Devoke Water
Devoke Water, Water Crag and some very cute little fluffy clouds

Summits: There are six summits in the chapter, namely:  Water Crag (997 feet above sea level), Rough Crag (1049’), Seat How (1020’), Woodend Height (1597’), Yoadcastle (1621’) and White Pike (1450’).

Date bagged: First visits: The first three — Water Crag, Rough Crag and Seat How — were bagged (in that order) on walk 91, 2/1/15.

Looking up from Stainton farm
Looking up from Stainton farm. White Pike on left, Yoadcastle on right, the Knott (Stainton Pike) in the middle.

The remainder, bagged in the order WH – Y – WP, were reached on walk 101 on 16th September 2015.

Second visit: Seat How and Rough Crag were bagged a second time on walk 133, 28th July 2017.

Water Crag, White Pike, Woodend Height and Yoadcastle were then rebagged (in that order) on walk 188, 25th April 2021.

Bagged as number: First round: Those first three summits become 282-4 of the 330. [ << Burney (281)  (285-6) Hesk Fell >> ]

The second three became 317-319 of the 330.[ << Ponsonby Fell (316)  (320) The Knott (Stainton Pike) >> ]

Second round: Seat How and Rough Crag are 112 and 113 of 330. [ << Great Worm Crag (112)  (114) Blake Fell >> ]

Seat How and Devoke Water
Seat How and Devoke Water, viewed from Rough Crag. The pyramid in the background is Caw.

The others are 271-274 of 330.  [ << Wether Hill (270)  (275) The Knott (Stainton Pike) >> ]

Route of ascent and descent: First visits: The first three: I came up from Eskdale, via the ‘peat road’ which rises behind the former farm of Brantrake — a fine climb. After doing the three summits, dropped down to Devoke Water then headed south for Hesk Fell.

The second three: came up from Eskdale again, this time from Dalegarth, via Low and High Ground farms, then ascended Woodend Height from Devoke Water (reversing the descent suggested in the book). From White Pike I descended via the Knott (Stainton Pike chapter) then, via Muncaster Bridge, went to Ravenglass.

Woodend Height

Second visits: The first two: Came up Seat How from Woodend, went on to Rough Crag and then descended to Brantrake — which was nowhere near as good on descent in summer than it was on ascent in winter, thanks to bracken.

The rest: Ascended from the Birker Fell road.  After Yoadcastle, descended, once again, via The Knott, but this time to Barnscar.

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 145 of volume 8): “The large tarn of Devoke Water, a popular resort of anglers and bathers, occupies a shallow basin in a surround of low fells, the tops of which yield the finest of all the views of the mountains circling the heads of Wasdale, Eskdale and the Duddon Valley….

White Pike summit and squirrel
White Pike summit and its adventurous squirrel (on right)

“The summits… are varied in character with rocky bluffs outcropping in many places, and on the north side of the tarn granite boulders attractively adorn heather slopes and ancient cairns add an antiquarian interest…”

What I say: This is a good area. All my visits to Devoke Water have convinced me that despite being a little bare, with not a single tree on its waterline (or indeed in sight from the waterline),  it’s a fine spot, well worth time, particularly on a sunny day. Seat How is one of the cuter summits in the whole Wainwright canon, and in fact all six summits are distinctive. In Woodend Height and Yoadcastle the chapter also achieves the distinction of having the two Wainwright summits that are closest together, being barely 300 yards, or 0.18 miles, apart (I measured this distance on my phone pedometer on my second visit, taking exactly 484 steps from cairn to cairn). The views, both of the heart of the district (Scafell particularly), of the lonely Whit Fell/Barnscar region, and of Devoke Water itself, are very good.

Seat How
Seat How and Devoke Water’s boat house

The only problem is access, particularly from the west. Walk 40 convinced me that I was never using the Barnscar – Dyke path again (ever). What I thought had been a good ascent up the peat road from Brantrake, Eskdale, in winter, became a bracken-clad nightmare in descent in late July.

However, though I’ve yet to use it on ascent, the path up from Stainton farm to the Knott (part of the Stainton Pike chapter, but more logically included in this one) is fairly decent and is worth a try. Even then, though, you are quite a way from a railway station, and off the main bus routes. Bootle station is usable, but a long walk (a good 6 miles from White Pike), and Ravenglass station, while nearer, requires a walk along the busy A595 for at least part of the way.

[ << Dale Head     Dodd >> ]


4 Responses to “Devoke Water circuit”

  1. […] 30 for the week). The route started in Eskdale and went over three of the fells on the ‘Devoke Water circuit‘ including the very cute little tor of Seat How (pictured). Then Hesk Fell and its […]

  2. […] one of the best days of weather I’ve ever had in the Lakes. Walk 101 saw me complete the Devoke Water circuit and Stainton Pike […]

  3. […] Walk 133 (28th July): Green Crag, Great Worm Crag, and Rough Crag and Seat How from the Devoke Water circuit chapter […]

  4. […] (1621′, no 274) and The Knott (1086′, no. 275). The first four are all in the Devoke Water circuit chapter of The Outlying Fells and the last, the Stainton Pike […]

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