The route heads north across the magnificent Lake district National Park. However, this is not a peak bagging route, but one that takes a more measured course following valleys and using passes to negotiate this stunning landscape. It is still quite a climb over Stake Pass, but with lovely Borrowdale on the other side it is definitely worth the effort. In fact this route is a continually changing visual delight, high points being dark Coniston Water, the almost too beautiful to be true Tarn Hows, the rugged Langdale Pikes, lush Borrowdale and enchanting Derwent Water. The views are universally sensational. The route then visits the busy market town of Keswick, now very much a tourist centre, but an attractive place to browse nevertheless. Finally the route continues north over wild fell country before descending to farming country and following the Caldew valley to Carlisle.
Overall, the route is remarkably well balanced. Gentle farmland at both ends, a dramatic middle section amongst the high crags, and two generous chunks of classic Lakeland either side of that. Don't underestimate the Cumbria Way. To walk it is a considerable achievement. If you only ever complete one long distance path, then seriously consider the Cumbria Way. The satisfaction and the memories could last you a lifetime.
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