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The county of Rutland

England’s best kept secret

Rutland is hailed the county of good taste. Whilst it may be the UK’s smallest county, its offering of vibrant and passionate businesses creating, concocting, serving, sourcing, and supplying unique, artisan produce is BIG! And despite its small footprint, it has a lot to offer anyone looking for either a relaxing break or an adrenaline pumping experience.

Amidst all the entrepreneurialism, sits Rutland Hall Hotel, nestled neatly on the shores of Rutland Water; together these two combine to offer a unique destination, full of countryside charm and character, with plenty of activities both on-site and close by. Rutland Hall Hotel is a perfect destination for couples, families, corporate guests and couples looking for an outstanding wedding venue. Whether you’re looking for a golfing getaway, a sumptuous hen party or girlie getaway destination, or a romantic backdrop to enjoy some quiet time, you’ll find it all, and more, here at Rutland Hall.

Come along and explore the great outdoors, and indulge in the nearby historic market towns of Oakham, Uppingham and Stamford. Come and Discover Rutland!

Relax at Rutland Hall

You don’t even have to step foot off the resort to find fun for the whole family. Whether you choose to enjoy a fun round of crazy golf or take a dip in our swimming pool, we have so much to do right here! If you choose to play a game of bowls or pitch & putt, you’ll be rewarded with some of our most spectacular views overlooking the beautiful neighbouring reservoir – Rutland Water.

Visit caret-down

  • Barnsdale Gardens – Take the garden tour and see for yourself the amazing range of ideas in thirty eight individual gardens in an eight-acre site, individually designed and , all built on peat-free, organic principles. Whether you are a keen gardener, an armchair gardener or a visitor looking for a wonderful day out with a great lunch, then Barnsdale Gardens is for you!
  • Burghley House, Sculpture Gardens and The Garden of Surprises – Green tranquil walks, modern sculpture and family fun. The gardens and parkland that you see today at Burghley were largely designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in the 18th century. Today, sweeping vistas down to the spires of Stamford in the parkland, splashing in the Garden of Surprises or tranquil walks next to the lake in the Sculpture Garden can all be enjoyed
  • Normanton Church – The medieval St Matthews Church was built for the Earl of Ancaster on the foundations of a building dating back to the 14th century. It was later rebuilt in a classical style in the 18th century when the Heathcote Baronets created their estate in Rutland and used the parish church as their private chapel. In 1920 the aristocrat family relocated and the church was abandoned until Rutland Water was created in the 1970s.
  • Rutland County Museum – Rutland County Museum, located on Catmos Street in Oakham, is the perfect introduction to the smallest county in England. Admission is FREE. The museum tells the story of the county, with exhibitions of archaeology, rural and social life. Whether your interest lies in the Jurassic period, medieval times or more recent eras, there’s an abundance of artefacts and treasures to uncover. Gates Garden Centre – Located just 4 miles from Oakham, Gates offers a huge range of everything for the garden and much more besides. Whether it’s something for the garden, something for your home, some inspiration – there is plenty for all! If you are looking to experience the best in local produce then Gates Farm Shop is a must. There are indoor and outdoor play areas, a restaurant and a coffee shop.
  • Gates Garden Centre – Located just 4 miles from Oakham, Gates offers a huge range of everything for the garden and much more besides. Whether it’s something for the garden, something for your home, some inspiration – there is plenty for all! If you are looking to experience the best in local produce then Gates Farm Shop is a must. There are indoor and outdoor play areas, a restaurant and a coffee shop.
  • Belvoir Castle & Engine Yard – Belvoir Castle’s history dates back to the eleventh century. It is the ancestral home of the Duke of Rutland, where the family have lived in an unbroken line for almost a thousand years. The castle is open to the public for certain days throughout the year, please check their website for full details. For lovers of the outdoors, there are many  walks through the formal gardens on the castle terrace and into the woodland through the Japanese, Duchess’s and Hermit’s gardens. The Engine Yard is restored from old estate buildings, now a centre of excellence for local food, drink and artisan shopping

Towns & shopping caret-down

Rutland is proud to support such varied talent and entrepreneurial spirit of its shopkeepers, market traders and craftsmen and women. It’s wonderful to spend time browsing amongst the historical buildings that house many of our shops.

