Lyndon Visitor Centre
Know before you go
When to visit
Opening timesOpen daily throughout the year
1st March to 30th September: 9am - 5pm
1st October to 28th February: 10am - 3pm
Christmas opening hours: Closed 20th December - 4th January
Best time to visitAll year
About the reserve
When you first arrive at the centre, you’ll be greeted with a smile and warm welcome from our staff and volunteers, who will be more than happy to chat about the ospreys, their history and what’s been happening this year. You can also watch the osprey webcam live from the centre TV screen, browse a selection of local products and gifts, and pick up some light refreshments.
The centre has floor to ceiling windows on one side, which give visitors a great view across the water, and bird identification panels set up in front of the windows help you identify the species you spot!
In 2021, the visitor centre received an exciting makeover thanks to generous funding from the Augean Community Fund. The update included the addition of hand-painted wildlife murals depicting local wildlife, and brand new interpretation panels, which provide visitors with lots of information about the ospreys and other wildlife you might spot on your visit through the nature reserve, all year round.
The walk from the visitor centre takes you along the south shore of Rutland Water, through wildflower meadows with the reservoir and bird hides on your right. Look for common spotted orchids on the walk growing near the path in late spring and early summer. Spring is an excellent time to enjoy outstanding birdsong, especially in the earlier and later parts of the day. Woodland and garden birds make the most of the small patches of trees, rich hedgerows and feeding station, directly outside the visitor centre. We’ve been lucky enough to see Willow Tits and Marsh Tits on our feeders – one of the few places where both have been seen side by side. The hides at the water’s edge give a stunning view of the reservoir and out towards Lax Hill (on the western edge of the reservoir) and across to Hambleton, on the peninsular, and then up towards Burley-on-the-Hill House – the stately home on the north shore.
The furthest two hides (named Waderscrape and Shallow Water) are about 15-20 minutes' walk down following the path. These are the best places to see the iconic ospreys from during the spring and summer months (although keep an eye out for water voles, water rail and kingfisher, too). Our star pair – Maya and 33(11) – nest out in the middle of Manton Bay, surrounded by water. Waderscrape Hide has volunteers in the hide throughout the season, ready to answer any questions and help you make the most of your experience. Depending on the time of year, you might see them mating, sitting on their eggs, catching or delivering fish to each other, perched on the poles or protecting the nest from gulls, cormorants and even other ospreys! When the chicks have fledged, there may be as many as five or six ospreys in the area! Listen for their distinctive call, watching them soaring around and enjoy sharing in their magical spectacle – a sight that would have been almost impossible to see twenty years ago in the Midlands!
In spring, you may also see great crested grebes doing their elegant synchronised mating dance while buzzard and red kite fly over the woods beyond the nest. Wildfowl swim in the bay in spring, and when the water levels fall in late summer, the area is taken over by wading birds feeding on the exposed mud.
In the autumn and winter months the reserve welcomes back large numbers of wintering wildfowl, which gather in large groups on the water. Species include wigeon, goldeneye and teal and you may even see the odd great northern diver!
You will need to purchase a day permit when visiting the Lyndon Visitor Centre, the cost is £6/adult, £5/Concession, £3.50/Children, £16/Family.
This cost includes parking, and entry and parking at the Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre.
Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust members can save 10% on a day permit or purchase an annual permit for £45 from either visitor centre, you will need to show your membership card.
Become a member for exclusive discounts to Rutland Water Nature Reserve
Members of the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust receive a 10% discount on entry to Rutland Water Nature Reserve.