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Rutland Belle

The coach has arrived and we are looking forward to another day out with the WI. This time we are heading out to Rutland Waters, set in 4,200 acres of open countryside. Located in the county of Rutland, it is Anglian Waters drinking water reservoir and the largest man-made lake in Europe.

On the way we stopped in Stamford for a wander and coffee break. Stamford is reported to be the finest Stone Town in England. A beautiful town with old timber framed buildings and medieval parish churches.  2 hours later after relaxing over coffee and our purses a little lighter from shopping we continued our journey through the lovely villages to Rutland waters.

We enjoyed lunch in a friendly atmosphere in the restaurant overlooking the reservoir and we are now sitting on the shores waiting to board ‘The Rutland Belle’. For families there is so much to do and see – visitors centre, shops, restaurant, children’s areas, water sports, walking and for the more energetic hiring a bike and cycling (25 mile) around the shores of the reservoir. Not for us we are going to enjoy it the lazy way.

We have just been called for boarding and realisation has just set in ‘what am I doing here’ I don’t like water and I don’t like boats – what I’ll do for a day out with friends. Adrian where are you when I want you, you could have whisked me off to a garden centre for the day. Oh well off we go – hope they’ve got the life jackets ready! More on board.

Waving Union Jacks and singing ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ we are now on our way. The views are lovely – fisherman sitting on the banks – cyclists skirting the shore and just lovely relaxing views.

Now approaching Normanton Church which is quite a famous landmark in the area. Designed by Thomas Hardy it was built in 1826-9 and is situated on the south shore of the waters. At the time Rutland Waters was created in 1971-1976 it would have fallen below the water line but the floor level of the church was raised and it was thankfully saved. A dam was built and under the water are the villages of Nether Hambleton part of Normanton and most of Middle Hambleton – the Old hall still stands on the shore edge.

Back on dry land, enjoyed it so much I’m off to the travel agency to book a cruise for the Mediterranean!


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