The Cumbria Way

*Diversions and Temporary Closures
on the Cumbria Way*

New Route at Newbiggin

The public footpath which passed through the buildings at Newbiggin, some 2km north of Ulverston, has been diverted so the Cumbria Way now follows a cross field footpath to the west of the original route.
After joining the public road at Higher Lath Farm (SD 276 802) walk downhill for about 170 metres to where a footpath signpost on your left shows the start of the new route. After entering the field head north towards two field gates. Pass through the gate on the right and continue in the same direction to go through a further field gate. Once you have passed through this gate, do not continue straight ahead but bear right to head diagonally to the opposite corner of the field. After passing through another field gate, continue on the same line to rejoin the original route at SD 278 808.


*End of Diversions and Temporary Closures*

The Cumbria Way

This popular 70-mile walk, usually walked in five stages 11 to 15 miles long, crosses the English Lake District between Ulverston and Carlisle. Most people choose to walk the route from south to north, starting at the distinctive sculpture in the Gill in Ulverston (Grid Reference SD 284 785) and ending at the Carlisle Tourist Information Centre (NY 401 560), where there is a book to sign.  The route was devised in the 1970s by local members of the Ramblers, and it is the Ramblers who are recognised by the Lake District National Park, Cumbria County Council, and Ordnance Survey as the organisation responsible for defining its route. Ramblers volunteers periodically inspect the route with regard to its ease of use.

It is important to realise that the route is not, and probably never will be, waymarked to the extent that it can be walked without a map and/or guidebook. Indeed, it is only in the last few years that the Lake District National Park has permitted waymarking, and we have concentrated our efforts on waymarking where the choice of path is not clear cut. There are a number of websites providing route details and other information such as accommodation.


The purpose of this page is to advise of temporary closures and diversions, and of permanent changes to the route which may not yet be on maps or in guidebooks. It also suggests alternative routes and minor detours to visit nearby points of interest along the way. The information is presented south to north.

If you have any comments to make about your experience of walking the Cumbria Way please email us using this link:



The narrow streets of Ulverston can make it difficult to find the sculpture at the Gill that marks the start of the Cumbria Way, so downloading a street map could prove helpful.

From the bus station, go towards the centre of town, crossing the A590 main road to find the tourist information office on your right.

Continue along New Market Street, left along Market Street, and then right into King Street. Within a 100 yards turn left into Upper Brook Street, by the Chippy Bank cafe, which will take you through to The Gill.

From the railway station, follow Princes Street down to the traffic lights. Next, follow Queen Street straight ahead to the cobbled Market Place and continue into King Street to then turn left at the Chippy Bank cafe to follow Upper Brook Street to The Gill.

Part way up the Gill there is a choice of route where a stone bridge crosses the stream. The route across the bridge goes up the hill to a narrow squeeze stile in the stone wall, then across fields and through a working farmyard at Old Hall Farm. If there are cattle in the yard, the farmer does offer an alternative route.

Alternatively, do not cross the bridge but continue up The Gill to reach Old Hall Road and then walk up to Old Hall Farm, avoiding the farmyard.


Approaching Coniston from the south you reach the public road connecting the village to the ferry jetty. Rather than turning left towards the village you might like to turn right and walk down to the lake shore, where there are a cafe and toilets. From here you can follow the lake shore along a bridleway created in 2010 and then head north west to join the public road at grid reference SD 309 975. Walk west towards Coniston, rejoining the Cumbria Way on the outskirts of the village at SD 305 976.

Tarn Hows

There are toilets and a small exhibition at the south end of the National Trust car 

The Cumbria Way follows the track constructed by the National Trust on the west side of Tarn Hows  If you are happy to extend your walking day, you might like to walk around the east side to enjoy a different view. Rejoin the Cumbria Way at NY 330 004.

Skelwith Bridge

The original route of the Cumbria Way crossed the River Brathay via the public road bridge. For some time now the Cumbria Way has been re-routed to cross the river further upstream where a rather striking footbridge was constructed in 2006 (NY 342 032).

If you want to visit the pub or cafe in  at Skelwith Bridge, take the original route to the public road. Otherwise, as you drop down into the valley of the Brathay, take the waymarked left fork (NY 342 032) to walk upstream and cross the river via the footbridge. Once across the river, a short detour downstream provides a good view of the waterfall.

The Cumbria Way to Elterwater now follows the bridleway constructed alongside the river.

Chapel Stile

If you have the time, there is a tapestry in the village church (NY 302 055), which depicts the history of Langdale from the Ice Age to the present day.

New Dungeon Ghyll

On reaching the public road turn left and then right into the car park. Walk through the car park past the toilets and then turn left onto the bridleway going to the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. There is a partly rocky climb here which affords a good view of Langdale. However, if you are looking for an easier, cross-field route then, when you first enter the car park, go through the field gate immediately on your left and follow the public footpath (signposted) to the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel.


The footpath on the west side of the beck is marginally easier underfoot than that on the east side, but do remember to cross back over the beck before it joins Greenup Gill.


North of Rosthwaite there is the opportunity to climb Castle Crag, at 290m the lowest of the Wainrights, which affords great views over Derwent Water.

Leave the Cumbria Way at NY 251 155, take the path rising up across the field with Castle Crag ahead. After descending, take the path on the west side of Castle Crag to rejoin the Cumbria Way at NY250 165.


The Cumbria Way ends at the Tourist Information Centre in Carlisle. There is not at present a marker for photo opportunities, but you can sign the book in the information centre.

The approach to Carlisle centre is along the cycleway following the River Caldew.  There are waymarkers, but they are located above eye level on lampposts and street signs. At the end of the cycleway, turn left and then right to walk alongside the dual carriageway. Carlisle Castle is on your left and Tullie House Museum ahead. Turn down Castle Street past Carlisle Cathedral to reach the information centre.



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