The Cumbria Cycle Way is a 260-mile way-marked route around the county offering the visiting cyclist a unique experience. Being circular it can be started anywhere on the route: Carlisle, the Eden and Lune Valleys, Morecambe Bay, the west coast and Solway Firth. Mostly it follows quiet lanes, but takes in all the interesting towns and villages.
The Cycle Way is a carefully thought-out route, mostly along minor roads, extending 260 miles in a roughly circular shape (see Map 1). From Carlisle it follows the foot of the escarpment of the northern Pennines to Kirkby Stephen. From there it goes through valleys in the central Pennines as far as Kirkby Lonsdale and then reaches Morecambe Bay at Arnside. After winding around the sheltered recesses of the Bay and the Duddon Estuary it emerges on to the open coast of the Irish Sea. Eventually it reaches the quieter waters and salt marshes of the Solway Firth before returning to Carlisle. Cumbria is not noted for its seaside, yet more than half of the Cycle Way is near the coast. It also reaches 1500 feet above sea-level at the head of the Eden valley. Apart from the diversity of landscape there’s also a great variety of towns: the cathedral city of Carlisle, historic market towns and no fewer than five towns established within the last two centuries.