  • Oakham, the County Town of Rutland: medieval history, scrumptious food & stylish shopping – Oakham is a pretty, traditional English market town, bustling with activity. Packed with heritage, there’s plenty to see. Wander through the Market Place on a Wednesday or Saturday to find a burgeoning display of the finest local produce from meats and pies, to local cheeses, artisan bread and fresh free-range eggs. On the the 3rd Saturday of the month, experience our traditional Farmers’ Market in Gaol Street.
  • Uppingham: steeped in history, in a distinctly charming English market town – Uppingham is blessed with a range of speciality shops and traditional retailers, many of whom are still family owned and run. For browsing around antiques shops. Uppingham hits the mark perfectly allowing you to meander around the town for hours, finding hidden gems around every corner. Uppingham has been a functioning market town since the 14th century.
  • Stamford: One of the finest Georgian towns in England – Stamford is widely regarded as one of the finest stone towns in England. The pretty facades of the town are favourites with film and television producers – it’s no wonder that visitors come from far and wide to experience Stamford’s charm. There is a bustling market day every Friday when the pavements are packed with eager shoppers stocking up on local vegetables, meats, pies, bread and fresh fish. Experience Stamford’s quieter side by seeking out tranquillity on the banks of the River Welland which winds its way through Stamford en-route to The Wash. Stamford’s narrow alleyways and hidden courtyards are home to a variety of speciality shops, fine jewellers and designer boutiques, whilst the High Street has a great choice of independent and recognised retailers.
  • Wymondham Windmill – Tucked away in the quaint and picturesque village of Wymondham, just north of Rutland, is Wymondham Windmill. With it’s welcoming tea room and lovely collection of shops, it’s a splendid place to pop in to with the children. There’s a playground, playhouse and large grassy area, a small vehicle track for younger children and a woodland puzzle trail through their two acre woodland of Native British Trees.

Family fun caret-down

  • Rutland Farm Park – A family owned and run farm park on the edge of the lovely market town of Oakham with a wonderful variety of animals to see, a playground and a lovely Tea Room and gift shop. Only a 10 minute walk from Oakham High Street but free onsite parking is also available.
  • Rutland Water Beach – Pack a picnic and your bucket and spade and head to Rutland Water beach. Located at Rutland Water’s North Shore, Rutland Water beach provides 140 metres of sandy shoreline and a 2,800m2 area for you to paddle and swim in. There are plenty of activities at Rutland Water.
  • Twinlakes Theme Park – Twinlakes Park is all Action! ALL ADVENTURE! Endless adventures of family fun providing great days out, where the fun never stops! Indoor and outdoor fun for all ages. Twinlakes offers a variety of family events across the year from Christmas fun to spooky Halloween!
  • Rutland Watersports – Sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing or stand up paddle boarding, from beginner to expert we can offer you the perfect activity, course or day out for everyone. Located on the North Shore of Rutland Water. The friendly, enthusiastic and highly qualified instructors are sure to make your day as great as it could possibly be.
  • Aqua Park – Slip, slide and splash at the inflatable Aqua Park. It’s the biggest and the best in the UK. Located on the North Shore of Rutland Water, you can find the Aqua Park next to Rutland Watersports, perfectly located for a full on day on the water! Fun for adults and children alike, the 100m x 80m inflatable obstacle course is available throughout the summer season from May the 26th – come rain or shine.

Walk or cycle caret-down

  • Cycle Hires are available at either Whitwell or Normanton, with the Rutland Bell offering return trips for shorter routes.
  • Rutland Water – Walking a full circuit, which takes in the Hambleton Peninsula, will see you cover 24 miles, 16 if avoiding Hambleton. If this is too far for your party, don’t worry, there are plenty of other shorter walks and trails you can take. A great walk for those looking for an easy stroll is to start at Normanton and walk across the dam to Sykes Lane and back. The route is flat and smooth and has fantastic views.
  • Exton Park Estate – A large rural Estate located in heart of Rutland based around farming, forestry, residential & commercial properties as well as venues for events and weddings.
  • Hambleton – Rutland Water Peninsula – This beautiful circular walk follows the edge of Hambleton Peninsula, surrounded on all sides by Rutland Water, and is a popular location with everyone from dog walkers and birdwatchers to mountain bikers.
  • Fineshade Woods – Located north of Corby in the Midlands, Fineshade Wood provides a picturesque setting for your next adventure. Whether you want to have a leisurely wander through the trees, get the kids to let off some steam at one of our exciting play areas or go on a bike ride, Fineshade Wood is bursting with opportunities to explore the great outdoors.
  • Wakerley Great Wood – Discover this historic ancient woodland that contains rich and diverse archaeological remains, near Corby. There are numerous informal trails and paths along the forest roads and tracks, some surfaced, some not. The car park is set amongst majestic larch and includes a large grassed area for games and picnicking.

