Cycle route from Rutland Caravan and Camping site

An attraction packed cycle route which visits an award-winning bakery, Barnsdale Gardens, a birds of prey centre and a windmill on a pleasant 25-mile loop from Rutland Caravan and Camping Affiliated Site.

Any cycle route in the vicinity of Rutland Water that seeks to compete with the trails and views around the reservoir needs a few aces up its sleeve. The man-made lake is a hub of outdoor activity, with great biking opportunities for all levels of riders, but this route has more than enough attractions to lure cyclists away to the peaceful roads of this attractive county – the smallest in England – and turn a 25-mile ride into a full day out. 

Within a few miles the route passes Hambleton Bakery, a winner of ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery award. The pecan buns, bathed in toffee caramel, would be the highlight of any ride so it's well worth a pit-stop. 

Just up the road is Barnsdale Gardens, a green-fingered hub with 38 individual gardens designed by Geoff Hamilton, once of Gardener’s World fame. From a Japanese garden to a rose garden, fruit orchard, allotment and first-time garden, there’s an abundance of ideas for anyone with an inkling that they would like to get a bit of mud under their fingernails. 

Alternatively, for riders who prefer fauna to flora, just along the road is the Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre, with 42 acres of woodland walks and an extended family of birds of prey, including hawks, owls, eagles and vultures. 

Pedalling on, the route passes Rocks by Rail, a celebration of heavy industry set in a quarry. In normal times, a heritage steam railway usually chuffs through the site, there’s an ironstone museum and a 1960s-style café. 

For cyclists who just want to ride, the siren call of a fine tea room at the foot of Wymondham Windmill is hard to resist. This is a very popular stopping point for riders from all around the local area, with lovely lawns to laze on if the sun is out, and the added bonus of a first class bike shop virtually next door in case any running repairs are required. 

Throughout the route the roads are quiet, the countryside rolls, and red kites and buzzards are a common sight. All-in-all, the ride is a compelling alternative to defaulting to Rutland Water every time you hop on a saddle. 

You can download this route from our dedicated Strava page here.


1 Turn left out of the entrance to Rutland Caravan and Camping, ride to the end of the drive and then turn right along Thistleton Lane. Continue to a T-junction then turn right towards Greetham, Cottesmore and Oakham. Continue through Greetham and about 750m after leaving the village look for a turn on the left. 

2 4.7km – Turn left, signposted to Exton. In 1.3km, turn left at a T-junction, passing Hambleton Bakery on the left. Continue for 2km to reach Barnsdale Gardens on the right. Stay on this road until the next right turn. 

3 8.9km – Turn right, signposted to Burley and Langham. Pass Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre on the left, and continue to a T-junction by a water tower. Turn right, signposted to Greetham and Grantham, and keep going (there’s a cycle path on the left of the road) until Cottesmore. Look out for the first turn on the left. 

4 13.6km – Turn left in Cottesmore, signposted to Ashwell and Market Overton, and then in 100m take the second left, signposted to Ashwell. Pass Rocks by Rail on the right and continue to a crossroads in Ashwell. ns 

5 17.2km – Turn right at the crossroads, signposted to Teigh and Wymondham. Stay on this road, passing Teigh (on the left) and Edmondthorpe (on the right) to reach a T-junction in Wymondham. Turn left towards Village Centre and Windmill and in 150m turn right just before the Berkeley Arms. Climb the hill, past the Windmill Tea Rooms on the left, and continue to a turn on the right. 

6 23.9km – Turn right, signposted to Coston, and in 200m turn right again, signposted to Sewstern. In 1.5km, turn left at a T-junction on a bend and continue to a crossroads in Sewstern. 

7 29km – Turn right at the crossroads, signposted to Thistleton. Continue on this road, passing through Thistleton, and about 500m after leaving the village look out for a turn on the right to Stretton and A1. Turn right and continue for almost 2km. As the road bends to the left, look out for a turn on the right. 

8 36.9km – Turn right, signposted to Cottesmore and Greetham. Continue along this road, following a right angle bend next to an army base, and then look out for Park Lane on the right which leads back to the campsite. 

About the route

  • Start/finish: Rutland Caravan and Camping AS, 6 Park Lane, Greetham, Oakham LE15 7FN. 
  • Distance: 25 miles/40km. 
  • Time: 2.5 hours.
  • Level: Suitable for all cyclists. There are no significant hills and the roads are quiet.
  • Terrain: Asphalt all the way. 
  • Landscape: Arable fields, dense hedgerows and pretty stone villages. 
  • Refreshments: HambletonBakery, Exton; Barnsdale Gardens teashop; Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre cafe; Rock and Rail cafe; Berkeley Arms, Wymondham; Wymondham Windmill Tea Rooms; Blue Dog Inn, Sewstern. 

About the author