Quick Fixes to the Cumbria Way

In my previous post, I talked about the problems with the Cumbria Way official route, and in this post I’m going to propose some quick fixes to the route that involve minimal change overall, and importantly don’t create a whole new long distance path. Really these are just some ideas for varying the walk, but based around keeping much of the official route. It’s possible that these may be enough by themselves to remove the niggles. As a reminder, the issues we were trying to solve were: Where should an improved Cumbria Way end in the north ? How can … Continue reading Quick Fixes to the Cumbria Way

Cumbria Way – afterthoughts

A week after the end of the trip, I can now look at what went well and what didn’t….. Continue reading “Cumbria Way – afterthoughts”

Cumbria Way – The End of the Walk

So that’s it. As I limp away from Carlisle Castle through the urban ugliness of the city centre, I’m not feeling any sense of achievement. That came about 4 miles out from Carlisle, when I knew I’d make it (somehow), but completely evaporated on the slog over the tarmac.

If the Cumbria Way finished in Dalston, that would have suited me fine, and I don’t think it gains anything from the extra spirit-crushing crawl Continue reading “Cumbria Way – The End of the Walk”

River Caldew

Cumbria Way Day 10

Today’s mission is simple – get to Carlisle. I’m ditching Fauld’s Brow. It looks rubbish. I reckon this might save me up to 3 miles. It’s still going to be bloody hard going though. If need be it’ll be on with the MP3 player for the duration.

And so it proved. Day 10 turned out to be the hardest day of all.

The wind whistled around the barn all night and it took ages to get out of bed (or should that be off of mattress). Continue reading “Cumbria Way Day 10”

Lonely path around the base of the fells

Cumbria Way Day 9

The wind was howling around the bunkhouse throughout the night and was still doing so at breakfast time. Meanwhile a mist had descended. Marie summarised the weather forecast as “not much respite”. That did imply some level of respite though!

All my wet kit had dried, and just as importantly, warmed up by the stove overnight so putting it on felt ok, and if it had still been cold and/or wet I don’t know how I’d have got out of the door. In any case I fully expected a character-building day. Continue reading “Cumbria Way Day 9”

Escape to Skiddaw House

Cumbria Way Day 8

Last night the warden told me that the forecast was for two days of rain, which probably meant loads of wind as well.

But I woke to clear weather with a good view towards Carrock Fell from my bedroom window. Having steeled myself for a day kicking around the hostel, it now looked like it may be better than forecast, Continue reading “Cumbria Way Day 8”

Knott from Little Calva

Cumbria Way Day 7

Skiddaw House is the highest youth hostel in England, and I took advantage of a 1,550 feet head start today.

Today I’m not strictly doing the Cumbria Way. Today and tomorrow I am doing some side walks to take advantage of the location, and I will continue the trek itself on Tuesday.

A similar start to yesterday weather-wise. Breezy and rain showers with forecast to clear. Having survived Continue reading “Cumbria Way Day 7”

Approaching Skiddaw House from Dash Falls

Cumbria Way Day 6

I woke to the news that we’d had hail in the night and it was still raining solidly throughout breakfast. The forecast was for it to clear by 10 so I took my time. But strong wind up high was also forecast so I may need to miss out the top of Skiddaw if it got too strong.

Latrigg House , in contrast to the other B&Bs I’ve stayed at in Keswick, was quite good, so will use again. The single was ensuite too. And £31 was all it cost.

I set off at 10 as the cloud lifted from the hills and made my way along the old railway path to join up with the path up the south side of Latrigg. The plan was to assess the weather at the summit Continue reading “Cumbria Way Day 6”

Catbells in mist and rain

Cumbria Way Day 5

A big dose of inertia, justified as “giving the weather a chance to calm down”, meant I didn’t leave the barn until 10.

I set off along the Cumbria Way across the fields towards Castle Crag, gradually rising up the fell, as the wind picked up. I didn’t linger there and carried on down towards Grange. Then I got my first mobile phone signal since Tuesday afternoon, a flood of emails and texts and a call from tongiht’s B&B. I perched in the lee of a rock and caught up with the outside world. Continue reading “Cumbria Way Day 5”

Sunlight over Langstrath

Cumbria Way Day 4

Breakfast by a log fire was a good start to the day and in contrast to the roaring wind and driving rain outside. Also congenial company around the common table meant that it was an hour and a half later that I rose. I can recommend Millbeck Farm – at £30, with tea and cake on arrival, and a reasonable breakfast, it’s decent value.

It was 10:20 before I got going – partly due to the lingering breakfast, but also the weather seemed to be easing, so I gave it a chance. The weather had other ideas though Continue reading “Cumbria Way Day 4”

Holme Fell in mist and rain

Cumbria Way Day 3

Today was an ordeal.

Woken by the patter of rain on the window, and having seen the forecast last night I knew it was going to be damp. In the event it rained pretty much all day and I couldn’t see anything above 200m for most of the day.

Having been first down for breakfast, I was away before 9 and followed the official CW path out of Coniston to Low Yewdale and up through Tarn How’s Wood. Continue reading “Cumbria Way Day 3”