Rutland Water – Upper Hambleton round
Suitable for the disabled, wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Rutland Water, owned by Anglian Water and the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, is the largest man-made lake in Europe situated in the county of Rutland. Rutland has now celebrated 14 years of independence as a county on its own. Rutland Water is a site of special scientific interest and this beautiful reservoir of 3100 acres was part of Leicestershire from 1974 until 1997. The circular track around the lake is 25 miles and the circular path around the Hambleton Peninsula is 5.75 miles both are suitable for cyclists as well as walkers. There are also plenty of other activities such as lake cruises, Normanton Church and museum, Butterfly and Aquatic Centre, picnic and play areas, trout fishing, sailing and bird watching with 27 hides and is the site of the first breeding Ospreys in England for over 150 years making Rutland Water a great day out for people of all ages whether able or disabled. Upper Hambleton is a small pretty village and has been closed off on three sides, due to the construction of Rutland Water in the 1970’s, and is now known as the Hambleton Peninsula. Hambleton was originally made up of Upper Hambleton, Middle Hambleton and Nether Hambleton and the latter two along with some of Normanton were completely submerged when they flooded the area. The only building left that stood in Middle Hambleton is the 1611 Jacobean style Old Hall which sits on the edge of the lake. Upper Hambleton houses the Church of England church of St Andrew and is of 12th century it still has an original Norman south doorway and was restored during the 19th century and adjacent to the south side stands a 16th century priest house. The village also houses a pub the Finch’s Arms which is a traditional 17th century English Country inn with beamed ceilings and cask ales and also the Hambleton Hall a hotel and restaurant which was built in 1881, by Walter Marshall, as a hunting box. Hambleton Hall is situated on the hillside giving wonderful views of Rutland Water.
We park at the side of the road near the church in Upper Hambleton and walk on the road past the Finch’s Arms pub and some thatched houses and take the footpath on the right. We follow the track and footpaths on the edge of the lake until we come to the end of the peninsula. We then turn right and go through a gateway going inland for a short way. We follow the track which turns left until we arrive at a tarmac road and barrier. We now turn left on the road until we come to the edge of the lake. This road disappeared under the water when the area was flooded. There is a seat here where we take a break and enjoy the view. We then go back up the road to the barrier and turn left and we follow the path at the side. The path turns right and we follow this for about 10 minutes and walk through Hambleton Wood, where the Bluebell’s are just amazing, covering the ground like a carpet of blue. We then carry on forward going through a gate at the side of a cattle grid and just follow the track. Soon we see the Old Hall sitting on the edge of the water then when we reach the road there is a track that goes straight forward but we turn right and follow the road back into the village to our parked car.
Very easy walking with good level tracks and footpaths suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs.
Approx 5.25 miles using OS map 234.
Upper Hambleton at Rutland Water in Rutland.
From the A1 take the A606 towards Oakham. Pass through Empingham and Whitwell then just before reaching Oakham take a left turn for Upper Hambleton.
Toilets and Refreshments
There are no public toilets on this route but there are toilets at the visitor centres around the outside of the lake. For refreshments there is the Finch’s Arms pub. There is also the Hambleton Hall Hotel.