Cumbria Coastal Way

The Cumbria Coastal Way (CCW) is a 298km/182 mile long distance footpath (LDP) allowing users to travel from Cumbria's southern border to just north of the English–Scottish border. It follows some interesting scenery such as the red sandstone cliffs of St. Bees Head.

Officially opened in the early 1990s this footpath starts at Silverdale just across the border in Lancashire, where it joins the Lancashire Coastal Way. From there it works its way around Morecambe Bay, along coast to and through Barrow-in-Furness and then north passing Seascale to the lighthouse at St. Bees Head, the most western tip of Cumbria. It then continues north along the coast past the coastal towns of Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport to Grune Point before heading east for Carlisle. A final stretch then takes you north to Metal Bridge close to the Scottish border. You can find a longer list of places visited here.

Guide Books and Maps

If you're looking for a guide book then books from Cicerone are always hard to beat and in 2007 they published The Cumbria Coastal Way: Morecambe Bay to the Solway Firth by Ian and Krysia Brodie.

If you want to use your own maps, rather than relying on the maps in the guide book, then that's a whole subject in itself so we've got a separate page on maps.

Withdrawal of Official Status

In 2010 Cumbria County Council informed the Ordnance Survey that it no longer endorsed the route and so it has been removed from OS maps, along with the Allerdale Ramble. We asked Cumbria County Council why they had done this. They said that:

the Cumbria Coastal Way [has] many permissive links, a large amount of which have now run out so it [was] requested to be removed as sections are un-walkable.

It has to be said that, judging by the paper Ordnance Survey maps we have where the Cumbria Coastal Way is still shown, the vast majority of it is on rights of way or is on beach sections where you probably have implicit access rights anyway so long as you stay below the high water mark under the Crown Estate's general permissive consent; so it seems to us it's probably still possible to do the Cumbria Coastal Way although some diversions from the original route may be necessary.

The other good news is that work on a new National Trail, the England Coast Path, is now well under way. The first section of which in Cumbria should be open late spring 2014, from Allonby to Whitehaven, with more to follow. You can more about this on the Natural England web site.