“ Rutland Water is a reservoir in the county of Rutland, England, just east of the county town Oakham. It was known as Empingham Reservoir during its construction and until its official opening in 1976. Its global coordinates are N52°40'W0°40'. The centre of its dam is at British national grid. It provides a reserve supply of water in the driest and most densely populated quarter of the United Kingdom and is one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe. By surface area it is the largest reservoir in England, but by capacity it is exceeded by Kielder Water. „
I have lived in Rutland for seven years and I still find it a wonderful county. I'm always proud when going through Rutland in the car and seeing the enormous body beside it that is the biggest reservoir in western Europe, Rutland Water.
It's guaranteed to be a good day out whatever your interests. It might just be a picnic on the lush green banks. People even treat it like a beach, lying on towels sunbathing. You could hire a boat and go fishing. You could go windsurfing, cycling, birdwatching. Unfortunately, the excellent butterfly centre has now shut down.
The facilities at the reservoir itself are brilliant. These include canteens, a fishing tackle shop, toilets, car parks and, situated nearby, award-winning restaurants, pubs and hotels. Don't miss the falconry centre!
Due to the credit crunch, more people are looking for a weekend break in the at home. So why not choose Rutland Water this summer?
We have just returned from a holiday in Rutland and have already booked to go back again-thats how much I enjoyed it.
I didn't even know where Rutland was and had only ever seen it once on a random episode of Watercolour Challenge.
We stayed in Stretton, a very pretty village about 8 miles from the reservoir and nature reserve. Before we booked the holiday we did some research and found out about the Reservoir, Nature Reserve and the fantastic cycling provision and visitor attractions. This made us very keen to visit and left us with fingers crossed for nice weather in May half term.
Rutland Water is not very far from Oakham and we found it very easily as the reservoir and car parks are well signposted.
There are multiple places to park around the reservoir. We chose to park at Normanton on the South side of the reservoir. We had brought our bikes with us but there are 2 branches of Rutland Cycles where everything you need can be hired. Prices range from £6.95 for a couple of hours to £26.95 for a tandem for a whole day. Other accessories like helmets, pumps etc can be hired as can child seats and buggies for small children, so everyone is catered for. They also sell everything you could possibly need and they sell ex-rental bikes so you might get a bargain! (Prices from Rutlandcycles.com and shop leaflet-May 2009) They also give out leaflets with a great map which cleary shows all the routes, sites (and steep hills). This can also be seen on the internet to plan any visits beforehand.
Now I am probably one of the unfittest people in the world and by no means a regular cyclist so I was really apprehensive about the prospect of the circuit of the reservoir-advertised distance is 17 miles or 23 miles including the penninsula. On the first day we started off with a gentle ride from Normanton, over the dam to Whitwell Creek. This is about 4/5 miles and relativley flat so great for beginners or children. The church at Normanton is lovely and it is full of relics found during archaeological digs carried out before the valley was flooded to make the reservoir.
On the second day we set out for the circuit. This time we started at Whitwell and cycled anti-clockwise around the reservoir. This is recommended as you cross less roads. We also started at Whitwell so we would finish the circuit with the flatter part cycled yesterday-and hopefully this would give a psychological advantage.
The fist part of the circuit through Barnsdale Country Club is hard going with a couple of steep hills. After having to walk I was doubting whether I would manage the circuit at all.
However the scenery kept me going. The route is very well signposted and goes along beside roads, through woods, past villages and the sailing club, all of which was lovely in the spring. The penninsula part on the journey adds an extra 6 miles to the route but there is a pub located in Hambleton to ease the journey. There are a couple of steep hills, one with a pub at the top that has bike racks!!!
We returned to Whitwell for a well deserved ice cream and enjoyed it watching the fishermen. There is also a branch of Rutland cycles at Grafham Reservoir that offers a 9 mile circuit.
There are so many sights and activities at Rutland Water i can really recommend it. Unfortunately the butterfly world is closed but there is the RockBlok climbing and outdoor adventure facility at Whitwell for those adventurous types and the Rutland Belle that sails across from Normanton to Whitwell as well as the sailing club and watersports.
Whether you are looking to visit Normanton church, walk or cycle, windsurf, sail or kayak, fish or birdwatch, admire mans engineering or just get some fresh air and look at the scenery, I can strongly recommend a visit to Rutland Water.