Planning Your Walk

When considering any adventure or physical challenge it’s essential to be prepared. Planning your Cumbria Way walk is no different.

Illustration - planning your long distance Cumbria walk adventure

When to walk the Cumbria Way?

The best time of year to walk the Cumbria Way is from late March through until the end of October. It’s warmer and has longer days. Remember you’ll be walking around 15 miles per day, which could take 8 hours.

What about the Weather?

Expect and prepare for rain! It can still snow on the high fells in the early part of the season. Visit Lake District Weatherline or the Mountain Weather Information Service to check out the forecasts.

How fit do I need to be?

As fit as you can be. This is a challenging 5 or 6 day long distance hike. Its tough, but rewarding.

Understand the Route.

Spend time before you arrive understanding the daily routes. Familiarise yourself with the Ordnance Survey Maps. Download gpx files if you are using navigational tools. You can find all the Cumbria Way gpx files on our Route page. Learn to use a compass and a map. It all looks very different when the clouds come down, and the weather can close in quickly. Mountaineering Scotland have an excellent guide to navigation. Also read through the Adventure Smart guide to the Lake District and Cumbria. Adventure Smart also have a great knowledge bank of resources to help you develop your skills.

Cicerone have published an excellent book called Walking The Cumbria Way. A great read.

Gear and Backpacks

What Gear will you need?


Assuming you use a Baggage Transfer Service for the duration of your walk, then all you need is a day bag, usually about 30-35 L in size. An inner waterproof liner (or dry bag) will keep the rest of your kit dry – a bin bag will do the job!

Clothing and Equipment

A good pair of Walking Boots (or Approach Shoes in prolonged dry period) is essential. As is a waterproof jacket and trousers. Layer fast drying tops and micro fleeces, and pair with fast drying trousers. Ensure you have quality walking socks to prevent blisters, along with a hat and gloves or mittens. Optionally you may wish to take walking poles and gaiters.

Cartoon of a hiker struggling to climb a hill with too much baggage

Make sure you take plenty of water, and enough snacks and food for the day, plus emergency rations should you take longer than expected, or find yourself in difficulty. Always take a map and compass, and know how to use them. You will need OS Maps OL4, OL5, OL6 and OL7 for the route.

Also ensure you take a mobile phone and charger. And of course don’t forget to pack a first aid kit, whistle, torch, spare batteries and a survival bag.

Getting Here

Getting to Ulverston by bus
Getting to Ulverston by car
Getting to Ulverston by air
Getting to Ulverston by air

By Car

Ulverston is approximately 5 hours by road and under 300 miles from London. The journey from Manchester to Ulverston is less than 100 miles, and under 2 hours drive. You can park your car at a town centre car parks for up to 7 days by buying a pass from South Lakeland District Council pay and display machines.

By Rail

Ulverston Railway Station is connected to the West Coast main line. Change at Lancaster. Carlisle and Penrith are on the West Coast main line between London (Euston Station) and Scotland. Please see National Rail Enquiries – the Official source for UK train times and timetables for more information.

By Bus

Ulverston is well served by buses. Cumbria County Council has a link to all bus, rail and ferry services. And Stagecoach have a Journey planner to help you plan your travel.

By Plane

Manchester Airport to Ulverston 96 miles. Approximately a 1 hour 45 minute drive.
Liverpool Airport to Ulverston 105 miles. Approximately a 2 hour drive.
Newcastle Airport to Ulverston 130 miles. Approximately a 2 hour 30 minute drive.

Google Maps Directions