The Cumbria Way Route Summary

The Cumbria Way route can be walked either North to South, or, more usually South to North. It is most often split into 5 roughly equal stages, but can be extended, with a stopover in Rosthwaite, to 6 days. Find out more below, and download gpx files for each stage of the Cumbria Way.

Suggested 5 day Itinerary

The most popular way to walk the Cumbria Way

Day StageApprox. MilesApprox. KmApprox. Hours
1Ulverston to Coniston15247 hours
2Coniston to Langdale12185 hours
3Great Langdale to Keswick15248 hours
4Keswick to Caldbeck15238 hours
5Caldbeck to Carlisle15237 hours

Day 1: Ulverston to Coniston

Coniston Village nestled on the shores of Coniston Water with the Old Man of Coniston dominating the skyline. Your destination at the end of Day 1 of the Cumbria Way Route - Ulverston to Coniston.
Coniston Water

Distance: 15 miles / 24 km (approx)
Ascent: 615 metres / 2020 ft (approx)

Today’s path & route:  Departing The Gill, the start of the Cumbria Way the early part of the day crosses farmland and low level paths. As the route enters the National Park for the first time, soon Coniston Water becomes visible and so does the village of Coniston and Coniston Old Man. Walking along the lake shore, the skyline fills with views of the mountains ahead, with Grizedale Forest to the East.

Refreshments: Torver has a shop, and then Coniston offers enough choice to prepare for the following day. Try the Coniston Foodhouse where you can stock up on snacks, fresh sandwiches and packed lunches.

Ordnance Survey (OS) Map Reference: OL6 South Western.

Day 2: Coniston to Great Langdale

Distance: 12 miles / 18 km (approx)
Ascent: 550 metres / 1800 ft (approx)

Today’s path & route: The day starts with a gentle climb out of Coniston. Mostly low wooded hills with low fell and lakeside paths. Pass through Colwith and Skelwith Bridge, and then the simply stunning Great Langdale Valley starts to appear before you.

Refreshments: Café at Skelwith Bridge, Elterwater and Chapel Stile. The latter offers a village store.

Ordnance Survey (OS) Map Reference:OL6 South Western & OL7 South Eastern.

The dramatic landscape in the valley of Great Langdale, the end point of day 2 walking the Cumbria Way Route - Coniston to Great Langdale.
Great Langdale

Day 3: Great Langdale to Keswick

The town of Keswick in the Lake District, with Derwent Water, the Newlands hills, Maiden Moor and Catbells on a sunny day. Keswick marks the end of Day 3 of the Cumbria Way - Great Langdale to Keswick
Keswick, Derwent Water and the Lake District Fells

Distance: 15 miles / 24 km (approx)
Ascent: 650 metres / 2,150 ft (approx)

Today’s path: Moderately flat walking from Dungeon Ghyll through Mickleden before a challenging climb over Stake Pass and then dropping into Langstrath Valley. Once Borrowdale Valley opens up ahead, it is a reasonably relaxed walk along the shore of Derwent Water towards Keswick.

Refreshments: There are cafes in Rosthwaite, Grange and Portinscale. Once you reach Keswick you will find several Supermarkets and an array of Cafes and Bars.

Ordnance Survey (OS) Map Reference: OL4 North western & OL6 South Western.

Day 4: Keswick to Caldbeck

Distance: 15 miles / 23 km (approx)
Ascent: 900 metres / 2,950 ft (approx)

Today’s path: Leaving Keswick you follow a fairly steep path up towards Latrigg where you will reach Skiddaw car park. Eventually you will head up the Glenderaterra valley which splits Skiddaw and Blencathra Fells. Beyond Skiddaw House, you will have the option of taking the High Level Route or Low Level Route. Be aware of the weather conditions and choose wisely. The High-Level Route takes in the highest point of The Cumbria Way: High Pike at 658m. 2159ft.

Refreshments: Nothing between Keswick and Caldbeck. Stock up in Keswick

Ordnance Survey (OS) Map Reference:OL4 North Western & OL5 North Eastern.

The village of Caldbeck lies at the end of Day 4 of the Cumbria Way route - Keswick to Caldbeck
On the way to Caldbeck

Day 5: Caldbeck to Carlisle

The city of Carlisle awaits at the end of the final day of the Cumbria Way route - Caldbeck to Carlisle
The Cumbria Way, approaching Carlisle

Distance: 15.5 miles / 25 km (approx)
Ascent: 190 metres / 620 ft (approx)

Today’s path: Today we say goodbye to The Lake District National Park and the majestic mountains within. The trail soon picks up the River Caldew and its more or less by your side all the way to Carlisle. This is fast, gentle and pleasant walking along well graded paths and prepared cycleways.

Refreshments: Caldbeck has a small shop, and Dalston offers a mini supermarket and other independent shops and cafes.

Ordnance Survey (OS) Map Reference: OL5 North Eastern.

6 Day Itinerary

A more sedate journey over 6 days

If you want to extend the Cumbria Way walk, this six day itinerary takes in stops at Rosthwaite.

Day StageApprox. MilesApprox. KmApprox. Hours
1Ulverston to Coniston15247 hours
2Coniston to Langdale12185 hours
3Great Langdale to Rosthwaite7115 hours
4Rosthwaite to Keswick8134 hours
5Keswick to Caldbeck15238 hours
6Caldbeck to Carlisle15237 hours

More Information

Celebrate completing the 112km Cumbria Way Route with a medal from Cumbrian Business You've Earned It.

Completed the Cumbria Way Route?

Celebrate completing the 112km Cumbria Way Route with this unique medal from Cumbrian business You’ve Earned It. £1 from every order is donated directly to Mountain Rescue, and you’ll have a permanent reminder of your amazing achievement. Use promo code LakesBaggage10 to receive a 10% discount.

Route Information

Whilst we will endeavour to keep this website up to date with latest news of any Cumbria Way Route diversions or closures, do please check the local Rambler’s Association page as well.

There is currently a route closure in place between Dalston and Cummersdale. You can find out more about this in the news post from Dalston Parish Council. Cumberland Council have indicated the Caldew Cycleway will be closed to pedestrians and cyclists from 19th June 2023 to allow works to be carried out in connection with the construction of the new Carlisle Southern Relief Link (CSRL) and will be in force for 6 months. It is possible the closure may be extended beyond these timelines. (Updated: 19/06/23)

From Dalston it is possible to take the train to Carlisle . Details can be found at National Rail Enquiries. Journey time is usually less than 15 minutes. Check in advance that the trains are running on the required date.

Information on route diversions on the Cumbria Way

Disclaimer and further assistance

Route information, maps, distances, gpx files and itineraries are for general information only and should not be relied on for navigation. It is your responsibility to check your route and to ensure you have the correct level of skills and experience to undertake the Cumbria Way route.

Hill walking and participating in other outdoor activities carries with it a danger of personal injury or death. You must be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for your own actions.

For more information on how to prepare and plan for your Cumbria Way walk, please refer to our planning guide