The distance to walk around the perimeter of Rutland Water is roughly 17 miles or, if you add on the distance around the edge of the Hambleton Peninsula, which stretches into Rutland Water itself, it is something more in the order of 23 miles. Peninsula, or not, it is a fair old stretch to complete a full circuit of the reservoir in a single day. An awkward distance, in fact, because how do you break it down into more manageable parts?
Here was my dilemma. I was staying in Oakham, towards the west of Rutland Water. On the opposite bank, on the east side, is the dam. On the north shore is the small harbour at Whitwell, and to the south the iconic church at Normanton. Each one of these places would make a good objective for a walk but, by the time I’d got to Whitwell in one direction, or Normanton in the other, I might as well carry on and do the entire loop of the reservoir rather than have to retrace my steps; the distance involved would not be much different. What I really wanted was a circular walk within a circular walk.
Thankfully, I had three days to spare during which to resolve my dilemma. In the end, I did a loop of the Hambleton Peninsula on my first day; a walk to the dam via Egleton, Manton, Lyndon, Normanton and back on my second day; and a walk to Whitwell and back on the third day; a walk, which I even extended as far as the dam again, otherwise I would have always had that short, two-mile stretch from Whitwell to the dam forever untravelled.
In the end, I walked roughly 50 miles over the three days. Fifty miles of beautiful, countryside walking along easy tracks, with the calming view of the reservoir rarely far from my view. However, I made sure not to trespass too far off the marked track!
© E. C. Glendenny
E. C. Glendenny enjoys life on the open road.
E. C. Glendenny is author of the book Resting Easy: Selected Travel Writing.