Beth's Favourite One Way Walks in Cumbria

I spend a lot of time writing up walks and the overwhelming demand is for circular walks, particularly those which start and end at a pub! One way walks are less convenient and require more planning – either somewhere to stay at the other end, public transport or car juggling – but for me, there is definitely a joy to be had in finishing my walk someplace far away from where I started it, so here are my five favourite one way walks.

St Bees to Whitehaven

Untitled-1 (64).jpgAccess: There are regular train & bus services between the two towns.

This is an absolutely glorious walk along the only cliffs in Cumbria, with loads to see along the way. If you’re doing this walk, allow time at each end to explore the two towns too. In St Bees there’s the legend of St Bega to discover, and in Whitehaven (pictured) there are numerous museums, most of which have excellent cafes. There are magnificent views across to the Isle of Man from the clifftops, with regular RSPB viewing points and information boards along the way. During the nesting season the cliffs are home to thousands of seabirds, and out to sea there are regular sightings of seals and porpoises, so have your zoom lens ready!

Ties in perfectly with: Coast to Coast walk

Grasmere to Keswick

Untitled-1 (64).jpgAccess: The iconic 555 bus connects the two towns.

I’m not going to lie to you; this is a long old hike, so you’ll need to be properly prepared, but the views are fabulous. It’s definitely a walk of three halves (!) – the hike out of Grasmere up to Harrop Tarn, the woods and bogs from there to Watendlath and the spectacular descent and stroll into Keswick. For me, Harrop Tarn was a lovely surprise; obviously I knew it was there, but I didn’t know it was so pretty. The views on the descent are some of the best known in the Lake District, passing Surprise View (pictured) and Ashness Bridge before following the lake into Keswick, where you can put your feet up with a well earned pie and a pint.

Ties in perfectly with: Lakeland Rround

Silverdale to Arnside

Untitled-1 (64).jpgAccess: There’s a regular bus and train service between the two villages – double check the times though, as not all of the trains stop at Silverdale.

Whichever way around you do this walk, there is good food at the end – the RSPB cafe at Leighton Moss (Silverdale) is renowned for its excellent cakes, and Arnside has a couple of great pubs plus a chippy to look forward to. The walk itself is low level and gentle, winding through ancient woodlands where you should look out for the cherry trees, which were once described as being the finest in the land. There are also great views of Arnside Tower (pictured), the remains of an old pele tower dating back to the 15th century, and gorgeous views along the river estuary at Arnside and, if you time your visit right, you may be lucky enough to see the Arnside Bore.

Ties in perfectly with: Westmorland Way

Bassenthwaite to Cockermouth

Untitled-1 (64).jpgAccess: There are regular buses along the A66.

Specifically, this is a walk from the end of (pictured) Bassenthwaite Lake (OK, the Lakes Distillery if I’m being brutally honest, but the cakes there are excellent!) up and over Watch Hill and down into Cockermouth. The route begins along very quiet country lanes, then veers off up through Setmurthy Woods, which are unusual for being full of beech trees, a comparatively rare tree in Cumbria. As you emerge from the woods at the top of the hill (it’s a very gentle climb) look south for glorious views of the Lake District fells. Cockermouth itself is a real hidden gem of a town with loads of interesting history, great shops and Jennings Brewery – what’s not to love?

Ties in perfectly with: Cumberland WayLakeland Round and Cumbria Way

Arkholme to Kirkby Lonsdale

Untitled-1 (64).jpgAccess: This one will require car juggling.

Although this walk starts in Lancashire, it finishes in Cumbria so I’m including it; plus it’s a lovely riverside ramble. From Arkholme, the Lune Valley path is clearly marked along the river and is simple to follow all the way up to Kirkby Lonsdale. It’s a very gentle and pleasant walk, with lots of the usual riverside flora and fauna to spot along the way. There’s also loads of interesting local history, as the Lune Valley has been a natural communications corridor for many centuries. Kirkby Lonsdale is well known for Devils Bridge (pictured) and Ruskin’s View, but take time to explore the rest of the town as there are plenty of interesting old buildings and memorials to discover.

Ties in perfectly with: Alternative Coast to Coast walk

Originally published 26/07/18

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