15th June 2012Devoke Water: tread quietly on the shores of the Lake District’s largest tarn

High up on Birker Fell, between the Duddon and Eskdale valleys, you’ll find Devoke Water. A mysterious yet tranquil atmosphere surrounds this breathtakingly beautiful body of water; the largest tarn in the Lake District and also one of the highest. In fact, there’s an air of the barren Scottish highlands – it must be the size and the feeling of distance from everything.

My imagination always stirs at the sight of the old boathouse. Apparently the ruins adjacent are an old stable.

Devoke Water in the Western Lake District

Exploring Devoke Water

There are several options for discovering Devoke Water, allowing both keen and leisurely walkers to experience the magic of the place.

If you’ve a few hours to spare and you’re looking for a decent walk, grab your copy of Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland and follow his circuit of Devoke Water, taking in 6 summits (Rough Crag, Water Crag, White Pike, Yoadcastle, Woodend Height and Seat How) and affording spectacular views to surrounding fells as well as over the tarn itself.

If you simply want a breath of fresh air and to experience the magic of the place, drive up the Birker Fell road then follow the Public Bridleway, just half a mile to the shores of Devoke Water. A perfect return route allowing time for a picnic or simply some quiet reflection.

Fishing on Devoke Water

Devoke Water is stocked with Brown Trout as well as Perch; the peaceful atmosphere is perfect for fishing but as you’d expect, it’s crucial to respect this magical environment and the local people who so value its tranquillity. Fishing rights on Devoke Water are held by the Millom Anglers Association, and it’s possible to obtain a day permit to fish on the tarn. I’ve found you can purchase your permit and find out more at any of the following local establishments:

Haverigg Post Office

The Post Office, Waberthwaite

Millom Tourist Office

Rods n Sods, Ulverston

Brockwood Hall, Whicham Valley

The Tourist Office, Broughton-in-Furness

The Bridge Garage, Holmrook

Whitehaven - the perfect day out
Millom & Black Combe

Brian Sherwen Photography

Many images on this website have been supplied to us by Brian Sherwen.