Rutland, England

Rutland, England

Rutland, located in the East Midlands of England, is the country’s smallest county. With an area of just 147 square miles, it may be small in size, but it is big on charm and natural beauty. Despite its small size, Rutland has a lot to offer visitors, from its picturesque countryside and historic market towns to its vibrant arts and culture scene. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful getaway, Rutland is definitely worth a visit.


  • Rutland is England’s smallest county, located in the East Midlands.
  • The county has a rich history dating back to Roman times, with evidence of settlements and battles throughout the centuries.
  • Rutland’s countryside offers some of the best walks and hikes in the country, with stunning views and diverse wildlife.
  • Rutland Water is a must-visit destination, offering a range of activities including water sports, cycling, and birdwatching.
  • The county is home to rare species and natural wonders, making it a haven for nature lovers.


The History of Rutland: From Roman Times to the Present Day

Rutland has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to Roman times. The area was once home to a Roman fort and was an important trading hub during the Roman occupation of Britain. Over the centuries, Rutland has seen its fair share of historical events and figures. During the Middle Ages, it was a thriving agricultural region and was home to several castles and manor houses. In more recent history, Rutland played a significant role in the Industrial Revolution, with the development of the railway and the growth of industry in the area.

Over time, Rutland has undergone many changes. It was once part of the larger county of Leicestershire but became a separate county in 1974. Despite its small size, Rutland has managed to preserve its unique character and charm throughout the years.

Exploring Rutland’s Countryside: A Guide to the Best Walks and Hikes

Village Rutland, England

Rutland’s countryside is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With its rolling hills, picturesque villages, and tranquil lakes, it offers endless opportunities for walks and hikes. One of the best ways to explore Rutland’s countryside is by following one of the many walking trails that crisscross the area.

One popular walk is the Rutland Round, a 65-mile circular route that takes you through some of the county’s most beautiful landscapes. Along the way, you’ll pass through charming villages, ancient woodlands, and stunning viewpoints. Another great option is the Hambleton Peninsula Walk, which takes you around the stunning Rutland Water. This 9-mile walk offers breathtaking views of the lake and its surrounding countryside.

While exploring Rutland’s countryside, be sure to take the time to visit some of the area’s attractions. The Normanton Church Museum is a must-see, with its unique location on the edge of Rutland Water. The church was saved from flooding when the reservoir was created and now houses a fascinating museum that tells the story of Rutland’s history and heritage.

Rutland Water: The Jewel in the County’s Crown

Rutland Water is undoubtedly one of Rutland’s biggest attractions. This man-made reservoir covers an area of 3,100 acres and is a haven for wildlife and outdoor activities. Whether you’re interested in birdwatching, sailing, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll along the water’s edge, Rutland Water has something for everyone.

One of the best ways to experience Rutland Water is by taking a boat trip. There are several options available, from guided tours to self-drive boats. As you cruise along the water, keep an eye out for the many species of birds that call Rutland Water home. The area is particularly famous for its ospreys, which can be seen nesting and fishing in the summer months.

If you prefer to stay on dry land, there are plenty of walking and cycling trails that take you around the reservoir. The Rutland Water Circular Cycle Route is a popular choice, offering stunning views of the water and its surrounding countryside. Along the way, you’ll pass through charming villages and have the opportunity to stop at one of the many cafes and pubs that dot the route.

Discovering Rutland’s Wildlife: Rare Species and Natural Wonders

Rutland is a haven for wildlife, with its diverse habitats and protected nature reserves. The area is home to several rare and endangered species, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers. One of the most famous residents of Rutland is the osprey. These magnificent birds of prey can be seen nesting and fishing at Rutland Water from April to September. The Rutland Osprey Project offers guided tours and hides for birdwatchers to observe these incredible creatures up close.

In addition to ospreys, Rutland is also home to a wide variety of other bird species, including kingfishers, herons, and grebes. The Egleton Nature Reserve, located on the shores of Rutland Water, is a great place to spot these birds and learn more about their habitats.

Rutland is not just known for its birdlife, but also for its natural wonders. The Rockingham Forest, located in the northwest of the county, is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and offers stunning views of ancient woodlands and wildflower meadows. The Eyebrook Reservoir, located on the border between Rutland and Leicestershire, is another natural gem worth exploring. This peaceful lake is surrounded by rolling hills and is a popular spot for fishing and birdwatching.

Rutland’s Historic Market Towns: Oakham and Uppingham


Rutland is home to two historic market towns: Oakham and Uppingham. These charming towns are steeped in history and offer visitors a glimpse into Rutland’s past.

