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Draycote Waters (Rubgy, England)

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3 Reviews

A reservoir and country park in north Rugby, Warwickshire, England.

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    3 Reviews
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      23.06.2009 20:29
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      very well worth a visit even if it is a bit of a drive away

      Draycote water is lovely. No two ways about it it just is.

      Situated approximately 5 miles outside of Rugby town centre and a very handy 7 miles running distance from my friends house, the reservoir is, understandably a massive attraction for people for all sports, including a very large watersports centre also.

      One evening, very close to New year I drove over to Draycote as I really fancied a run there. Now, Draycote is exactly 5 miles in circumferance and a good mixture of hilly and flat for running purposes. The long dam walls are extremely psychologically zapping as you never seem to get any closer to the end!! I started out during the late afternoon when the sun was starting to set and the scene was like one from a film. The frost was showing from my breath infront of me as my feet left traces on the icy path. The glittering lights from the cafe were reflected in the surface of the water as a slow fog formed and the night rolled in.
      In short it was the nicest run I have ever done, and the reason why i am rating Draycote water today.

      Draycote is easily accesible via the A426 and is not far at all from the major trunk roads of the M6, A5 and to some extent the M1. it would also be an excellent location to unwind after a hard days shopping in Coventry or Rugby itself.

      I have found myself wanting to write a review here detailing opening hours and car parking etc. but my overwhelming enthusiasm for the place has been saying "no no NO! angela. write about what it has to offer as a fun, nice place for people to go! talk about the wildlife, talk about the scenery!" and hence 2 attempts at a paragraph have been deleted before i wrote this one.

      Walking around the perimeter of the lake you can see how widely the reservoir is. Families with children on tiny sweet bikes with little streamers coming out the ends. Couples walking hand in hand, cyclists shooting past, runners, erm... running and fishermen in the water. well, in boats in the water anyway. It really i

      s the ideal location for anyone of any age and ability to enjoy,. The pathways are predominantly tarmac and therefore suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs so long as they are stable and not flimsy. Just take someone strong with you for the pushes up the hills!!
      The Fishing boats are available for hire and no fishing licence or your own kit is required. All kit is available to hire and fishing is permitted until an hour after dusk. Perfect for those solitary contemplative moments or when you need to get beyond shouting distance of the other half!

      The reservoir has a very good visitors centre that sells some very unusual cards and gifts and until recently had a very high standard if costly cafeteria. This has sadly closed down but another should be opening soon I believe.

      The wildlife that can be seen from the perimeter walk frequently astounds me. I have seen egrets, all manner of water fowl, falcons and on one astounding occasion a black swan on the surface of the water. It is exceptionally educational for children and I would love to take my niece to point various different things out to her. sadly though it is far to far to take her.
      Dogs are not allowed around the perimeter of the lake, which initially i was incredibly disappointed in, but thinking about it it actually makes sense. The amount of life, both wild and human (and occasionally wildly human) would put the dogs at too much risk of complaints re duck chasing and pooping by irresponsible owners allowing them to do such things.
      Outside of the perimeter track though is a rather large country park, perfect for picnics, frisbee, and letting fido have a massive jolly with a ball. Just please please, sensible dooyooer people, don't take the woofbark to the country park then go for a long walk leaving him in the car.

      So, to conclude. Draycote is a must visit for all, anytime of the year, whenever the fancy takes you. My fancy takes me mainly on still and crisp autmn or winter mornings when the abundance of colour in the surroundings is simply breathtaking in its natural beauty. Running the 5 miles around the perimeter is sheer enjoyable Angela time. walking it could be sheer enjoyable family time.

      (ok, technical bit coming up here now)
      There is a massive amount of car parking available at the site at a cost of £1.50 for an unlimited stay. the visitors centre is open from 10-6 between april and october
      All other details can be found on http://www.moretoexperience.co.uk/server.php?show=nav.6004

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      13.04.2009 22:17
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      Great place, great value, get back in touch with nature.

      Draycote waters is a picturesque and unspoilt reservoir and country park that is set in Warwickshire, it is based just off the A426 one mile south of the gorgeous village of Dunchurch near Rugby.

      My family and I are frequent visitors of Draycote Water, more in the spring/summer months than any of the others, and we all love the place.
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      Whether we go there to relax and unwind or kick the ball about and have fun with the kids, it's always a great day and caters for everyone.

      The five mile perimeter is a lovely walk, and I love walking round, it's so peaceful and it's just a beautiful walk, although my children and hubby tend to prefer taking their bikes. You find that there are many people whom like to walk, run and cycle around the perimeter, but for some reason it never seems busy.

      There is a small road that runs through, so anyone whom is not up for 5 miles could always drive and park half way and just take a little stroll, sometimes we will walk as far as the water tower, especially if my little girl gets tired, or else it would be daddy's shoulder for the next 3 miles.
      There is also a car park at the top of the hill, it's actually called Hensborough Hill and many people tend to go up there to marvel at the scenery or also it's a nice place to set up a picnic, although just down the footpath leading from the hill, you will find picnic areas, next to the waters edge.

      There are other picnic areas on the country park area which is near the entrance to the site, and this offers plenty of tables, and space for a kick about with the ball.

      The site also run many activities for the children, which are often publicised in local what's on leaflets and through the local papers, they hold things such as, nature trails, orienteering, bug finding, and plenty other nature related activities. Sometimes they are free of charge but the odd time they are not they are rarely more than a pound or two.