Activities caret-down

  • Rutland Water Golf Course – Play the most outstanding golf in Rutland! With Panoramic views of Rutland Water you have a choice of the challenging 18 hole Championship Normanton course or nine par 3 holes on the Hambleton course You can hire Clubs and buggies, warm up on the driving range and practice on the chipping and putting greens. There is always expert advice available from one of the pros and the pro-shop is fully stocked with all the latest equipment. After your game enjoy the fully licensed bar, cafe & restaurant.
  • Greetham Valley Golf – Enjoy a round or two of golf!  Set in beautiful undulating Rutland countryside, Greetham Valley is viewed by many as simply the best golf complex in Rutland and the East Midlands, offering 45 glorious holes of golf, 2017 winner of the prestigious Environmental Golf Course of the Year award. Set amidst 276 acres of picturesque countryside just a few minutes’ drive from Rutland Water.
  • Fishing at Rutland Water – Attracting anglers from across the UK and Europe, both beginners and those with a lifelong passion for fishing enjoy the exceptional fishing opportunities on offer at Rutland Water. Fish from the bank or motor boats in one of the world’s finest trout lakes. It’s predominately a Trout fly fishery but they do allow Predator fishing at certain times of the year.
  • Rutland Water Cruises – A cruise aboard the Rutland Belle allows you to enjoy the sights of Rutland Water whilst listening to commentary highlighting points of interest. The Rutland Belle can carry up to 110 passengers, with 60 places in the under-cover saloons. Drinks are available on board. Open: April to October. Sailings depart Whitwell North Shore calling at Normanton Church, South Shore.

Explore Rutland

Come and Discover Rutland! If you’re looking for places to visit, shopping nearby, fun for all the family, walking or cycling, the picturesque county of Rutland has it all. Rutland Water lies at the very heart of the county and is the ideal family leisure destination. It’s one of the largest reservoirs in Europe and is as spectacular in beauty as it is in size. With 1,000 acres designated to the internationally famous nature reserve, Rutland Water’s appeal is wide ranging, with other areas of the water specialising in boat or kayak hire, cycling, windsurfing, children’s activities or simply admiring the views from the shore. There are a whole host of activities at Rutland Water.

Market towns

A visit to Rutland would not be complete without enjoying some time in our pretty county towns of Oakham and Uppingham.

Follow the Oakham Heritage Trail and discover the hidden gems around Oakham town, starting at Rutland County Museum and visiting the historical highlights. Make sure to step off the Market Place into Oakham Castle, to see the iconic horseshoes. Oakham’s market days are Wednesday and Saturday, with a Farmer’s market on the third Saturday of each month.

Uppingham is most famous for its boarding school, which has many famous alumni. The school houses one of the largest private theatres in the country. This small and beautiful market town’s High Street has been voted one of the top five in Britain. Uppingham offers a rare glimpse of traditional English rural life, steeped in culture, heritage and history. Every Friday the weekly market is full of local traders and crafts people offering unique, artisan products.

The great outdoors

Lace up your walking boots! Rutland is the perfect place for walking and has long attracted ramblers who enjoy finding their way around the tiny villages, little known tracks and country lanes. There are also three accessible routes available.

On yer bike! One of the best ways to explore England’s most rural county is by bike. If you can’t bring a bike, you can hire one from Rutland Cycling who are only minutes from the resort. Explore the winding country lanes, miles of road-free track and, of course, the sensational views of Rutland Water.

Make a splash! Only a couple of miles from Rutland Hall, you can enjoy a paddle at Rutland Water’s inland beach. If a paddle isn’t quite enough, head to Rutland Water’s sports centre and choose from kayaks, canoes, row boats, dinghies, small yachts and more. Plus there’s plenty more activities at Rutland Water.