Walk Stanley Force and Devoke water, Lake District, England

Along the river Esk

Walk Information:

  • Distance: 13 km
  • Duration: 4h
  • Ascent: 212m
  • Level: Medium
  • Car park: Just before Dalegarth train station take on the right in the direction of Dalegarth campsite (Dalegarth Hall Cottage, Holmrook CA19 1TF). There is a small free car park on the right after the bridge. Otherwise park at Dalegarth train station (Fees apply)
  • Outdooractive map: here
  • Dog friendly: Yes – fields with sheeps to cross so dog will need to be on lead. No stiles.

Veuillez faire défiler vers le bas pour la version française.

Matt and Skye trying to crossing the river Esk using the stepping stones.

We went to Stanley Force for the first time during summer 2020, just after the first lockdown. That day the weather was hot so after walking to the waterfall we headed towards the river Esk for a swim. Unfortunately during that summer the path going to Stanley Force waterfall was damaged and we had a limited access to see the waterfall.

Crossing fields

However, the path has recently been fixed and a platform has been installed above the waterfall to see its full beauty. So knowing that, we decided end of March to return to Stanley Force and to extend the walk to Devoke water.

We started by following the river Esk before crossing fields to reach Whincop farm. We then passed Birkerthwaite farm before crossing Austhwaite Brow road and take the path to Devoke water. We started by the left side of Devoke water but the path closer to the shore was very muddy and we could see that the other side was even worst. So at the end of Devoke water and after crossing Linbeck Gill, we decided to take the path that goes up to Water Crag and Rough Crag. This path is very nice as it offers beautiful views over the surrounding valleys and summits.

Devoke Water

After walking around Devoke water we retraced our steps but instead of going to Whincop we went straight in the direction of Stanley Force Waterfall. After observing this beautiful waterfall, we followed the river Esk back to the car park.

Once at the car park, we decided to go for a little dip in the river Esk, however the water was so cold that we only managed to put our feet in. There is a nice little spot to swim just below the bridge before arriving at the car park. In summer you can see people jumping from the bridge.

Skye refusing to go on the platform

Skye fell in a swamp by Devoke water shore and came back covered of mud from ears to paws. After seeing him falling, we had a moment of panic as we couldn’t see him so we ran towards him to help him and by the time we reach him, he had managed to get out of the swamp by himself. He was a bit confused and wondering what had just happened. We had a good laugh afterwards but at the time we thought about all the bad things that could have happened. Also he was very scared of the new platform above Stanley Force and didn’t want to go on it.

Overall it was a great day out. The river Esk and the valley around Stanley Force is beautiful. In summer it is a great area to go swimming. You can find nice little spots to stop for a swim along this river.

Nous sommes allés voir la cascade de Stanley Force pour la première fois pendant l’été 2020, juste après le premier confinement. Ce jour là, il faisait très chaud et après avoir vu la cascade, nous nous sommes arrêtés le long de la rivière Esk pour nous baigner. Malheureusement, en 2020 le sentier qui menait à la cascade était en partie fermé à cause de récentes tempêtes. Nous n’avions donc pas pu bien voir la cascade.

Stanley Force Waterfall

Heureusement récemment, ce sentier a été réparé et une plateforme a été installé au dessus de la cascade pour bien pouvoir l’observer. C’est donc fin Mars, que nous avons décidé de retourner voir cette magnifique cascade et d’agrandir un peu la randonnée en passant par le petit lac de Devoke Water.

Nous avons commencé la randonnée en suivant la rivière Esk, puis en traversant à travers champs jusqu’à trouver Whincop farm. Nous prîmes ensuite la direction de Birkerthwaite farm puis nous trouvâmes la petite route de Austhwaite Brow. Après avoir traversé la route, nous allâmes en direction de Devoke water pour en faire le tour. Nous avons commencé par le côté gauche de Devoke water. Le sentier le plus près de l’eau était assez boueux et nous pouvions voir que l’autre côté de la rive était pire. Du coup une fois arrivé à la fin du lac, nous décidâmes de quitter le sentier qui longe la rive et de prendre le sentier après le petit ruisseau de Linbeck Gill qui monte en direction de Water Crag and Rough Crag. Ce sentier est très sympa car il permet d’avoir une magnifique vue sur les vallées et sommets environnants.

Swimming in the river Esk during Summer 2020

Après avoir fait le tour de Devoke water, nous partîmes en sens inverse mais cette fois-ci au lieu de prendre la direction de Whincop, nous prîmes la direction de la cascade de Stanley Force. Après avoir observé la cascade, nous repartîmes tranquillement vers le parking en suivant la rivière Esk.

Une fois au parking, vu qu’il faisait beau, nous décidâmes d’aller tremper nos pieds dans la rivière. Il y a un beau spot pour nager en été juste en dessous du pond proche du parking. Il y a d’ailleurs souvent en été des jeunes qui sautent dans l’eau depuis le pond.

View from the top of Rough Crag

Bon Skye, nous fît une petite frayeur car il tomba en courant dans un marécage en bordure du lac de Devoke water. Vu que nous ne le voyions plus, nous partîmes en courant vers lui voir s’il avait besoin d’aider pour sortir. Finalement il réussit à sortir tout seul et était juste couvert de boue de la tête aux pattes. Plus de peur que de mal. Il n’aima pas non plus la plateforme au niveau de la cascade et ne voulu pas marcher dessus.

Dans l’ensemble ce fut une belle journée. La rivière Esk et la vallée autour de la cascade Stanley Force sont vraiment très jolies. C’est un endroit super pour aller nager en été. Il y a plein de petit endroits pour s’arrêter le long de la rivière.

more view along the walk

11 thoughts on “Walk Stanley Force and Devoke water, Lake District, England

  1. Glad that Skye was ok!
    I have never been to Devoke Water and I didn’t realise there was a walk from Stanley Force. We also tried swimming in the Esk in August. It was a hot sunny day but my the water was cold…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not sure if it is popular to do both at the same time but we liked it and it was good paths all along. This river is always too cold for me even during summer.


  2. Devoke Water is one of those out of the way places that isn’t well visited. Somewhere I have on my list along with other locations in the lonely west! Your photos confirm that I need to visit !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is a nice tarn but very remote and small to only walk around it. So it is better to integrate it within a longer walk.
      It is really lovely though so I do recommend going there.
      I am happy if my blog post reinforced your wish to go there 😊.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Such a beautiful post. Great playground for landscape photographers. Amazing pictures. I once dipped in cold water knowingly at Crater lake, USA, just remembered that. Thanks for the share

    Liked by 2 people

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