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Cycling at Rutland Water

The circuit of Rutland Water

Undoubtedly one of Britain's best waterside cycling routes. You'll enjoy great views, sightings of rare wildlife, and distinctive landmarks such as the half-sunken Normanton Church. Bring your own bike, or hire one from the cycle hire centres at Normanton and Whitwell.

Distance: 16.78 / 27

Difficulty: Moderate

Circular route from: Normanton Cycle Hire Centre

Rutland Water Circular Route


You can hire bikes from the Rutland Water Cycling shops at Normanton and Whitwell. Find out more at www.rutlandcycling.co.uk.

If you'd prefer to walk, click here!

The cycle route

1. Normanton Cycle Hire Centre

Start your bike ride at Normanton Cycle Hire Centre, in the waterside car park just outside Edith Weston. Turn left outside the cycle hire centre and head west along the shore. (If you pass a sunken church on a promontory, you're going the wrong way.) Continue past the outskirts of Edith Weston to Rutland Sailing Club.

2. Rutland Sailing Club

The path continues west along the shore. Once you have passed the sailing club, this is one of the quietest sections of the path with good views over the reservoir. The western end of Rutland Water is an internationally important nature reserve. At the Nature Reserve visitor centre, the route heads away from the reservoir towards the Manton-Edith Weston road. The path follows the road as far as the village of Manton.

3. Manton village

After the village, the cycle route turns right, down a little-used piece of road which used to be the main Uppingham-Oakham road. Pass the Horse & Jockey pub on your right, and cut through to the footpath for the present day road as it passes under a railway bridge. The path is narrow here - please dismount. Shortly afterwards, the cycle route leaves the road again, passing through a gate on the right. Continue along this attractive stretch of path, past the nature reserve, until you reach a lane by the village of Egleton. Turn left into the village.

4. Egleton village

In the tiny settlement of Egleton, turn right along the country lane towards Hambleton, passing the attractive church. The lane ends at a T-junction, where you have a choice of routes. For a shorter route, turn left, and continue for a few hundred yards to the main road (A606) junction. Or for an extra six-mile loop around the Hambleton Peninsula, turn right.

5. Hambleton Peninsula junction (extra loop)

To take the six-mile loop around the Hambleton Peninsula, turn right and follow the road. Then, before the road begins to climb into the village of Upper Hambleton, head off to the right and follow the track around the edge of the peninsula. Look out for the abandoned roads which lead into the depths of the reservoir - one of them goes to the drowned village of Nether Hambleton. Eventually, you'll return to the main road at a bend: rejoin the road, continue past the junction, and go on to the A606 main road junction.

6. A606 road junction

At the junction between the Hambleton peninsula road and the main A606 Oakham to Stamford road, turn right, signposted Stamford. The cycle track is a separate path on the reservoir (south) side of the road, so you don't need to brave the traffic. Follow the road to the bottom of Barnsdale Hill.

7. Barnsdale Hill

Turn right to leave the road, and follow the path around the edge of the reservoir, skirting the grounds of the Barnsdale Lodge Hotel. When you come to the bottom of a steep road, turn left, and cycle up the hill a short while until a drive leads off to the right through a wooded section. Follow this drive through to Barnsdale Car Park.

8. Barnsdale Car Park

Continue along the drive through the car park. Where the car park ends, a gate marks the beginning of the cycle track through the woods to Whitwell. This is an immensely enjoyable section of the ride. Bird hides by the shore offer an opportunity for bird-spotting.

9. Whitwell Car Park

Amenities at Whitwell include a cycle hire centre, public toilets, and refreshments. Like all the Rutland Water car parks, there are picnic tables here, and good views over the reservoir. Follow the cycle path around the shore, but be careful - this is one of the most popular sections of the route for walkers.

10. Sykes Lane car park

Sykes Lane is another popular spot for visitors. Continue through the car park, then head across the dam at the end of the reservoir. The main surface here is rather bumpy, so try to keep to one side - though watch out for the piles of carrots left for the sheep! At the end of the dam, the cycle path turns to the right. Continue along the shore to Normanton Church, on a promontory.

11. Normanton Church

Normanton Church is quite an oddity. Built in 1826, the church was far too historically important to be drowned when the reservoir was constructed in the 1970s. However, its position below the water level meant that it could not be preserved in its original state. So the church survives on a promontory, but with its base infilled with concrete. Take a few minutes to have a walk around. Then, to return to your start point, simply continue along the cycle path for another quarter of a mile.

Information about biking at Rutland Water, in the Midlands, routes, bike hire, picnicing in the area, normanton, cycle hire lincolnshire


For accommodation close to Rutland Water, contact Aunby Granary, Aunby Cottage and Piper Lodge