Oakham, the county town of Rutland, is known for its iconic Buttercross, a medieval market cross that stands in the town center. The town is also home to Oakham Castle, one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in England. The castle houses a unique collection of horseshoes, which have been presented by royalty and nobility over the centuries.

Uppingham, located in the southeast of Rutland, is another town with a rich history. The town is famous for its public school, Uppingham School, which was founded in 1584. The school’s beautiful buildings and grounds are worth a visit, as is the Uppingham School Museum, which tells the story of the school’s history and its famous alumni.

Both Oakham and Uppingham are home to a variety of independent shops, cafes, and pubs, making them great places to explore and soak up the local atmosphere.

The Arts and Culture of Rutland: Museums, Galleries, and Festivals

Rutland may be small in size, but it has a vibrant arts and culture scene. The county is home to several museums and galleries that showcase its rich heritage and artistic talent.

One of the must-visit museums in Rutland is the Rutland County Museum and Visitor Centre, located in Oakham. Housed in a former riding school, the museum tells the story of Rutland’s history through interactive displays and exhibits. From Roman artifacts to Victorian costumes, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

For art enthusiasts, the Rutland Open Studios event is not to be missed. Held annually in June, this event gives visitors the opportunity to meet local artists and see their work up close. From paintings and sculptures to ceramics and textiles, there is a wide range of art on display.

Rutland’s Food and Drink Scene: Local Produce and Traditional Pubs

Rutland is known for its delicious local produce and traditional pubs. The county is home to several farms that produce high-quality meat, cheese, and other products. One of the best places to sample these local delights is at one of Rutland’s many farmers’ markets. Here, you can find everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to homemade cakes and preserves.

If you’re looking for a traditional pub experience, Rutland has plenty to offer. The county is home to several historic pubs that have been serving locals and visitors for centuries. These pubs often feature traditional decor, roaring fires, and a wide selection of real ales and ciders. The Grainstore Brewery in Oakham is a popular choice, offering a range of award-winning beers brewed on-site.

Sports and Recreation in Rutland: Sailing, Cycling, and More

Rutland is a paradise for sports and outdoor enthusiasts. With its vast reservoir and rolling countryside, there are plenty of opportunities for sailing, cycling, and more.

Rutland Water is a mecca for sailing enthusiasts. The reservoir offers excellent sailing conditions, with its open waters and steady winds. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced sailor, there are plenty of options available, from hiring a boat to taking lessons at the Rutland Sailing Club.

Cycling is another popular activity in Rutland. The county is crisscrossed by a network of quiet country lanes and off-road trails, making it ideal for exploring on two wheels. The Rutland Water Circular Cycle Route is a great option for cyclists of all abilities, offering stunning views of the reservoir and its surrounding countryside.

Planning Your Visit to Rutland: Accommodation, Transportation, and Tips for Travellers

When planning your visit to Rutland, there are several accommodation options to choose from. From luxury hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts, there is something to suit every budget and taste. Many of the hotels in Rutland offer stunning views of the countryside or are located in historic buildings.

Getting around Rutland is relatively easy, with good road connections and public transport options. The county is well-served by buses, which connect the main towns and villages. If you prefer to drive, there are several car rental companies in the area.

When visiting Rutland, it’s a good idea to check the local events calendar. The county hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, from food and drink festivals to music and arts events. These events are a great way to experience the local culture and meet the friendly locals.

In conclusion, Rutland may be England’s smallest county, but it is big on charm and natural beauty. From its picturesque countryside and historic market towns to its vibrant arts and culture scene, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful getaway, Rutland is definitely worth a visit. So pack your bags and get ready to explore this hidden gem in the heart of England.




What is Rutland?

Rutland is a landlocked county in the East Midlands region of England. It is the smallest historic county in England and the fourth smallest in the UK.

What is the population of Rutland?

As of 2021, the estimated population of Rutland is around 40,000.

What is the county town of Rutland?

The county town of Rutland is Oakham, which is also the largest town in the county.

What is the geography of Rutland?

Rutland is a hilly and rural county, with a mix of farmland, woodland, and waterways. It is home to Rutland Water, which is the largest man-made lake in the UK.

What is the history of Rutland?

Rutland has a long and rich history, dating back to the Roman era. It was originally part of the Kingdom of Mercia and later became a county in its own right. Rutland played a significant role in the English Civil War and was also a major center for the wool trade in the Middle Ages.

What are some notable landmarks in Rutland?

Rutland is home to several notable landmarks, including Oakham Castle, Rutland Water, and the Normanton Church Museum. It is also known for its picturesque villages and countryside.

What is the economy of Rutland?

Rutland has a diverse economy, with a mix of agriculture, tourism, and small businesses. It is also home to several major employers, including the Ministry of Defence and the University of Leicester.

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