A heavenly hike amongst historic wonder — Cistercian Way

Jon Sparks (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A heavenly hike amongst historic wonder — Cistercian Way

Wander-Collection von Alex Foxfield



3-4 Std

/ Tag

52,5 km

600 m

570 m

The Furness and Cartmel peninsulas in the south of what is today Cumbria are home to some of the most magnificent reminders of the Cistercian order. Crumbling castles, wondrous abbey ruins and beautiful churches are dotted across this land. It is also a region of breathtaking natural beauty. The shifting sands, ebbing tides and dynamic waters of Morecambe Bay and the Kent and Leven estuaries are set to the dramatic backdrop of South Lakeland’s distant fells.

The Cistercian Way is a medium-distance trail that threads its way through this exquisite blend of ancient history and scenic wonder. The official Way covers 33 miles (53 km), starting at Grange-over-Sands and finishing at Roa Island off the southern tip of the Furness Peninsula.

Highlights along the Way include: Eggerslack Woods and the superb views from Hampsfell; Cartmel Priory, once an Augustine priory and one of the most impressive ecclesiastical buildings of the medieval era; Holker Hall and its extensive gardens and parkland; Dalton-in-Furness and its 14th-century pele tower; the wondrous ruins of Furness Abbey, once the second most powerful Cistercian abbey in the country; and Roa and Piel islands, the latter boasting impressive castle ruins.

Before the Dissolution of the Monasteries at the hands of Henry VIII between 1536 and 1541, Medieval Britain’s Cistercian abbeys were some of the most wealthy and powerful institutions in the land.

In their prime, the Cistercians of Furness Abbey controlled a great deal of South Cumbria, as well as the Isle of Man and parts of Ireland. They built a number of grand structures throughout the region, such as a pele tower in Dalton and an impressive castle on Piel Island. Both of these were built to defend against marauding Scots and to protect the trade between the Furness Peninsula and the Isle of Man.

Cistercian architecture is widely thought to be one of the most spectacular of all the European styles. The jewel in the Furness Cistercians’ crown was Furness Abbey itself, which would have been a lavish, spellbinding sight. Built from local sandstone and towering to 131 feet (40 m), the abbey’s influence and wealth was second to only Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire. Its evocative ruins form the centrepiece of the Way.

In this Collection, I have split the route into 3 short stages that give you plenty of time to explore the various abbeys, churches, towns, villages and stately homes along the way. You could complete the Way in two days by combining stages 1 and 2.

The Collection covers slightly less ground than the traditional Cistercian Way, totalling 32.6 miles (52.5 km). This is because I have opted not to include the crossing of Leven Estuary’s sands, as this can be dangerous without a guide. Due to this, Stage 1 finishes at Cark and Cartmel train station, allowing you to take the train to Ulverston at the start of Stage 2. I’ve made some of the mileage back by plotting a route into the town of Barrow at the end of the Way.

This itinerary is suitable for all walkers, with little in the way of elevation change and is doable all year round. However, the Piel Ferry only operates between April and September. It would be a shame to miss seeing Piel Castle up close.

Whilst not as wet as Lakeland, the Cumbrian coast does receive a fair amount of rainfall from incoming westerlies. Waterproofs are a must, as are sturdy boots, as there are a variety of surfaces along the Way. Food is readily available en route, so you won’t need to carry too many provisions along with you. However, it is worth planning and booking your meals in advance.

Grange, Ulverston, Dalton and Barrow all offer a range of accommodation. They lie on the Furness railway line, making day walks easily achievable. The railway also connects to the West Coast Main Line at Lancaster.

The Cistercian Way often shares its route with the Cumbrian Coastal Way, which explores the entirety of Cumbria’s beautiful and historic coastline. For a Collection detailing this wonderful, long-distance trail, see:

Auf der Karte


Touren & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap-Mitwirkende
    11,9 km
    3,4 km/h
    310 m
    310 m
    Mittelschwere Wanderung. Gute Grundkondition erforderlich. Überwiegend gut begehbare Wege. Trittsicherheit erforderlich.

    Die erste Etappe erkundet die Cartmel-Halbinsel und steigt zuerst zu einem atemberaubenden Aussichtspunkt auf Hampsfell, einem Outlying Wainwright Fell, auf, bevor sie nach Cartmel absteigt. Sie erkunden dieses hübsche Dorf und bewundern die Majestät seiner Klosterkirche, bevor Sie die Holker Hall und ihre weitläufigen Gärten und Parkanlagen besuchen. Die Etappe endet am Bahnhof Cark und Cartmel.Bevor Sie von Grange-over-Sands …

    übersetzt vonOriginal anzeigen
  • Mittelschwer
    16,3 km
    3,8 km/h
    150 m
    110 m
    Mittelschwere Wanderung. Gute Grundkondition erforderlich. Überwiegend gut begehbare Wege. Trittsicherheit erforderlich.

    Während dieser Etappe erkunden Sie die historischen Städte Ulverston und Dalton-in-Furness und besuchen die reizvollen Dörfer Great und Little Urswick, die von einem wunderschönen Tarn umgeben sind. Es gibt viel architektonisches Interesse - beeindruckende Pfarrkirchen und ein Peleturm liegen unterwegs.

    Mit 16,3 km ist es ein einfacher Spaziergang mit wenig Höhenunterschieden. Dies sollte Ihnen genügend Zeit geben, um die Städte …

    übersetzt vonOriginal anzeigen
  • Entdecke Orte, die du lieben wirst!

    Hol dir jetzt komoot und erhalte Empfehlungen für die besten Singletrails, Gipfel & viele andere spannende Orte.

  • Schwer
    24,3 km
    3,9 km/h
    140 m
    160 m
    Schwere Wanderung. Sehr gute Kondition erforderlich. Überwiegend gut begehbare Wege. Trittsicherheit erforderlich. Die Tour enthält Überquerungen mit der Fähre.

    Die letzte Etappe führt Sie zu den beeindruckenden Ruinen der Furness Abbey, die einst eine große Zisterzienserabtei war, die nur in Bezug auf die Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire an zweiter Stelle steht. Die Pilgerreise führt weiter zu den Inseln Roa (über einen Damm) und Piel (über eine Fähre), die für den Handelsweg der Zisterzienser zur Isle of Man wichtig waren. …

    übersetzt vonOriginal anzeigen

Dir gefällt diese Collection?



Collection Statistik

  • Touren
  • Distanz
    52,5 km
  • Zeit
    14:03 Std
  • Höhenmeter
    600 m570 m

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A heavenly hike amongst historic wonder — Cistercian Way