck – mountain route
Stage 4B Keswick to Caldbeck – foul weather route
Stage 5 Caldbeck to Carlisle
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Facilities summary table
Appendix C Accommodation stage by stage
Appendix D Useful contacts


Front Cover Skiddaw and Keswick from Walla Crag’s summit (Stage 3A) Tarn Hows (Stage 2) St John’s Church near Broughton Beck River Brathay, Great Langdale and Wetherlam New Dungeon Ghyll beneath the Langdale Pikes Falls on Langstrath Beck Entrust sculpture on the shores of Derwent Water Views of Borrowdale open up from Thornthwaite Fell Approaching Nether Row from lower northern slopes of High Stile The River Caldew at Dalston

The map extracts in this guide are from OS Landranger maps (1:50,000). You should also take the following 1:25,000 Explorer maps for greater detail:

  • OL6 (Ulverston to Coniston)
  • OL7 (Coniston to Great Langdale)
  • OL4 (Great Langdale to Skiddaw House)
  • OL5 (Skiddaw House to Dalston)
  • 315 (Dalston to Carlisle)

Harvey Maps publish a dedicated Cumbria Way 1:40,000 map, which is convenient because everything is on one water-resistant map and it also includes useful town plans. Unfortunately it is harder to follow the routes on the ground as field boundaries are not marked and everything is a bit small. In addition to this, some of this book’s mountain routes would be off this Harvey map.

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