Plan Your Route

There are three ways to plan your route:

  1. Use Create a Route which is MS Access based (you do not need to have Access on your computer). We are indebted to Frank Chambers for designing this facility in the summer of 2013.
  2. Use Route Planner which is MS Excel based (you will need MS Excel to run this file). Andy Walker was the creator of this cycle route planner for Rutland (c. 2003) and it can still be run on all versions of Excel.
  3. Use our list of churches and locations with Google Maps

Which one should I use?

Briefly, Create a Route is the most functional option. It has a clear map of Rutland showing your selected route together with an associated table showing your itinerary, cumulative time, mileage, etc. Inputting your data is quick and efficient (simply click the villages you intend to visit). However, if you don't have MS Access 2007 or later you will need to download the free Microsoft Access 2010 Runtime utility which is a large file (around 200MB) and can take 15-20 minutes to download and install.

Route Planner produces much the same output but is a bit more laborious to input your data. However, you probably already have MS Excel on your computer.

Google Maps is a fallback option if you don’t fancy using the above programs but is tedious to input and change data.

Quick links (click to skip straight to a section)

Create a Route

A. If you do not have MS Access:

Use the link below to download the free MS Access 2010 Runtime utility:

Link: MS Access Runtime (from Microsoft's website)

Choose the version as appropriate for your PC (most likely the first file unless you have a 64 bit machine in which case choose the second file). The download process will vary depending on your operating system but you will need to download the file (save it to a location on your PC) and then install it (either click Run from the dialogue box or locate the file in your downloads folder and open it from there).

Once you have downloaded and installed the MS Runtime utility, proceed to step B to download the Create a Route database file.

B. If you already have MS Access (or MS Access 2010 Runtime):

Please DOWNLOAD the file to your computer using the link below. Please don't try to open it in your browser as it won't work!

You might also get warning messages. We've checked the program for viruses as far as we can but you will need to decide whether you want to take the risk of opening the file.

Link to database: Create a Route

Before using Create a Route please read the User Guide.

Route Planner

Route Planner shows the number of churches, the mileage and time it should take to complete your own chosen route. You can vary your average cycling speed, the time you intend stopping at each church and your starting time (if not 10 am).

Note: You will need to have Excel software on your computer. Route Planner runs on Excel 97, 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013.

Using Route Planner

Please DOWNLOAD the file to your computer using the link below. Please don't try to open it in your browser as it may not work properly! Do not change the name of the file as this may cause some commands to become inactive.

Link to spreadsheet: Route Planner

1. When you Open the Excel program on your computer, you must click 'Enable Macros'. As Macros may contain viruses, you need to be satisfied that your system will detect these and prevent any damage should this be the case. We are not aware of any viruses, but RHCPT accept no liability for any resultant damage to your computer system should this happen. If you are not prepared to take this risk, do not use the Route Planner program.

NOTE: If on opening the file you cannot see the words 'Route Planner', then your macro security setting is probably set too high. To adjust in older versions, click Tools > Macro > Security and change the setting to 'Medium'. Close and re-open Excel, then click 'Enable Macros'.

2. Along the bottom of the screen you will see three tabs - 'Route', 'Directions' and 'Villages'. Click these in turn to see what they contain. Leave the 'Directions' tab open.

3. You should see “Route Planner” at the end of the main menu bar. Select this and then click a specific item on the drop down menu as required.

4. Click 'Start Village' to select your starting village. Click 'Route Planner' again, then 'Add Village'. Select from the village options presented. If the 'Directions' tab is open you will see a cumulative picture emerging showing number of churches, mileage and time taken so far. Glance at the map of your developing route occasionally.

5. Keep clicking 'Route Planner' followed by 'Add Village' until you have completed your intended route. If you want to change your route, click 'Route Planner' then 'Remove Village'.

Note: There are some villages without churches, but they may be en route to the village you want to go to. Occasionally, you will have to select such an 'interim' village before it will show the options containing the village you want. For example, travel between Oakham and Langham you must select Barleythorpe first.

At any stage you can switch to the 'Route' tab to see how your route is developing and/or use it to decide on your next village.

How to Change Settings

You can change your 'Average Speed', 'Average time stopped at churches' and 'Start time' by clicking 'Route Planner', then 'Change settings'. This can be done at any stage and will update each previous entry and cumulative totals.

Saving Your Route(s)

Don't forget to save YOUR file from time to time and, at the end, save your final route. You can print your file in the usual way. If you experience a problem when you change the filename from the original, then keep the original filename as downloaded but save each in a different folder and name the folders with an appropriate descriptive name.

Google Maps

You can use the list of churches and grid references to plan your route using Google Maps.

Click for a list of churches.

Click to view churches in Google Maps.

Follow the steps below to plan your route:

  1. Open the list of churches
  2. Copy and paste the grid reference of your starting church into the search box on Google Maps
  3. Click 'Get Directions'
  4. You may need to click the up and down arrow logo to get directions from your first church instead of to it (i.e. reverse boxes A and B).
  5. Copy and paste the grid reference for your second church into box B
  6. Click 'Get Directions'
  7. Click 'Add Destination' and copy and paste the grid reference for your next church
  8. Repeat the previous three steps until all your churches have been added
  9. Click the printer icon to print your directions. You can include a map and photos of the route.

Note: You will need to consult a map first before planning your route on Google.

And Finally...

Don't forget to validate your data by getting out on your bike and testing all or part of your route!

Tips for Planning Your Route

Remember: Safety is paramount!

Avoid busy main roads, unless there is a cycle path. Avoid having to go up steep hills. See if an alternative route would gain height more gradually. Once you are up, stay up! Think what other churches could you visit while up high?

It is worth noting that some villages have two churches - you can identify these on the registration form.

Please note that although the churches at Wardley and Ayston have closed there will be 'sign in books' there for self check-in.

You can also visit churches over the border from Rutland. These are not included in Route Planner but if you are passing close by, you can visit them and they will count towards your overall total.

Stamford in the East of the county has lots of churches. On the West of the county, Allexton and Stockerston can be included in the beautiful Eyebrook Valley if you are going from Belton to Stoke Dry.

Sample Routes

If you haven't got Excel or the time and inclination to devise your own route you can select one of the sample routes we have pre-prepared!

Please Note: These routes are provided as examples and it is the responsibility of each cyclist (or parent/guardian) to satisfy themselves regarding safety of the route, but we have tried to minimise usage of busy 'A' roads where possible.

Stretton Loop



Alternatively, follow the shores of Rutland Water and go to Whitwell instead of Burley on the Hill. Also, Greetham to Thistleton will avoid Stretton itself.

Rutland Water Circuit



Follow shore of Rutland Water back to Oakham rather than main road. Additional churches that could be included are Hambleton (cul de sac), North Luffenham and Empingham.

You can e-mail with your favourites, but always remember that routes must be as safe as possible.

© Rutland Historic Churches Preservation Trust 2017. All rights reserved. Photographs have been kindly provided by Mr Richard Adams
Registered Charity Number: 211068. Give As You Earn Registration Number: 000101080