The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 22 November 2015

A Visit to the Smallest County (3)

Friday 20 November

“Back to Rutland Water!” I declared to be the plan for the day, this time with the intention of taking a stroll along the south side.

Edith Weston* provided us with parking, and west was the direction for which we opted, ambling along under clear blue skies as far as the Visitor Centre, where the cycle track, which circumnavigates the reservoir, leaves the waterside and heads to a road for a short while.

Thoughts of seeing whether dreadful cups of tea were a general feature of the various visitor centres and cafes (really, Wednesday’s offering at Whitwell Visitor Centre was awful) were thwarted when this particular centre was found to be closed**, so with an about-turn, back east we headed.

With the number of yachts we’d seen in land-based storage during Wednesday’s and today’s walks, we had to conclude that if they were all on the water at once it’d be a mightily crowded place. At this time of year there was no crowding evident at all. In fact, the only boats we saw in the water are those in the snap below, and the only ones out and about under sail were dinghies rather than yachts:IMG_0446

Having only covered 5.3 miles we really should have continued east beyond Edith Weston to have a closer look at the church (by appearances)/museum (by what the map says) place we could see, which looked interesting. Unfortunately we didn’t, thus 5.3 miles remained the tally for the day, with 450-feet-worth of undulations. None of the undulations was long or steep, contrary to Anglian Water’s Health and Safety Department’s view, as evidenced by plenty of signs warning of steepness and either requiring dismounting or reminding that helmets should be worn They struck me as being over the top, and it seems that I wasn’t the only one:


Maybe I would be of a different opinion on a warm summer’s day when the vast car parks are brimming and the waterside track busy with families – something it was difficult to picture in our solitude on this trip.

The day was rounded off with a trip to Cottesmore, which now bears very little resemblance to the place Mick remembers from 41 years ago, from where we decided that given the options we may as well go back to Tallington Lakes again and take advantage of the bargain campsite for a third night.

(*Just to clarify: Edith Weston is a ‘where’ not a ‘who’. It’s a village.

** What with closed car parks, prohibitive car park restrictions elsewhere and closed cafes this really was turning into an unexpectedly cheap trip!)

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