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48hrs in Rutland by Girl About Rutland

By Megan Allen – 10th February 2020
Girl About Rutland

A Weekend in Rutland:

Rutland may be England’s smallest county but it is bursting with action, fun and flavour, which is where the county gets its motto – “Multum in Parvo” meaning “Much in Little”.

Based in the heart of the country, you can step onto a train in the hustle and bustle of King’s Cross and just over an hour later step onto the platform of the county town of Oakham. And with the A1 and the A47 passing through, it’s easily accessible from all four corners of the country and the perfect central spot to catch up with friends.

Whether you’re looking for a fun family break bursting with action and adventure, or a quiet epicurean feast for the senses, Rutland promises to live up to its reputation as the “County of Good Taste”.

Friday Lunchtime in Rutland:

Starting your itinerary at Oakham Station, it’s only right that you pop next door to the Grainstore Brewery, which is one of only a few traditional gravity-fed breweries left in the country. The dog and child-friendly Brewery Tap serves a great selection of pub grub at competitive prices. Make sure you look out for dishes made using their selection of homebrews.

If you have time, the brewery tour is both enlightening and fun with plenty of samples at the end to kick-start your culinary tour of the county.

Local tip: Look for the egg vending machine at Oakham Station – one of many of Rutland’s little quirks.

 

Friday Afternoon in Rutland:

If you decide to skip the brewery tour and head out to explore Oakham, make sure you visit the Castle. But don’t be shocked when you’re not faced with turrets and towers and don’t let appearances deceive you. The Great Hall of Oakham Castle is all that remains (other than parts of the wall) but is the finest example of Norman architecture in Northern Europe. It’s also still used as a courthouse and with free entry, you can spend a happy hour there learning the history of the castle, dressing up (grown-ups too) and viewing Rutland’s infamous horseshoe collection.

You honestly have to see it to believe it – told you we’re quirky.

 

 

Friday Evening in Rutland:

Check into the Wisteria Hotel in Oakham, which has been recently renovated.

Their Hunter’s Bar & Kitchen serves incredible local produce, including coffee roasted right here in Rutland at the Two Chimps roaster.

If you fancy something a bit lighter (or more appealing to younger pallets) Lord Nelson is a few minutes walk away and serves amazing pizzas and an a la carte menu, including some brilliant vegan options as well.

And if you want to make a night of it, Oakham’s newest venue, Orbis, in Church Street serves world cuisine inspired small plates and a vast array of cocktails.

 

Saturday Morning in Rutland:

Time to blow away the cobwebs. Start with a quick visit to Oakham’s weekly market to peruse the stalls (if you’re lucky there will be a farmer’s market too).

Then head out to Rutland Water.

There’s a gorgeous walk from The Wisteria Hotel to the Rutland Water Nature Reserve through the village of Egleton if you fancy a nature walk, but we highly recommend getting on your bike.

Rutland Cycling has bike hire up at Whitwell and Normanton and you can ride around the water on an 18 or 24-mile course taking in much of the county along the way.

 

Saturday Lunchtime in Rutland:

The Horse and Jockey at Manton is on the cycle path (and about halfway around the water), so an ideal spot to stop for a bite to eat. Alternatively, The Noel at Whitwell also serves some great grub and they’re the home of the Rutland Fudge Company. It’s incredible. You could buy some for souvenirs but honestly, we don’t think they’ll make it home with you.

 

Saturday Afternoon in Rutland:

Once you’ve returned your bikes, the action does not have to stop. As you can pay for a day car parking ticket for Rutland Water, we recommend you make the most of it and stay on-site but we’ve come up with a few options for you, depending on what you feel up to.

Aquapark Rutland is open throughout the summer and is a massive inflatable water park filled with obstacles and jumps that are suitable for ages six and up.

If you fancy getting out on the water but don’t want the adrenaline rush that comes with the Aquapark, Rutland Watersports has a range of activities from SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) and windsurfing to more gentle rowboats for hire. You can just rock up – no need to book – and they have all the equipment you’ll need.

Alternatively, for a purely relaxed afternoon on the water, jump aboard the Rutland Belle for a leisurely cruise across the park to the iconic Normanton Church. nd don’t forget to keep an eye out for Ospreys.

 

Saturday Evening in Rutland:

If you have the energy after all that activity, we recommend heading out to one of Rutland’s chocolate box villages for dinner.

The Olive Branch at Clipsham has just been named in the Top 50 Gastropubs in the country and has an ever-changing and seasonal local menu plus a little shop selling its own produce.

The Blue Ball in Braunston is Rutland’s oldest pub with roaring log fires, a cosy snug and extensive restaurant. Local tip: Sign up to their mailing list for monthly deals.

The Fox at North Luffenham is a village gastropub with a proper “pub” atmosphere and there is usually a huddle of locals at the bar who will happily tell you about the local area and a few funny anecdotes, too.

 

Sunday Morning in Rutland:

Time to head to Rutland’s other market town of Uppingham for brunch and a wander before heading home.

Uppingham is a stunning little town with small, quirky shops and cafes. Don Paddy’s serves a delicious brunch menu and if the weather’s kind, you can enjoy it outside in the Market Place where you can soak up the sun and watch the world go by.

Just watch out for the church bells!

If you fancy a post-brunch walk with a difference, follow the Uppingham Tree Trail.

 

 

My 5 favourite places to stay in Rutland:

1: Wisteria Hotel, Oakham – https://www.wisteriahotel.co.uk/

2: Barnsdale Lodge, Barnsdale – http://barnsdalelodge.co.uk/pages/home

3: Hambleton Hall, Hambleton – https://www.hambletonhall.com/

4: The Finch’s Arms, Hambleton – https://www.finchsarms.co.uk/

5: The George Hotel, Stamford – https://www.georgehotelofstamford.com/

RECOMMENDATION | Keelham Farm Shop – Skipton 97
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