Today Mary and I walked all the way around Wimbleball Lake.
A permissive path, at times merging with public rights of way, circles almost all of the reservoir – only the northern tip has a section with no footpath. Most people cut this out by crossing Bessom bridge but we took it on for the sake of completeness, walking on the exposed shore.
We parked in the anglers’ car park on the east side and walked clockwise, breaking at the café for lunch (nice tea; confused cakes). We followed the summer path which can be flooded in the winter; at the moment though the reservoir still incredibly low after a dry year. Old tree trunks and rocks are exposed by the receded water, and everywhere there lies a lush green weed which looks like grass until you walk on it and it bounces under your feet.
We cut across the naked bank at times and the pathways were by and large dry easy going, but we also stopped for photos and took the summer route so the time of 3 hours is probably a fair measure of how long the walk takes. In muddier conditions it would be longer as some of the paths would become very unreliable.
The views were not as pretty as they would have been with high water, but autumn has well and truly set in, serving up chambers of colour and texture especially around the east side and towards Upton. The view down the Haddeo valley from the dam is sumptuous as the trees turn. Near the bridge a strange sculpture is under wraps. It looks like a giant pair of wellington boots on the shore. It must be 8 foot high, yet the tops will be submerged when the water level returns.
It was enough of a walk to get some joints aching without doing serious damage. The dog loved it, of course. At the driest time of year it would make a good run. It has none of Clatworthy’s hills.