Cumbria Way is a pleasant 112 km (84 miles) stroll through the Lake District’s English countryside. With little elevation, the hike is accessible even to those of us not as fit as we could be, while still providing time to think, physical exercise, highland scenery and a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
Here is a tentative itinerary for the relaxed hiker:
Day 1 – Ulverston to Coniston – 24 km (15 miles)
Day 2 – Coniston – Langdale 17 km (11 miles)
Day 3 – Langdale – Keswick 25.7 km (16 miles)
Day 4 – Keswick – Caldbeck 22.5 km (14 miles)
Day 5 Caldbeck – Carlisle 22.5 km (14 miles)
Ramblingman.org suggests an alternate 6 day itinerary.
If the Cumbria Way is too short or not strenuous enough for your appetite, many other paths connect to it. The William Wordsworth Way, for example, is 270 km (168 miles) long and takes two weeks to complete.
Together or Alone?
It’s up to you who your companions are. Cumbria Way can be a solo attempt – luggage could be sent on to the next stop by taxi or bus, or there are tours and groups available in the area if you have no one to travel with. LDWA organizes daily, weekend and longer hikes. On other sites, several of the groups offer an added focus: Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth (over 80 places to visit), photography, sheep, beer tasting, etc. Some are free.
What To Do After The Hike
Once the hike is over, there are lots of things to do:
1) Ride the Ravenglass and Eksdale Railway, the oldest and longest narrow-gage railway in the area.
2) Visit the Laurel & Hardy Museum.
3) Listen to the ‘rum’ tales of pirates and smugglers.
4) Enjoy the fish at the Coast Aquarium, in Maryport.
5) Take a cruise on England’s most beautiful lake.
6) Sip a beer at the small Keswick Brewery.
7) Eat some real fish & chips at the local pub.
8) Learn the history of William Wordsworth. Dove Cottage, below, is his family home.
An Incredible Journey
Not a ready-made holiday, the practically limitless possibilities of hikes, lengths, orientations and accessibility are what make the Cumbria Way such an attractive incredible journey.
Wish To Return
I was in the Lake District for a half-day walk, many years ago. I remember a scorching day, boisterous children, easy slopes, incredible vistas, lush lanes, century-old rock houses, quaint vine-covered shops, friendly locals and a tremendous sense of calm. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to go back and do a longer excursion.
Copyright 2013 - 2016. All rights reserved. Monique Martel.