Rutland Water: Great British Breaks
One of our guests kindly left some articles from the Sunday Times for future guests to use to help make the most of their visit to the area. Here is the first article, from the Sunday Times on 29 July 2018:
Who says man-made can’t be beautiful? Dive into Britain’s biggest reservoir
Why? In England’s smallest county, you’ll find Britain’s biggest reservoir. And Rutland Water isn’t just for looking at, though it’s certainly easy on the eye. In summer, it comes into its own — so jump in.
What you do:
The reservoir is encircled by a well-kept 17-mile trail. Tackle it on foot or by bike (two-hour bike rentals from £15; rutlandcycling.com). Along the way, stop at the partially submerged Normanton Church. When the area was flooded in 1970 to create the reservoir, a new floor was put in above the waterline so the upper level could still be used. It’s now deconsecrated.
On the western shore, you can spy ospreys, kingfishers and sand martins at Rutland Water Nature Reserve. The best spot on a sunny day, though, is Rutland Water Beach – the only area where swimming is allowed. Arrive early to grab a spot on the imported sand.
There’s sailing and watersports on the reservoir, but a quieter option is the River Nene, 14 miles southeast. Kayak or paddleboard down a pretty stretch in Yarwell Mill Country Park, stopping for a riverside beer halfway through (guided kayaking £72 for 90 minutes, in groups or up to six; adventurerutland.com)
Halfway between Yarwell Mill and Rutland Water is the Lincolnshire town of Stamford, which has limestone buildings, medieval churches and a riverside meadow. Wander through the cobbled streets, setting aside plenty of time to dig around in the cavernous – and surprisingly cheap – St Martin’s Antiques Centre (st.martins-antiques.co.uk), before popping into St Mary’s Antiquarian Books (stmarysbooks.com), which, besides the obvious, stocks maps and a few stuffed animals for good measure. Fancy a pint? The hip Paten &Co has a constantly changing craft selection (from £4.60; kneadpubs.co.uk)
Sunday Times, 29 July 2018