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10 days
  • self guided walk
  • 9 nights hotel/guesthouse/inn
  • 9 Breakfasts





Trip Code: WCD

Trip highlights

  • The English Lake District
  • Walking from Ulverston to Carlisle* The walking actually finishes in Dalston in 2024, due to road works. then train to Carlisle
  • Views across Lake Coniston and Derwentwater
  • Langdale and Borrowdale two of the prettiest Lakeland Valleys
  • Pass the loneliest hostel in England

The walk is a complete south to north crossing of the Lake District National Park and much of the county of Cumbria. English Lakeland is England’s most mountainous area and walking is unquestionably the best way to see this celebrated landscape, hailed over the years by the likes of poets, authors and painters. Wordsworth, Tennyson, Arthur Ramson, Beatrix Potter and Wainwright, have all left their mark! The distances covered each day vary but for the first 5 or 6 days a least, there is ample time to pause and admire the unsurpassed scenery. The route is very much a classic although it largely avoids upland areas where navigation would become a problem in poor weather. On the penultimate walking day attention needs to be applied to the map in a couple of places where the route is hard to trace on the ground.

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Make your own way to the start point in Ulverston. This is an historic market town close to the shores of Morecambe Bay. There are attractive cobbled streets with cafes and pubs, whilst murals depict the town's history and that of its famous son John Barrow. Another son was Stan Laurel and you can visit the Laurel and Hardy Museum. Accommodation: Church Walk House is a Grade II listed building and is in the heart of this historic market town.

Meals:  Nil

Leaving Ulverston the way follows gently undulating farmland with views towards Morecambe Bay and the Barrow Memorial. Later there are enticing views of the superb mountains to come. There are frequent stiles and 'kissing gates' along the footpaths. Eventually you divert from the route to find your night stop in the quiet village of Lowick Green or Spark Bridge. Accommodation: The Red Lion Inn is a traditional British pub. All rooms are ensuite and have a simple modern feel to them.

Meals:  B

The undulations get bigger as you pass hillside farms and ascend over a pass with views ahead to The Coniston Old Man, Wetherlam and other fells. Descend to Beacon Tarn with an option to ascend a small peak called Beacon Hill for better views. Descend to the shores of Coniston Water and a pleasant walk ensues along the western shores of the lake all the way up to Coniston Village. Once nestled in Coniston you have a full day to explore tomorrow. Accommodation: Meadowdore Cafe & BB is situated in the centre of Coniston village. Coniston is a superb base for walks and two nights are spent here.

Meals:  B

On your free day in Coniston you can summit The Old Man of Coniston, take a trip at Lake Coniston on the steamer, visit Grisedale forest or simply relax in this pleasant place. This is a classic Lakeland landscape and the setting for the book 'Swallows and Amazons' and an inspiration for Beatrix Potter and John Rushkin.

Meals:  B

Leaving Coniston, you head up into the hills and woods passing the exquisite little lake at Tarn Hows and then flirt with the farms around the beautiful Little Langdale Valley, with a visit to a couple of waterfalls. Eventually you will enter the beautiful Langdale Valley via the stunning walk along Elterwater and then walking through the tiny villages of Elterwater and Chapel stile. There is a final quiet sheep track walk along the side of the valley before dropping down to one of the two iconic hotels cosseted by the famous 'Plkes' high above. This is Lake-land scenery at its best. IMPORTANT NOTE for night 5: New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. Langdale does not normally accept 1 night bookings on a Friday or Saturday night so please bear this in mind when choosing your start date. It is sometimes possible to book you into Ambleside over a weekend for 1 night but this does involve a bus journey (not included in price).

Meals:  B

Hike to the head of Langdale, along the Mickleden Valley - then over the Stake Pass (1600ft / 480m) between Bow Fell and the Pike of Stickle. In good visibility, you could decide to extend the walk by visiting one or more of the Langdale Pikes from the pass. However this will add at least 2 hours onto the walk. Then it’s down steeply into the remote Langstrath and then Greenup Valleys and onto Borrowdale, first passing Stonethwaite and then Rosthwaite. Accommodation: Tonight you will stay in a number of possible places in either Stonethwaite or Rosthwaite which is a couple of kms further on. A couple of the B&Bs do not have ensuite facilities tonight as they are listed buildings. You can upgrade to a number of hotels, just ask for details at time of booking.

