Things to do in Rutland

Rutland, England’s smallest county, is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Midlands. Despite its diminutive size, Rutland boasts a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty that belies its compact geography. The county is predominantly rural, with undulating hills and pristine waterways defining much of its landscape. At its heart lies Rutland Water, one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe, surrounded by picturesque villages and abundant wildlife.

The charm of Rutland extends beyond its scenic vistas to encompass a vibrant community spirit and a wealth of heritage sites. From the historic market towns of Oakham and Uppingham to ancient castles and churches dotting the countryside, Rutland offers a serene yet engaging backdrop for both residents and visitors. Its commitment to preserving local traditions alongside fostering contemporary arts and crafts enriches the cultural fabric of this quaint English county.

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  • Rutland Water: This vast reservoir offers an array of outdoor activities including cycling, walking trails around its perimeter, bird watching at the nature reserve, and watersports such as sailing and kayaking.
  • Oakham Castle: A visit to this Norman castle provides insight into England’s medieval past. The Great Hall adorned with horseshoes is particularly noteworthy.
  • Barnsdale Gardens: Created by Geoff Hamilton for BBC’s Gardeners’ World, these gardens are a horticultural inspiration with thirty-eight individual gardens to explore.
  • Rutland Railway Museum: Now known as Rocks By Rail: The Living Ironstone Museum, it offers a fascinating journey through the industrial heritage of Rutland’s ironstone quarries.
  • Lyddington Bede House: Discover the intriguing history of this former Bishop’s palace turned alms house in the picturesque village of Lyddington.
  • Rutland Cycling: Rent a bike to explore Rutland Water’s 23-mile circular track or venture into the surrounding countryside on two wheels.
  • Aqua Park Rutland: For thrill-seekers and families alike, this inflatable water park offers fun obstacles over Rutland Water during summer months.
  • Uppingham Theatre: Enjoy live performances ranging from plays to musical concerts at this vibrant local theatre.
  • Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre: Experience close encounters with birds of prey in their natural habitat within ancient woodland settings.
  • Normanton Church Museum: This iconic church partially submerged in Rutland Water serves as a museum showcasing local history.
  • The Osprey Project at Lyndon Nature Reserve: Witness these magnificent birds up close from viewing hides during their breeding season from April to September.
  • Discover Rutland Website: For more information on events, accommodations, dining options, and other attractions throughout Rutland County.