Rutland, England's smallest county, has at its heart western Europe's largest man-made lake, created as a reservoir in the 1970s. This short and satisfying ride around the reservoir takes in the area’s rolling countryside, rare wildlife and serene water views.
As you cycle along you’ll pass the lovely Normanton church, perched on the edge of the reservoir, Rutland Water Visitor Centre where there’s a manmade sandy beach in summer, and places to spot cormorants and other birds.
The northern shores of the water, especially through Barnsdale Wood, contains several steep climbs and descents. If you visit in spring you’ll find this enchanting area of woodland carpeted with bluebells.
The western side of the reservoir is taken up by the Rutland Water Nature Reserve. It’s worth pausing here, locking up your bikes and taking a look at the wildlife from one of the viewing hides that are scattered around the reserve.
This 17-mile trail near the reservoir makes a wonderfully gentle day trip, with plenty to see and do along the route.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.