Rutland Water, one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe, offers a unique and picturesque setting for cyclists looking for a serene and breathtaking route. Located in Rutland, England’s smallest county, the reservoir and its surrounding nature reserve provide a variety of outdoor activities. However, cycling around Rutland Water remains one of the most popular and rewarding experiences for locals and tourists alike. In this article, we explore the beauty and challenges of cycling around Rutland Water, as well as tips for making the most of your ride.
The Rutland Melton CiCLE Classic takes part in the vicinity but only just clips the western edges of Rutland Water but the race route can be a fun extra to ride once you’ve done a loop of the reservoir.
The Rutland Water cycling route stretches around 23 miles and encircles the entire reservoir. It offers a mostly flat terrain with a few gentle inclines, making it accessible to cyclists of all skill levels. The path is well-maintained, and the majority of the route is off-road, allowing for a safe and enjoyable cycling experience.
The route can be started from several points around the reservoir, including Whitwell, Normanton, or Sykes Lane. There are also multiple places to rent bikes if you don’t have your own.
Points of Interest
As you pedal around Rutland Water, you’ll be treated to an array of stunning views and intriguing attractions. Some highlights include:
- Normanton Church: This stunning 18th-century church was saved from being submerged during the construction of Rutland Water. It now stands on a small peninsula, providing a striking backdrop for photographs.
- The Nature Reserve: Rutland Water is home to an extensive nature reserve with various bird-watching hides and the renowned Rutland Water Birdwatching Centre. Keep an eye out for the ospreys that breed in the area between April and September.
- Hambleton Peninsula: This picturesque peninsula offers incredible views across the water and is an ideal spot for a break or picnic. It is also home to the Hambleton Bakery, where you can indulge in some delicious baked goods.
- Egleton Village: This charming village, nestled along the western shore of Rutland Water, provides a peaceful spot to rest and explore. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit St. Edmund’s Church, dating back to the 12th century.
Tips for a Memorable Ride around Rutland Water
- Plan your route and stops: Before setting off, familiarise yourself with the route and plan where you’d like to take breaks or visit points of interest.
- Stay hydrated and pack snacks: Ensure you have plenty of water and snacks for energy along the way. There are a few cafes and shops around the route, but it’s best to be prepared.
- Wear appropriate clothing and gear: Dress for the weather, and don’t forget your helmet and any other safety gear you may need.
- Respect the environment: Rutland Water is a protected area, so be mindful of your impact on the environment. Stick to designated paths and dispose of any litter responsibly.
- Take your time: Enjoy the scenery and the experience. There’s no need to rush – cycling around Rutland Water is about appreciating the beauty of the area.
Cycling around Rutland Water is an unforgettable experience that combines physical activity with the chance to immerse yourself in the stunning landscape. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a casual pedaler, the route offers a perfect blend of challenge and reward. So, why not grab your bike, your helmet, and your sense of adventure, and head out for a day of exploration and enjoyment?