The Cumbria Way

Day 1, Ulverston to Beacon Tarn, 9 miles

The day started off perfectly with a Second Breakfast at Peter Dixon’s, where we met Jill and Maggie too – weather was mostly dry and sunny but a bit of rain in the last couple of miles – very quiet on the trails – wild camp

Day 2, Beacon Tarn to Coniston, 6.5 miles

Mostly rain today – still quiet walking – wanted to wild camp after Coniston but not really practical, Coniston YHA wouldn’t let us camp there and wanted £109 for the two of us to stay in a room so used a b&b instead – I’m sure the YHA have lost the plot at times – stocked up with food here for the next three days

Day 3, Coniston to Great Langdale Campsite, 9.5 miles

Rain in the morning but a gorgeous, sunny afternoon – a bit busier around Tarn Hows but otherwise pretty quiet – met up with Jilly Sherlock at the campsite, lovely to finally meet her in person – friends Chris and Cate (a day in front of us on the trail) left a secret stash of Smarties for us hidden in a wall and we had to follow clues to find them…

Day 4, Great Langdale to Rosthwaite over Stake Pass, 7.5 miles

Delicious croissants and pains au chocolat for breakfast – waterproofs constantly on and off today, and a fierce head wind all the way made for a tiring day – generally great views though – paths still pretty quiet except for when we got to Blackmoss Pot, where oodles of people were swimming – Chapel Farm Campsite at Rosthwaite

Day 5, Rosthwaite to Keswick, 8.5 miles

Another day of waterproofs constantly on and off – gorgeous second breakfast at a cafe in Grange – delicious fish and chips at an eat-in restaurant in Keswick – stocked up with food again for the next couple of days – Keswick a bit on the busy side but no busier than we’ve often seen it over the years – got a lovely pitch for the night right next to the lake in the Camping and Caravanning Club site (like every site we stayed at on this trip, backpackers or cycle tourers are never turned away – they will always find you a spot)

Day 6, Keswick to Wiley Gill, 7.5 miles

A bit of rain to start with but dry most of the day – croissants for breakfast – back to quiet trails again and most folk we did see today were either fell runners or mountain bikers – wild camp in the midgiest place on the planet

Day 7, Wiley Gill to Caldbeck, 8 miles

Rain to start with but it soon changed to dry with a refreshing breeze – a bit of a pull up to Lingy Hut (ignore the route up Grainsgill Beck which is even worse apparently and go straight across the hillside direct to the Hut) – lunch in the hut complete with a brew – no views from High Pike! – be on your toes with the navigating off the other side of High Pike or you will end up veering off in the wrong direction – Caldbeck campsite for the night

Day 8, Caldbeck to Dalston, 11 miles

Rain, rain, rain, all day long and overnight – we even got a bit crabby with each other by late afternoon – a very pleasant riverside route though even so – lovely cafe in Dalston for a break before the last mile out the other side of the village to Cardewlees Campsite

Day 9, Dalston to Carlisle, 6.5 miles

Pissin’ it down to start with but dried up within a couple of miles – we were expecting this section to be grim with loads of industrial estates to walk through, but it wasn’t, found the occasional factory and old mills quite interesting to be honest – met up with Gaz and Alfie – Gaz was a fount of information about the social history of the area – excellent lunch in Carlisle – hotel for the night

I’ve just been asked about the path from Dalston to Carlisle, so here’s a couple of screenshots of the map showing each end of it:

17 thoughts on “The Cumbria Way

  1. Did you do the famous tarmacked path which goes between Dalston and Carlisle and runs alongside the railway much of the way? I need to work out where it goes as I want to do that sometime.

    Grainsgill Beck was a drier route than straight up to Lingy Hut which is unbearably wet – just water running down grass usually. It’s rougher though. I’m surprised you didn’t spend the night in the hut – I think it’s really nice.

    I’m amazed you got a B&B in Coniston at the last minute – we tried to get one by booking about 3 weeks in advance and everywhere was full up so we stayed at our usual place instead – Broughton-in-Furness. And that was before the school holidays.

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    1. We did do that tarmac path – it was perfectly pleasant!
      We’ve been up to Lingy Hut twice that way and it’s always been pretty dry, so maybe that’s just been good luck?
      The hut has been done up since the last time we were there and it’s really nice, it just didn’t quite fit with our itinerary this time otherwise it would have been a good spot for the night.
      I’d actually made the booking in Coniston the week before when we’d been planning it…

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  2. I hear so many good things about the Cumbria Way. Looks like the weather gave you a bit of a hard time as well. We were up on Beacon Fell a few weeks ago, nice around there. Enjoyed reading the journey with you.
    Know what you mean about the YHA, we were looking for somewhere in Scotland and Glen Nevis wanted well over £100 for 2 people for a night. Plot well and truly lost!

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    1. Yes it is a very pleasant route and I suppose the weather is just typical Lakes weather!
      The YHA is a bit annoying to be honest. And yet Dale and I have booked a room in Hawes for a night in a couple of weeks time, and that’s only costing us £46.80 for the room (£23.40 each). Probably depends how many bunks there are in the room, but £109 is just ridiculous!
      I was also fed up that Coniston wouldn’t let us camp outside. Many do these days, but apparently Coniston have had some of these wooden pods built so there’s no room for tents anymore 🤦‍♀️Goodness knows how much they cost for a night…

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      1. They do seem to have lost sight of the original message of cheap beds and gone after the high end market, I guess that works in cities but it prices out their use as a cheap overnight on a walking holiday. I rarely consider them these days as B&Bs and pubs offer much better value

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