Book data

Cumbria Way
Paddy Dillon  
08 September 2021
UK price £12.99
72pp, 130 x 220mm, 180g

Cumbria Way



Paddy Dillon

In stock

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"A model of how such guidebooks should be done" - Ulverston's Talk of the Town

The Cumbria Way begins at Ulverston and heads north through the Lake District for 73 miles (123 km) through unspoiled dales, passing stone-built farms, going around charming lakes and running beneath rugged fells. Busy tourist towns and villages contrast with woodland, wild fellside, high passes and remote moorlands. The Way passes over the summit of High Pike (658 m/2158 ft) with panoramic views, and ends by descending to the historic border city of Carlisle.

This new edition covers various route updates (mostly near Ulverston), has larger scale mapping and includes many fresh photos. It is in our new, narrow format – more pocketable, with perfect binding sewn for extra robustness, lightweight and more rainproof than ever.


This guidebook contains all you need to plan and enjoy the Cumbria Way:

  • detailed description of the route from south to north
  • Foreword by broadcaster Eric Robson
  • geology, history, farming and wildlife
  • information about public transport and travel
  • lavishly illustrated, with 85 colour photos
  • map of the entire route (1:55,000)
  • in robust format, on rainproof paper.
Look inside

Click on the thumbnails below to view sample pages from the book "Cumbria Way" in standard PDF format.
To reduce loading time, resolution is limited in these extracts, but all photographs are printed at top quality in our books. All text and images are copyrighted ©Rucksack Readers and licensors: please respect our intellectual property.

From planning (pp4-9)
2.4 Habitats and wildlife (pp20-23)
3.5a Keswick to Caldbeck (pp49-57(

From a review in Ulverston's "Talk of the Town"

A model of how such guidebooks should be done. Cumbria Way has the clearest possible maps … I particularly enjoyed the blunt realism of his advice.

Anyone who works through this guide will learn an extraordinary amount about every aspect of Cumbrian life. The guide is laden with gorgeous and helpful photographs.

Colin Pickthall, Talk of the Town (November 2013 page 11)

From two German walkers (now living in Edinburgh)

My friend and I have just completed the Cumbria Way and we were very thankful for the Cumbria Way Rucksack Reader guide which we had with us.

My friend and I are relatively new to long distance walking and have only done the West Highland Way so far. We felt the Cumbria Way would be much more challenging to find the “right way” from Ulverston to Carlisle but with the help of your guide it was relatively easy and very well described – which we felt was necessary as the waymarking in some areas was quite difficult to find or non-existent.

Now we are looking forward to planning the next walk. We haven’t decided which one yet, but I am sure we will be using one of your guidebooks.

Simone Seifert and Petra Hartmann, by email

From an online review

Another great guide from Rucksack Readers packed with information and easy to read descriptions and maps and as always “rainproof”!

With two geologists on our team we are always impressed with walking guides that give geological information about the terrain you are about to walk over and our farmer was also impressed by the Herdwick Sheep page, especially how to count them.

The guide gives four alternative route breakdowns for you to complete the walk in 5, 6, 7 or 10 days which is very useful with lots of photos and diagrammatic images.

As with all Rucksack Readers guides the Cumbria Way has travel, accommodation and general info for each section. Very good bus route, rail route and ferry map on page 7! Bus numbers very useful.

Full review is here.

See Walking on the Web for more

From a review in the Backpacker magazine, summer 2013

This easy-to-read and informative guide provides background information on the Lake District including geology, wildlife, farming and is illustrated with great photographs to whet your appetite for the walk.

It is a very useful guide for planning your walk, with information on public transport, waymarking, route profile and facilities (including camping) on route.

There is a detailed route description broken into seven sections, each with clear information on distance, likely terrain, grade and detailed step by step instructions. However it must be noted that that the guide notes are written for a walker going from South to North and would have to be reversed if you were starting at Carlisle.

Reviewed by Colin Smith on page 24

Reviewed by Irish Mountain Log, Spring 2013

The Rucksack Readers format is great for anyone travelling a trail … The combination of booklet and map in a rainproof spiral binding is extremely practical.

The 63 pages are packed with useful and relevant information – transport, accommodation, realistic walking distances and lovely little quirky details. … The text is written by someone who obviously loves this beautiful part of England and wishes to share it with others. … I would recommend both the format and this publication in particular.

Dairine Nuttall, Nordic Walking guide, County Wicklow, IML 105 p56

Bonus content

GPX route file
Route updates

The gas pipeline between Dalston and Carlisle has been completed, but work on Carlisle’s southern ring road means that this section of the Way is closed, probably for the rest of 2023. A suggested alternative is to take an 11-minute Northern Rail train ride from Dalston to Carlisle (better than hourly, less frequent at weekends).  An alternative (Mon-Fri only) is to take a number 75 bus from Dalton to Cummersdale and then complete the walk. This avoids the closed section, but the last number 75 leaves Dalston at 13.28 which means an early start from Caldbeck that day. We do not recommend you to walk the busy B5299 which has no pavement beyond Dalston.

More info to help with your planning

Support services

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Recommended maps

For those who want a larger scale map

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Route links

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