Enjoy a Day in Nature at Rutland Nature Reserve

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with nature, then we’ve got the perfect day out to add to your stack! Hidden in Rutland, England’s smallest county, is a hidden gem – one of the greatest and most important nature reserves in the country, Rutland Nature Reserve. Spend a day immersed in a diverse, beautiful natural landscape, searching for rare birds, admiring huge flocks of wildfowl, and explore spectacular lakes in this fantastic day outdoors!

Where is Rutland Nature Reserve?

This vast nature reserve is around an hours drive from Leicester via the A47, or an hours drive from Nottingham via the A46. The visitor centre has a free car park.

Rutland Water Nature Reserve lies near Oakham, a small village in the East Midlands, towards the western end of Rutland Water. It was originally completed in 1978, and covers 1000 acres. The water in the reserve can reach up to 34 metres deep, and 1200 metres long! It is famed across Europe for its wildlife, as it is one of the best places in the UK to search for and enjoy all different kinds of bird species and various other wildlife. Its network of lagoons and wetlands are a haven for birds, woodland wildlife and more, and is home to several important reintroduction programmes, including the release of ospreys and water voles – in fact, the reserve regularly holds in excess of over 25,000 ducks, geese and swans in the winter!

Rutland Dinosaur Discovery

Did you know that Britain’s largest ever ichthyosaur fossil was discovered in Rutland Water? This ancient marine reptile dominated the seas over 180 million year ago, measuring more than 10 metres long!

Wildlife enthusiasts will truly be in their element here, as there are over 30 bird watching spots, as well as a range of nature trails to explore. This reserve is home to the Rutland Osprey Project, which in 2001 hatched the first osprey chick in Central England for 150 years! On the exclusive Osprey Cruise, you can watch them nest, soar majestically trough the skies and dive into the waters to catch fish! Enjoy a tranquil walk along the meadows, and make a stop at Manton Bay, where you can see nesting Ospreys for yourself! You can also visit the Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre, where you’ll discover even more incredible birds and wildlife, offering spectacular views across the reserve as well as interactive information sites and a gift shop.

Rutland Water Nature Reserve makes for a fantastic family day out, or a great place to spend the day for wildlife and bird watching enthusiasts.

  • Day Permits start from £3.50 (£6 for adults) and short break permits are available for £16, valid for 4 days.
  • Keep an eye on their what’s on page here for events.
  • Anglian Birdwatching Centre opening times:
    9am – 5pm in the summer
    9am – 4pm in the winter
  • Lyndon Visitor Centre opening times:
    1st March to 30th September: 9am – 5pm
    1st October to 28th February: 10am – 3pm
  • Most of the trails are wheelchair friendly.

Check out things to do nearby...