      There are many things that Draycote waters have to offer also, that although I have not experienced first hand I have heard many good things about. Some of the other activities on offer are;

      Bird watching
      Sailing
      Kayaking
      Canoeing
      Fishing
      Angling


      Now they did have last year a brilliant restaurant overlooking the waters, which was lovely after your walk for some nice homemade cake and tea, or I'm my hubbys case a huge bacon butty!!! And I would have gone into how delicious and good value it all was, but unfortunately I have been advised that the catering facilities onsite are not in operation at the moment. But there was a caravan type static unit on site hot food and drinks. Although I had a look on their website and it does state that they now have a new contractor for the food and its about to open up again, so fingers crossed as that was my incentive to get round the five miles, that and the shopping at the end.

      Well as stated before, I use the shopping as an incentive, as you walk in to the visitors centre on site, they have many facilities such as the restaurant, info and leaflets relating to the trails and activities, toilets , rangers office and the nicest gift shop. The staff are really nice and always make you feel really welcome and are great with the children. The store sells or the usual mementos such as pencils and pens, postcards, bird food etc etc. But they do a great selection of children's clothing from the Joules range, which I absolutely love.

      They also do some lovely little gifts from local artists and companies. I have brought lots of things from her, things such as crystal paperweights, wind chimes, bowls, vases etc. I just love the fact that sometimes you can get something very unique and also very good value for money also.

      ****opening times and prices and contacts****

      November - February: 10am - 4pm
      March - 10am - 5pm April - October: 10am - 6pm
      the site is open every day except for Christmas Day and occasional special events, from 8.30am until dusk.

      You can also call the office on 01788 811107for further details on activities or information you require.
      They have plenty of parking and it costs 1.50 per car although if you are a local and attend often, it maybe worth your time looking at their parking permits, I know some of my friends whom kayak do this.

      You do not have to pay to go around the waters or in the visitors centre, its just the cost of parking, so as you can see it's a brill day out especially in the current financial climate and brings your children closer to nature, which I know my kids love.

      ***Warnings***
      Something to keep in mind though, Dogs are not allowed around the perimeter walk around the Waters, they are only allowed in the country park area.

      I would recommend plenty of drinks and sun block if you go on a summer's day as it's quite shaded and came be very deceptive while you are walking around, especially the little ones.

      Also in the summer months, you get loads and loads of bugs and midges, especially round the waters edge, which can be a complete nightmare, so just be warned.


      Overall, it's a cracking day out, and it really is what you make of it, we make a picnic, take a ball or some summer games, and we just have some simple fun. Sometimes the kids just run about and i lie on the grass and read a book, while the hubby pretends to be David Beckham with my son and my little girl makes a hundred daisy chains!!! sometimes the most simpliest of times can be the best.

      I think everyone no matter how young or old, or even how fit or unfit you are will enjoy Draycote waters, so give it a try, I'm sure you will not be disapointed.

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        26.01.2009 23:18
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        A great place for a walk

        I was recently visiting my brother and his gf in Warwickshire. While waiting around for his girlfriend my brother suggested going to see some Alpacas. It sounded appealing but I wanted to do some shopping and so we went to Warwick instead. But a couple of days later, after not venturing out of their house the previous day I fancied a walk so I suggested going to see them. We thought about taking a picnic but were too lazy so just took some crisps and a drink lol.

        Draycote Waters is in fact a man made reservoir near Rugby. It actually supplies the drinking water for the surrounding area. (We actually saw a Severn Trent van testing water) The name Draycote is the name of a village nearby. It is created in the 60's and contains 23 million metres-cubed of water. It really does look vast. But its not just a reservoir it is also a national park.

        It has a birdwatching hut for twitchers sponsered by the West Midlands Bird Club. This overlooks the water and a feeding station to attract the birds. Where we parked there were several Canadian geese, ducks, coots and some others i'm not able to name.

        There is also 20 acres of country park surrounding the waters. This is where we went for our walk and this is where the alpacas are :D There are at least 200 alpacas resident on the land but we went a very very windy day and most had retreated to an indoor shelter. We did however come across a few.

        If you dont know anything about alpacas they are a little like Llamas. They are smaller, however and originate from South America. In South America their wool/coat is harnessed and used to create blankets etc. They look very cute and had a cute fluffy fringe. However I was rather disappointed that they wouldn't come near to the fence, even when coaxed with some long sweet grass. It was quite amusing to watch them scratch themselves but other than that they dont do a whole lot. We the ones we saw were a beigey colour or brown. I had phone naming them and taking pictures. As you enter the area they are kept there is an information plaque that tells you about them. I think this is a great place to take your kids as its free and educational. They also get to see these rather exotic animals in a more natural environment than a zoo, even if it isnt their natural habitat. You are also able to get very close to them, and who knows on a better day they might be convinced to come and take some grass from you.

        When we came across a gate, that had no warning on it we decided to go through to see if we could get closer. We went in and peeked into a shelter where one large alpaca was chewing some hay. My brother said "hello", the alpaca turned and began to run at us... needless to say we got the hell out of there lol.

        If going after bad weather you should seriously consider wearing wellies. It was very very muddy and my brother even fell over, much to our amusement, but not his. There are footpaths around the lake, but not where the alpacas are. There were quite a few cyclists around and so it must be a favourite spot for bike rides.

        There is also a water sailing club that uses the resevoir. This is opened every day except Christmas and you can sail, windsurf or use dinghys. There are races on every Sunday and Wednesday evening. It also runs courses and has rescue services just in case.

        There is a clubhouse on site, which also houses the information centre and gift shop. The gift shop sells various gifts, some with Draycote logos on. There is also a resturant. When we went there was also a burger van outside the clubhouse. But we didnt sample them as we had crisps lol.

        The area is very beautiful considering it is man made. When we went the resevoir had waves and the area where there is normally a beach was flooded due to recent weather.

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