If you enjoy walking and are looking for an extra challenge, then why not come and do the Rutland Round?
As its name suggests, the Rutland Round will take you on a giant circular route around our unique county. It was first devised over two decades ago by John Williams, then Rights of Way officer for CPRE Rutland. Since then, the 65-mile route has been completed countless times, attracting determined walkers from far and wide. It has seen parties marking a significant birthday, fundraisers and solo walkers; people completing the route within a week or ticking it off section by section over a period of time. All have celebrated the sense of achievement in finishing it, often in one of our great pubs!
The Rutland Round is unusual in that, unlike other long-distance walks, it is a circular route, with its start and finish in Oakham. And while it may not be as challenging as the Pennine Way or as long as the South West Coastal Path, it offers all the charm that only Rutland can offer.
Distinctive oak leaf and acorn signs keep walkers on the route, which can be broken down into five near-equal sections of between 12 and 13 miles, following the perimeter of the county — with a couple of exceptions to visit Rutland Water.
21st anniversary in 2021
The idea for the Rutland Round came from John Williams, a retired headteacher. Working closely with the newly appointed Rutland Council Footpaths Officer, the CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England), Rutland Ramblers, Anglian Water and the County Council, John and his team achieved Lottery funding and contributions from a variety of sources.
‘On the ground’ checking was carried out by members of the Rutland Ramblers and when completed, the whole route was completed for the first time by The Rutland & Harringworth Chowder and Marching Society in 1998. John went on to write the book, The Rutland Round, which was published complete with maps, photographs and anecdotes, in 2000.
John recently stepped down after 20 years or more as Rights of Way Officer for Rutland Ramblers, and a special presentation is planned to mark 21 years since the publication of the book in August.
Walk the Rutland Round with Active Rutland this autumn!
Make 2021 the year you complete the Rutland Round! As part of its annual walking festival in October, Active Rutland will be leading walkers along the route in good company. The 65-mile route will be split into seven days. You can book to join to complete the full route or simply select to do one or more sections. Knowledgeable volunteer walk leaders will be sharing their knowledge along the way. There may also be an option to take a bus from the end point of each daily route back to the start point and your car (Covid restrictions permitting).
Information is available on www.activerutland.org.uk/walkingandcyclingfestival where further details will be added as soon as they are confirmed.
The Rutland Round by John Williams was reprinted in March 2019. It’s priced at £6.75 and available in Walkers bookshops in Oakham and Stamford and online.