I thoroughly enjoyed walking the Cumbria Way. The holiday was well organized by HF Holidays. Their hotels, or ‘houses’ as they prefer to call them, were friendly and comfortable, with good and plentiful food, though we all thought that the house at Portinscale was far better than the one at Monk Coniston. Our leader, Patience, was excellent, very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and certainly added to the enjoyment of the walk.
Having read up on the Cumbria Way, I was aware that it was almost entirely a low-level route, but I think one or two people were a little surprised at how gentle the route was – after all, you’d surely expect a walk through the Lake District to visit at least one major summit. Apart from the climbs of High Pike and Stakes Pass, this walk was no more challenging than the Dales Way which I had walked a year before (also with HF Holidays). The two climbs we did do were nothing major – I’m used to doing twice as much ascent over a day when I go on my regular walking holidays in the Lake District. But the route of the Cumbria Way was very pleasant and varied, and took in a lot of different parts of Cumbria, so I guess it lived up to its name. For me, the most interesting parts were the area “Back O’ Skiddaw” on days 2 and 3, and Torver Common on the final day, mainly because these were areas I hardly knew at all. The walk on Day 4, though, was definitely the best – a full length traverse of Borrowdale, then down the wild and remote Langstrath before crossing Stakes Pass to Great Langdale. Definitely a day to remember!