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Duddon Valley

April 24, 2010

One of the most scenic parts of the Lake District is the Duddon Valley.

Crystal clear water Duddon Valley

Stretching from Cockley Beck at the head of Wrynose Pass the river Duddon takes a 13mile descent through the gorges, making deep pools and waterfalls on the way.

Water tumbles over boulders in the gorge.

One of the nicest walks is to start at the old church at Seathwaite and squeeze through the gap in the wall (and squeeze is the right word!)

A tight squeeze to get through!

Follow the path and you come to a little lakeland stone bridge.

Lakeland stone Bridge.

It gets a bit boggy in parts but soon you will head over the brow of the hill and see the gorge in front of you. The vikings used to inhabit this area, following the course of the Duddon looking for fertile grazing land. Local place names reflect this. Seathwaite where we started means “summer dwelling in a clearing”.

Old iron sluice gate.

The gorge is the nesting place of Peregrine Falcons, bluebells and wild daffodils line the lower banks of the river in spring, and Herwick sheep graze the riverside meadows.

Peregrine nesting site.

Crossing the packhorse bridge you can either turn to the left where you will find stepping stones across the river.

Stepping stones over the Duddon.

Or return to the bridge and head to the right to carry on up the gorge.

Packhorse Bridge

The gorge is the most wonderful place for children to scramble over the rocks and play in the shallower pools of crystal clear water. It is a brilliant place to take a picnic.

A wonderful place for a picnic.

The Wallowbarrow gorge is a great place to visit at any time of year but on a spring day, it was bliss.

Wallowbarrow Gorge.

As we happened to be there on St Georges Day we popped into the Newfield Inn at Seathwaite a few yards from where we started. Again a great place for all the family, excellent beer and food and a large area for kids to kick a football about while the parents enjoy the beer garden and views.

Newfield Inn Seathwaite.

  1. Great pictures of one area of the Lakes we have as yet to explore. We have walked some of the fells overlooking the valley but never done the valley floor.

    The Newfield Inn we have visited on more than one occassion.

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