Meals:  B

A walk through the delightful woodlands of Borrowdale, a possible diversion can be made to the village of Grange for coffee before a walk along the shores of the island studded Derwentwater to Keswick, - a lively and attractive market town at the heart of the Lake District. On the way there is time for a sharp climb up to the ever popular Cat Bells (1479ft / 451m) or from Keswick you could visit the Castlerigg Stone Circle. If you want to climb Skiddaw the mountain that towers over the town, you will need to stay an extra night. Accommodation: In the market town of Keswick that nestles beneath the giant Skiddaw by the shores of Derwentwater, you will stay at one of a number of comfortable B&Bs and Guest houses around the town. There is a large choice of places to eat.

Meals:  B

Leave the fleshpots of Keswick for some remote walking across the fells, to the north of Skiddaw. On the way a short diversion to the peak of Latrigg presents one of the best views of the Lakes - it is unlikely that after this you will see that many people today. There are two possible routes the normal one via High Pike has two sections where the route is not so easy to follow on the ground and good visibility and some map reading ability is required. This is a couple of miles shorter than the ‘bad weather route’ which should be undertaken if there is any doubt about weather, visibility, or your abilities of navigation. You will be able to make the decision about the route at just before the half way stage of the walk, by the most remote youth hostel in Britain – Skiddaw House. From High Pike (658m / 2158ft), the last bastion of the Cumbrian mountains and the highest point on the Cumbria Way you gradually descend into the pretty old mill village of Caldbeck. Accommodation: Oddfellows Arms is an attractive old pub in the centre of Caldbeck.

Meals:  B

An easier and more scenic day as you follow the delightful Caldbeck and Caldew Rivers all the way to the village of Dalston. Due to major roadworks on outskirts of Carlisle, the usual walk into the city is closed at the present time. From Dalston you need to take an hourly train or occasional bus into the City of Carlisle. It is a very different kind of day, with some woodland and pastoral undulations passing some interesting old farms and a castle. Once in Carlisle, a small city, there are opportunities to visit both the castle and cathedral, the official end of the Cumbria Way is in the Market square. Accommodation: For two nights we stay at Abbey Court B&B which is a family run guesthouse, centrally located in Carlisle.

Meals:  B

Depart Carlisle for your onward journey.

Meals:  B



The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


  • 9 breakfasts
  • 9 nights accommodation guesthouses and hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities where available
  • One piece of luggage per person transferred from Inn to Inn, not exceeding 18kg
  • Information pack including route notes & maps (1 pack per room booked)
  • Emergency hotline
  • GPX Files

  • Lunch, dinner and drinks
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Guide - this is a self guided holiday
  • Excess Luggage




Some long days and steep climbs and descents. Generally however undulating. Mixed weather can be expected. We would not recommend the route for first time walkers.

Departure dates

Daily from 31 Mar to 05 Oct


High Season
For the rest of 2024, the last day's walk will end after 10 miles in the village of Dalston. This is due to major works going on at the Carlisle Southern Link Road this year. From Dalston railway station there are normally hourly trains to Carlisle taking 11 minutes. There is also a bus from the Bluebell Pub at 12.44, but not at weekends.

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Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Single Supplement 2024USD$490
  • Solo Traveller Supplement 2024USD$520
  • Single Supplement 2025USD$540
  • Solo Traveller Supplement 2025USD$540
*Prices listed are per person

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, this walk goes all the way to Carlisle

The Cumbria Way sticks the the valleys between the big fells (hills) and over high passes to access the next valley. On this walk though you ascend over the grassy peak called High Pike where some careful navigation is needed. On the other days you certainly have some scope for ascending the Langdale Pikes or The Old Man of Coniston. On the day walking to Keswick you could divert off route to ascend Catbells

You already have two nights in Coniston, extra nights in Langdale or Borrowdale will give you scope for tacking other peaks, where as an extra night in Keswick will mean that you will be able to do a boat ride on Derwent Water.

Waymarking is patchy, on some farmland it has disappeared, and you won't find it very much in the High fells. You will need to rely on the maps and the GPX files provided as well

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