Rutland is England’s smallest county, and the county motto ‘Multum in Parvo’ (much in little) is definitely true of this hidden gem. As you may have seen in the news in 2020, it’s no longer the only county without a McDonalds.
The history of Rutland Water
Rutland Water is located in the middle of the county and was completed in 1978. As one of the largest made lakes in Europe, it’s set in 4,200 acres of open countryside and the park offers everything from walking and cycling to fishing and watersports. There is also the fantastic nature reserve, managed by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust and home to the Rutland Osprey Project.
Normanton church dates back to the 14th century and is a Rutland icon. When Rutland Water was created in the 1970s the church was threatened with being sunk beneath the waves and lost forever. Local groups campaigned to save the church, and now this classical building stands on a narrow peninsula of land jutting out into Rutland Water.
The 1,000 acre nature reserve lies at the western end of Rutland Water, and was designated before the reservoir had even been built. The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust has lots of information on their website including the Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre which is the gateway to the Egleton Nature Reserve. Rutland Water is home to the first ospreys to breed in England for 150 years, and they can be observed from their arrival from Africa in spring, through to their autumn migration. The ospreys have their very own webcam which is very popular and provides live feeds of nest activity and can be found here.
Fishing at Rutland Water
Attracting anglers from across the UK and Europe, both beginners and those with a lifelong passion for fishing can enjoy the exceptional opportunities on offer at Rutland Water. It’s predominately a Trout fly fishery although you can do predator fishing at certain times of the year. Click here for further information.
On your bike
Why not explore more of Rutland Water by putting on your helmet and swapping your hiking boots for the bike saddle. The cycling routes are diverse, exhilarating and fun for people of all ages. With great views of Rutland water cycling is an excellent activity for all the family. There are three main trails: Family trail 8 miles, the Peninsula trail 15 miles, and the full Rutland Water lap 23 miles (17 without the peninsula).
You can either take your own bike, or if you would prefer to hire, Rutland cycling has two stores. It’s recommended you start your cycling day at either Whitwell on the North Shore (LE15 8BL) or Normanton on the South Shore (LE15 8HD).
With Rutland being so far from the sea, opportunities for watersports are highly prized. Canoes, kayaks, SUP’s, katakanus* and rowing boats are all hired on a first come first served basis from the Watersports Centre at Whitwell. The training school is AALA, British Canoeing and RYA certified and the friendly and highly qualified instructors will ensure you have a great day. *For those who were wondering what a Katakanu is, it’s a very safe and stable boat with the design based on the idea of two canoes that have been joined together.
Rutland Water Aqua Park features some a huge collection of big impact water inflatables and obstacles. Why not try the UK’s tallest obstacle: The Rutland Mammoth. The Tornado Tower allows you to show off your flips and tricks and why not explore the climbing walls, trampolines, slides, and some big blast bags. It’s a very popular day out for all ,and is suitable for children age 6 and above. Bookings do need to be made in advance and wetsuits can be hired and buoyancy aids will be provided.
General visitor information
Follow this link to the Anglian Water visitor section which includes directions, car park information and much more.