This fabulous trail runs from the South to the North of The Lake District National Park.
It’s a pretty straightforward trail to plan. Travel is easy as stations at the start and end provide good connections to the rest of the U.K and there is plentiful camping and accommodation.
The Lake District is very popular, so if you need accommodation it’s a good idea to book it ahead of time, to be on the safe side. Note that if you need accommodation at Dungeon Ghyll it would definitely be a good idea to book ahead. This is the only place with really limed options, although there is a large National Trust campsite.
There is a really wide window for you to do the trail and this five day itinerary gives a great base to start from. You could consider a side trip or two – perhaps allowing an extra day/ half day to do Skiddaw from Keswick. It’s a fairly low level trail, so adding a summit would be a great idea, particularly if you are unlikely to return to the area.
When should I hike the Cumbria Way?
The trail can be completed between April and October, although weather can be temperamental. I did it at the end of April and was treated to incredible sunny weather, a little rain, and some snow! Five days will be a comfortable pace for most people. It will also mean that you finish each day with good accommodation and camping options.
For those who don’t mind skipping some miles, I would suggest walking from Caldbeck to Dalston (c. 6 miles) and getting a bus from there to to Carlisle. This will mean you bypass the last, not too impressive section, and can get to Carlisle in plenty of time for onward connections.
Cumbria Way five day itinerary
I’d recommend doing the trail over five days. This is enough mileage per day to feel like you’ve really earned your dinner, but not so much that you can’t enjoy the spectacular views.
- Ulverston – Coniston Water 14 miles (23 km)
- Coniston Water – Great Langdale 11 (18)
- Great Langdale – Keswick 15 (24)
- Kewick – Caldbeck 18 (30)
- Caldbeck – Carlisle 15 (25)
Some people split day four, staying at the Skiddaw House YHA. I don’t think this is necessary, although it could be fun!