Route info: Day 5

Cumbria Way route between Caldbeck and Carlisle

Distance: 15.5 miles/25 km (approx)
160 metres/525 ft (approx)
Terrain: The Cumbria Way route between Caldbeck and Carlisle starts with a gentle ascent out of Caldbeck followed by a woodland walk alongside the river to Sebergham. Easy walking through fields following the river most of the way to Dalston. From Dalston you follow a cycleway all the way into Carlisle.
Food and drink:
Ensure you are well stocked with food and drink as there are no eating places until you reach Dalston – more information on eating places at the foot of the page.
Route grading: A relatively easy day on level terrain, mainly over fields apart from the last section on tarmac cycleway into Carlisle.
Route map:
To view an online map of the route visit the Route Stages Summary page
My verdict:
An easy, flat day to end your Cumbria Way journey and although I understand why some folks complain about the final few miles into into Carlisle I can only say that I personally enjoy it but I am a Cumbrian and have a strange affection for Carlisle!

About Caldbeck
Named after the river (Cald Beck) on which it stands Caldbeck is a traditional fell village situated ‘Back O’ Skidda’ as the locals say. Cald Beck provided the water for the industrial development of the area between 1600 and 1800 such as woollen mills, bobbin mills and a brewery. The village still has reminders of this past industrial activity with many of the old mill buildings still in use. In fact the Howk Bobbin Mill once had the largest waterwheel in the country, at 3 feet wide, and 42 feet diameter.

Caldbeck is now a thriving village and one in which many of its residents take a great deal of pride in living in. Tourism hasn’t really affected the village although it is a popular starting point for walks in and around the Northern Fells of the Lake District.
Discover more about Caldbeck

Wooded riverside paths charactise much of the early stages of your final day © Dik Stoddart

Day 5: Cumbria Way route between Caldbeck and Carlisle

You leave Caldbeck via a lane over the river from the church and heads towards Parson’s Park wood before a short stretch over farmland and enter woodland again following a lane into Sebergham. Cross over the bridge and follow a bridleway just over the bridge on the left towards Sebergham Church where another bridleway directs you past Sebergham Hall and onto Bell Bridge.

Cross the river and head downstream along a riverside path which follows the delightful River Caldew through fields and small patches of woodland all the way to Rose Castle, the former residence of the Bishops of Carlisle. Navigation along this stretch is easy as the route never leaves the river and with two bridges to determine distance traveled you can afford to daydream of the finish.

Shortly after Rose Bridge the route leaves the riverbank and passes by Lime House School on its way to Bridge End using a bridleway. A short road section through Dalston and over the White Bridge brings you out in the centre of Dalston with plenty of options for refreshments. Just before Caldew School a right turn down a footpath takes you to meet the River Caldew again.

The river is quite often hidden by trees and bushes but you always know its there. You are also followed on this section by a railway line on your left hand side which keeps you company until Cummersdale. The route now follows a well graded path which also doubles as a cycle way for the Hadrian’s Wall cycle route and is easy to follow to Cummersdale where you cross the river over a footbridge and start the final few miles of your Cumbria Way journey into Denton Holme and Carlisle.

Slowly but surely the route enters the southern suburbs of Carlisle. Simply keep going forward on the Caldew Cycleway through housing estates and some industrial units and crossing over the River Caldew which will bring you out on Bridge Street. A right turn here takes you under the pedestrian bridge and take another right turn onto Castle Street. Walk up past the Cathedral and upon entering the pedestrianised centre of Carlisle you will find the Market Cross on your left and the end of your Cumbria Way journey.

All that is left for you to do now is sign the route log book located at the TIC in the Old Town Hall and record for posterity your Cumbria Way walk. Congratulations!


Eating places & shops between Caldbeck & Carlisle

Grocery Shops

You had better stock up in Caldbeck with enough food and drink to see you through as there are no shops or cafes until you reach Dalston

Co-op Food Store – in the centre of Dalston
Carlisle – Far to numerous to mention so just ask a friendly local

Cafes/Bars/Tea Rooms

You had better stock up in Caldbeck with enough food and drink to see you through as there are no shops or cafes until you reach Dalston

Bridge End Inn – Public House as you enter Dalston
Bluebell Inn – centre of Dalston
Country Kitchen Cafe – homemade cakes, drinks and recommended by me
Crumbs – sandwiches, cakes and drinks in the centre of the villageCarlisle – Far to numerous to mention so just ask a friendly local