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Ski Club of Manchester Cumbria Weekend — Devoke Water Walk — Monday 20th May 2024

Reporter: Helen Richardson

Some of our weekend walkers made their way home on Monday morning, though not until after enjoying coffee and cake at Paul and Liz’s motorhome, for which, “Many thanks, Liz and Paul”. However, four of us, looking for inspiration for a ‘half-day’ relatively easy walk, took note from our Newsletter Editor, Chris, who recommended a route around nearby Devoke Water, with several low ‘summits’ that could be either skirted or crossed.

The road that runs SE from ‘King George IV Inn’ at Eskdale Green, past Birker Fell towards the Duddon Valley, has a perfectly located informal off-road parking spot for this walk, where a bridleway leaves the road, at OS grid ref. (approx.) NY171 977.

In dry but rather dull weather, we followed the initially well-surfaced bridleway towards Devoke Water. Nearer the water, we wisely heeded advice from a couple of other walkers to be wary of squelchy, boggy ground ahead. On the way, we stopped to explore around the outside of (what appeared to be) an abandoned boathouse close to Washfold Point. The bridleway continued along the south side of the lake, but we soon turned and headed due south across rough grassland, to skirt Rowan Tree How, Woodend Height, and Yoadcastle, and then gained height to reach the ridge at one of several locations named Pile of Stones on the map.

We walked back along the ridge towards Yoadcastle, then bore NW to cross White Pike. Our route dropped down, and we passed evidence of old settlements shortly before crossing the lake’s outlet at Linbeck Gill. We stopped for lunch on Water Crag, from where we had a good view of the boathouse. Watching people busy setting up boats on land beside the boathouse and fishing from boats on the lake added interest to our stop, and told us it was not an abandoned boathouse! Our final ‘summit’ of the walk was Rough Crag, beyond which we returned to the bridleway and our start point.

This was a lovely and enjoyable walk. I hadn’t walked there before, and was initially apprehensive, as apart from the bridleway no paths are indicated on the map in that area of Access Land. However, I needn’t have worried as paths are mostly visible on the ground. I was pleasantly surprised by the gently undulating terrain, reminiscent of Peak District moorland. Underfoot, it was generally easy-going, and although we were not at high altitude, we had good views all around.

On behalf of Liz, Paul and me, many thanks to Chris for suggesting the route and to Brian for leading us.

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