About the Cumbria Way

The Cumbria Way is a 74-mile walk from Ulverston to Carlisle, crossing the heart of the Lake District. It was created by members of the Ramblers Association, inspired by the recreation of Cumbria as a county in 1974.

Surprisingly, despite crossing the whole of the Lake District from south to north, the Cumbria Way is not a high-level route. The only summit that it includes is that of High Pike, north of Skiddaw, the northern-most 2000ft mountain in the Lake District. Apart from that, the only real ascent is the crossing of Stakes Pass between Great Langdale and Borrowdale. For most of its journey, the Cumbria Way keeps to the valleys and to the lower hills, so it is more a picturesque route than a mountain challenge.

The guide book I bought for this trip was ‘Cumbria Way’ by Paul Hannon (ISBN 1 870141 76 8), as I had found his guide for the Dales Way to be very good when I did that walk the year before. I was disappointed with his ‘Cumbria Way’ guide though, it didn’t seem to be of the same quality as his ‘Dales Way’ book - for one thing, the factual information about points of interest was in italics rather than in bold type, so that it didn’t stand out so well from the actual route information. Of course, no such book would be of much use as an actual guide anyway, as we were doing the walk the ‘wrong way round’. At least this book mentioned the points of interest that we would pass on the journey, which was why I bought it and read the relevant section the night before each walk. Most of the historical or other factual data that I quote in my journal is taken from this source.

Click here to see a very rough map of the Cumbria Way (but only if you have already read my disclaimer and notes regarding maps).