Thinking of visiting Rutland during the World Lure Championships this October? Here are a few more reasons to visit this beautiful county.
Owning the titles of England’s smallest and most rural county, Rutland has plenty to offer those looking for either a relaxing break or an adrenaline pumping experience, where nothing is too far away. Rutland is the playground for the East Midlands, and an ideal location for gathering scattered family and friends from around the country for a meet up.
The county is home to two picturesque market towns and some fantastic attractions; the largest attraction, Rutland Water is the ideal family leisure destination in the heart the county. 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, which regularly holds in excess of 25,000 waterfowl, Rutland Water’s appeal is wider ranging, as other areas of the water specialise in the of enjoyment of sailing, cycling, windsurfing, or simply admiring the views from the shore.
Away from Rutland Water there are plenty of other attractions to tempt the visitor. Barnsdale Gardens in Exton features 38 individually designed gardens in an 8 acre site, where you are bound to find some inspiration. Tolethorpe Hall celebrates being home to the Stamford Shakespeare Company for 50 years in 2018; each year it offers magical performances of Shakespearean classics and family favourites in an open air everglade stage, yet with a comfy covered auditorium. Oakham Castle is England’s most complete Norman Great Hall with a unique interior showcasing historic decorative horseshoes.
Planning a visit? Here are five suggestions from Discover Rutland to give you some inspiration. More information can be found at www.discover-rutland.co.uk;
- Uppingham for antiques
This quintessentially English market town has kept its old traditions and traders; the majority of Uppingham shops are still family run and provide a high level of personal service. You can find these on High Street and Market Place – but there are lots of unique retailers hidden away along ancient alleyways. Uppingham is renowned for its excellent range of antiques stores, fine art galleries and book shops, so you can pick up a piece of history, or marvel at the million pound masterpieces.
- You can’t miss Rutland Water!
Rutland Water lies at the very heart of the county of Rutland and is as spectacular in beauty as it is in size. Set in 4200 acres of open countryside makes it the largest man-made reservoir in Europe and an amazing spot for every type of water sport. Grab your wetsuits and test yourself on the AquaPark inflatable assault course, or if you don’t fancy getting wet, head aboard the Rutland Belle at Whitwell to take a leisure cruise across to the iconic Normanton Church.
- Relax in a village pub
Rutland is justly proud of its farming and agricultural background and it is thanks to this strong tradition of supporting local produce that there is an excellent selection of quality food and drink available in the county. The local pub is still an important feature of village life, which means you are never far away from a great place to eat. Rutland is also the only county not to have a McDonalds, KFC or Burger King. Come back during Rutland Food & Drink Week 21-28 October 2018 and discover more about why we’re known as ‘The County of Good Taste’.
- Oakham of old
A visit to Rutland would not be complete without enjoying sometime in the pretty county town of Oakham. If you like to shop, you will love the boutiques, art galleries and artisan jewellers. If you like history, follow the Oakham Heritage Trail and discover the hidden gems around town, starting at the excellent Rutland County Museum, it takes you to many historical buildings including Oakham Castle. If a relaxing pint is what you’re after, Oakham has its very own brewery: The Grainstore Brewery offers real ale drinkers a real treat, pop in and sample the many brews on tap.
- Get on your bike
One of the best ways to explore England’s most rural county is by bike. You can hire from Rutland Cycling at Whitwell or Normanton and enjoy the circular road free track around the water. The full route around the Rutland Water, including the peninsular is 23 miles, however if you miss the peninsular out it is approximately 17 miles. There are many fabulous rest-stops along the route to stop and have a break, either in a country pub, a handy cafe or, if you’ve brought your own refreshments, there is no end of great spots to stop and enjoy the views with a picnic!
Rutland is proud of its farming and agricultural background and it is thanks to this strong tradition of supporting local produce that there is an excellent selection of quality food and drink available now, not only when eating out, but also with local businesses producing delicious fare to enjoy in your own home. Rutland is proud to be known as The County of Good Taste.
Article credit – Discover Rutland. To find out more visit the Tourism Office website www.discover-rutland.co.uk.