The Roman Way

A Walker’s Journal by Anthony Linick

Windermere below, the Lees stand on Wansfell Pike.

Windermere below, the Lees stand on Wansfell Pike.


Would it be easy to walk the Roman Way today? I came across a route description almost by accident, and the book in which it was outlined (Michael Dunn’s Walking Through The Lake District; David & Charles, 1984) must be very hard to obtain today – though Amazon has some used copies. In addition, the route was not waymarked – nor did its existence merit inclusion on the Ordnance Survey maps.

If you do undertake it you will almost certainly have to do your own accommodation booking and carry your own pack – the Roman Way’s unofficial status means that the support available for the Lake District’s other better-known routes is missing here. But if you have done The Coast-to-Coast Path, The Cumbria Way and Paul Hannon’s tripartite circuit of the Lakes (The Furness Way, the Cumberland Way and the Westmorland Way) you may still be looking for more of the region’s challenges and glory – and the Roman Way may be just what you are looking for.

You do have some clues to help you. For general information on this kind of activity you have my book, A Walker’s Alphabet: Adventures on the long-distance footpaths of Great Britain – published in 2010 and available from the publisher at or from or from or from More specifically, you have the account that follows; a close reading will enable you to see just what course Michael Dunn intended you to take. Finally you will need sheets OL 5, 6 and 7; these Ordnance Survey maps need to be studied closely so that if you stray a bit from the route you will not panic – for there are a number of alternatives available in plotting your course from Brougham Castle to Ravenglass.

The Roman Way would not be my choice for a first adventure on a British footpath but after you have had some experience with the enterprise you should have great fun with this one. And you can always let me know how you got on by leaving a note on the Contact Page.

In our five-day expedition in 1986 we divided the route as follows:

Day 1: Brougham Castle to Pooley Bridge – 8 miles

Day 2: Pooley Bridge to Troutbeck – 15 miles

Day 3: Troutbeck to Little Langdale – 9 miles

Day 4: Little Langdale to Boot – 11 miles

Day 5: Boot to Ravenglass – 8 miles