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There is so much to do at Rutland Water, and so many sources of information, I have tried to bring them all together in an easy-to-scroll-through A-Z. If I have missed anything , or got something wrong, please contact me so I can correct.

ANGLING: Rutland Water offers both trout and coarse fishing, with a variety of permits available. Small boats for angling can be hired from the Fishing Lodge in the Normanton Car Park. The Lodge sells bait and tackle, and can arrange tuition. When the Lodge is closed, day ticket permits are available at the huts next to the WCs at Normanton leisure park, and next to Rockblok at Whitwell leisure park. The trout caught are typically 2lbs, and among the coarse fish, carp, pike and zander are commonly caught. Rutland Fly Fishing Adventures (01572 722422), a company operating from the Barnsdale leisure park, offers complete packages from introductory lessons to providing expert fishing guides.

BARBECUES: You may bring your own BBQ and use it in the designated areas but don’t allow the grass to get scorched (tricky with the disposable trays). You must have some cold water to hand in the case of flare-ups. You may NOT have a BBQ within the nature reserves of Egleton and Lyndon.

BEACH: Thanks to many tonnes of imported sand, a 140-metre stretch of shore at Sykes Lane leisure park is now a man-made beach! A swimming area is designated for use in the summer holidays, when lifeguards are on duty: timings are typically 10am-6pm Sat & Sun, 11am to 3pm Wed/Thu/Fri. You must not swim in Rutland Water in any other location, unless as part of a supervised session (see Triathlon).

BIRD WATCHING: Rutland Water is one of Britain’s best places to see birds, especially our famous ospreys. The nature reserves at Lyndon and Egleton offer hides, information and even binoculars to hire and buy. The annual Bird Fair in August is renowned worldwide. For more info, see my ‘Ospreys and more’ page.

BOAT TRIPS: The Rutland Belle (01572 787 630) is a motor yacht capable of carrying up to 110 passengers, with seating in the main saloon and on the top deck. She operates out of Whitwell leisure park and offers a nice alternative view of the Water during 45-minute cruises around the eastern end of the lake, but note that the Rutland Belle cannot venture into the fishing grounds, or into the nature reserve areas, so the cruise does not cover the entire body of water. Cruises typically operate over Easter weekend, and at weekends in April and October, then daily from May to September (so, not in the winter). When the ospreys are nesting, the Rutland Belle partners with the bird reserve to offer special bird-watching cruises. Private charters also available.

BUGTOPIA: A zoo specialising in invertebrates and reptiles – or as I would say creepy crawlies… guaranteed to be a hit with families and on rainy days. (01780 460518, ring to check opening dates/times).

CAMPING: Overnight camping is NOT allowed at Rutland Water, with the exception of water users at Rutland Watersports (01780 460 154) at Whitwell leisure park. There are Camping & Caravan Club campsites at Armley Lodge Farm (Hambleton peninsula) and at Wing Hall (Wing village 3 miles from the South Shore). Glamping in ready-erected posh tents is offered at nearby Exton (Lantern & Larks) and Uppingham (A Little Bit of Rough).

CANOEING: Hire a kayak, open-top canoe, katakanu or paddle board from Rutland Watersports Centre (01780 460154) which is at Whitwell. Wetsuits, buoyancy aids, paddles and harnesses also for hire. If you have your own canoe, you may launch from the Watersports Centre but must follow guidelines.

CHILDREN: Rutland Water is fantastic for families with kids of all ages, with good facilities at the four leisure parks. There are playgrounds at Sykes Lane and Barnsdale leisure parks, a mini-golf course at Sykes Lane, picnic areas at all leisure parks and family-friendly attractions like Rockblok, Bugtopia and the nature reserves at Lyndon and Egleton.

CLIMBING: Rockblok (01780 460 060) is at Whitwell leisure park on the North Shore. Facilities include the 8 metre tall outdoor climbing and abseiling wall, and a high ropes course, with daily activities in spring/summer/autumn. In winter, Rockblok opens for group bookings only.

CYCLING: Bring your own bikes of course, or hire one on any day of the year from Rutland Cycling (01572 332 032) which has centres at Whitwell leisure park on the North Shore and at Normanton on the South Shore (the Giant Store). As well as hire, with bikes to suit everyone including kids, the centres have a great range of bikes for sale, along with all the accessories a MAMIL could wish for.

DOGS: Dogs are welcome all around Rutland Water including at the four leisure parks, but NOT at the two nature reserves (understandably, since ground-nesting birds and inquisitive dogs do not mix). ALWAYS keep your dog on a lead; the exception is at Sykes Lane leisure park where there is a specific secure area where your dog can run around off the lead, but of course you need to keep an eye on it so you can clean up any deposits!

EVENTS: Special events at Rutland Water range from weekly 5km runs, to cycling events, triathlons, the annual Bird Fair, to children’s activities at holiday times, open-air concerts and theatrical events. Refer to the What’s On pages and local press for latest events.

FOOD: At the four leisure parks you’ll find kiosks with a range of take away drinks and food. At Whitwell, the Harbour Café Bar (01780 461 288) is a friendly café-style restaurant offering everything from a cappuccino and lite bites to evening meals in season. At Normanton is L’Oliveto Due (01780 721 599), the Rutland Water branch of Oakham’s long-established Italian restaurant. It has Water views and offers all-day Mediterranean food. The villages around Rutland Water have some first-class pubs serving great food, and there are excellent restaurants in Oakham and Uppingham just a few miles from Rutland Water.

MINI-GOLF: At Sykes Lane leisure park.

PICNICS: You can spread a picnic rug, set out your chairs and eat your picnic at all four Rutland Water leisure parks, but of course you must remove all evidence of your picnic afterwards.

SAILING: Hire a dinghy (various models) from Rutland Watersports Centre (01780 460154) which is at Whitwell. Wetsuits, buoyancy aids, paddles and harnesses also for hire. If you have your own dinghy, you may launch from the Watersports Centre but must follow guidelines.

SWIMMING: You cannot swim unsupervised at Rutland Water. In summer, the (man-made) beach at Sykes Lane leisure park is supervised and swimming is permitted, subject to water, weather and wind conditions.

TOILETS: Public WCs may be found in the car parks at the four leisure parks: Barnsdale, Whitwell, Sykes Lane and Normanton.

TRIATHLON: Rutland Water is a popular venue for Triathlons and for open water swimming arranged by clubs.

WEDDINGS: Beautiful Normanton Church is a popular venue for Civil Wedding ceremonies; so much so that Anglian Water even has a wedding co-ordinator (01780 686 800).

WINDSURFING: Hire a windsurfer (various models) from Rutland Watersports Centre (01780 460154) which is at Whitwell. Wetsuits, buoyancy aids, paddles and harnesses also for hire. If you have your own windsurfer, you may launch from the Watersports Centre but must follow guidelines.

 
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