32) Lyndon Nature Reserve & Rutland Water, Oakham, Leicestershire, LE15 8RN.
The route within Lyndon Nature Reserve, that is operated by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust is a linear route from the visitor centre to the furthest wildlife hide at Manton Bay (on Rutland Water). The stay within the reserve paths and trails are around 2 ½ miles return trip.
However, you can the head out of Lyndon Nature Reserve and pick up the cycle route around Rutland Water. Pick your distance. I did a total of 10 miles as it was a warm day and I didn’t want to overheat my very hairy chocolate Labrador Merlin.
A full route around the whole of Rutland is around 24 miles or so.
Or as my wife and a friend did – you can miss out the peninsular bit and reduce the full circume navigate of the lake to 15.3 miles.
Or just do part as I did – reserve then to a Landmark called the Normanton Chapel and back (10 miles all in).
Coming from Yorkshire we are well used to hills? Much of the topography around Rutland looks fairly flat. Which turned out to be quite deceiving. The route that I did had some fairly steep little sections that meant front wheel traction of my Batec was tested in places. At one point I needed a little help as the front wheel drive dragging my weight and my baggage up a gravel covered slope was beyond my combined ability. I weigh about 82 kg (almost 13 stone). I am sure a lighter person with the same equipment would fly up!
Deb ( my wife ) and Rob our great friend did the full lake route but no the peninsular , both are well versed at mobility matters – their findings being that a wheeled dependant person could do the route they did, four wheel ( rear wheel drive ) should have no problems. Front single power-wheel users such as Batec, Triride, Klaxon etc might need a little assistance on a few sections.
Fairly wide gravel shared path cycleway / footpath. A few steeper sections.
Lots of wide gates but these were not latched - they were all auto shut by a weight on a chain arrangement. These were a bit of a faff on my own. A plus being that as the place is fairly well visited – kind people were happy to open the gates for me to pass. A few gates had both a weighted gate and a cattle grid to the side.
Facilities on site:
We parked at Lyndon Nature Reserve and based ourselves there.
Good ample parking, disabled toilet, and drinks available.
As Lyndon Nature Reserve is operated by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust you can park for free as long as you pay to enter the nature reserve. £6 per adults, cheaper for children. They also offer a 1 + plus carer free for disabled persons.
Disabled people can also hire a mobility scooter from the above. They only have one so you would need to book it first. Cost is £25 less £15 deposit refunded on return. They also loan you a mobile with a network that works within the reserve. You are limited to using the scooter within the nature reserve.
Some of the track in the reserve is along used by reserve vehicles so has tyre tracks.
You can also park at Rutland Water Park, a pay to park location with bike hire, disabled toilets, and a few cafes.
Parking costs £6 for up to 5 hours or £8 for more than 5 hours.
General mobile network coverage was patchy I noted.
What might you see?
Rutland Water Nature Reserve has been regularly voted as the UK's best nature reserve. This vast wetland is one of the best places to watch birds in the UK. Search for rare spring migrants, admire fishing ospreys in the summer, enjoy the autumn wader passage and marvel at huge flocks of winter wildfowl. With events year round, walking trails and two visitor centres, you'll be sure of an immersive wildlife experience for the whole family.
Lots of fowl, geese, swan, Lapwing, Gulls, Turns, Reed Buntin, Pied Wags, Gt C Grebe. Coot, Egrets Gt and small, Heron, Kingfisher, Buzzards, Kestrel, Hobby. Lots and lots of other species.
From May to September they have been so historically lucky to have nesting Osprey. This year (2020) they reared four chicks. We visited 19th July and were rewarded by seeing all six Osprey, Incredible.
The reserve is also teeming with different Butterfly and Moth species, as well as Dragonfly and Damsel.
Many beautiful wildflower meadows rich and full of creatures.