Rutland Water lies north of Northamptonshire, near Oakham in the county of Rutland, and is one of the largest man-made lakes in Western Europe.
Completed in 1977, the reservoir covers an area of 3,100 acres, and with a storage capacity of 124,000 million litres (27,000 million gallons), provides not only water for domestic and industrial consumption, but also a large expanse of water for recreational purposes. The crest of the dam is 1,200 metres long, and the maximum depth of the reservoir is 34 metres.
Prior to completion of the reservoir, the floor level of Normanton church was raised, the masonry proofed against damp, and a causeway built to provide access to the church. The church now houses a museum showing the history of the reservoir, including fossils from pre-historic reptiles, and a video of its construction. The church is floodlit by night, making it a local landmark both night and day.
There are four main centres, each with car parks, refreshments, toilet facilities, picnic areas, and access to many miles of footpaths and cycleways. The many other attractions include:
Sailing, Windsurfing, and Canoeing - Over 2,000 acres of water is available for sailing, and the Rutland Sailing Club has a residential centre, which offers training, with catering facilities, a licensed bar, and function and lecture rooms.
The Day Sailing Centre, which is open all year, is one of the best inland venues for windsurfing in the country, and operates a sailboard and canoe school.
Cycling - with 25 miles of traffic-free waterside track, and cycle hire facilities, this proves to be an extremely popular activity throughout the year.
Trout Fishing - huge Rainbow and brown trout are caught at Rutland, which has the reputation as one of the finest fisheries in Europe.
The Fishing Lodge provides courses and tuition for anglers at all levels of experience, and the excellent restaurant and bar are open to all, offering superb views over the water
Nature Reserve and Birdwatching Centre - the Nature Reserve consists of a narrow strip of land stretching for seven miles, covering an area of 350 acres, and is managed for Anglian Water by the Leicestershire and Rutland Trust for Nature Conservation.
The Birdwatching Centre offers excellent views across the lagoons, where huge flocks of waterfowl can be seen at close range. The centre is equipped with a lecture room, displays, and a shop stocked with a large range of wildlife books and optical equipment.
Butterfly and Aquatic Centre - offers the experience of both tropical and local wildlife under one roof.
Pleasure Cruises - the "Rutland Belle" provides visitors with the chance to cruise on a 45 minute trip around the reservoir. A total of 75 passengers can be accommodated in all weather conditions, with an upper sun deck for 35 additional passengers.
Adventure Playgrounds - there are two playgrounds for children under 13 years of age.
Take the A6003 Kettering to Oakham road. The Manton turn, between Uppingham and Oakham leads to the South Shore of Rutland Water, at Normanton. To reach the North Shore continue along the A6003, and on approaching Oakham town centre turn right at the roundabout to take the A606 Oakham to Stamford road, along which will be found the Barnsdale, Whitwell, and Sykes Lane centres. The Tourist Information Centre is located at Sykes Lane.
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