Things To Do In Rutland, UK
Welcome to the charming county of Rutland, nestled in the heart of England. Known for its picturesque countryside, stunning lakes, and quaint villages, this hidden gem offers a plethora of unique experiences for visitors. Whether you’re a local looking for new adventures or a tourist seeking to explore the beauty of the UK, Rutland has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through 9 of the most exciting and unusual days out in Rutland for 2023. From a thrilling water park to an enchanting butterfly farm, we’ve got you covered. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the best of Rutland’s attractions that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Why Choose Rutland for a Day Out?
Rutland is a small county in the East Midlands of England, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in charm and character. With rolling hills, tranquil lakes, and picturesque villages, Rutland is a haven for those seeking a peaceful getaway. But that’s not all it has to offer. Rutland is also home to a variety of unique attractions that will keep visitors of all ages entertained. From historical landmarks to thrilling outdoor activities, Rutland has something for everyone.
If you’re looking for a day out that’s a little different, then Rutland is the perfect destination. With so much to see and do, you’ll leave feeling refreshed and energized. So, if you’re ready to explore the best of Rutland’s attractions, then let’s dive in.
Overview of the 9 Unique Day Out Ideas In Rutland
Exploring Rutland Water by bike
Discovering the history of Oakham Castle
Sampling local delicacies at the Rutland Food and Drink Festival
Relaxing at the award-winning Barnsdale Gardens
Admiring the views from the top of Normanton Church
Taking a scenic walk along the Rutland Round
Exploring the art and culture of Uppingham
Visiting the Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre
Enjoying a day of family fun at Rutland Farm Park
Day Out #1: Exploring Rutland Water by Bike
The popular Rutland Water is one of the most popular attractions in the area and is a must-visit for both locals and visitors. Known as the “inland sea”, this reservoir is the largest man-made lake in Western Europe and covers over 3,000 acres of land.
Rutland Water is one of the county’s most popular attractions, and for good reason. This man-made lake is home to a variety of water sports and outdoor activities, including cycling. Cycling around Rutland Water is a great way to take in the stunning scenery and enjoy some fresh air. The cycle path is 23 miles long and takes you through picturesque villages and countryside. You can bring your own bike or rent one from the Rutland Cycling shop, located near the lake.
If you’re not up for a full 23-mile cycle, then there are shorter routes available. The 8-mile Hambleton Peninsula route takes you through the nature reserve and offers stunning views of the water. The 3-mile Whitwell route is perfect for families with young children and takes you through the charming village of Whitwell. Cycling around Rutland Water is a unique way to explore the county and get some exercise at the same time.
For those who prefer to take things a bit slower, there are plenty of walking trails to choose from, ranging from short strolls to longer hikes. And if you’re into fishing, Rutland Water is home to a variety of fish species, including trout, pike, and perch.
With its stunning scenery and abundance of wildlife, Rutland Water is the perfect place for a day out with family or friends.
Day Out #2: Discovering the History of Oakham Castle in Rutland
Oakham Castle is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in history and architecture. This 12th-century castle is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in the UK and is home to a variety of historical artifacts. The Great Hall is the centrepiece of the castle and features a 16th-century hammer-beam roof and medieval wall paintings. The castle also contains a collection of horseshoes, which have been donated by royalty and nobility for over 500 years.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the castle or explore on their own. The castle also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including medieval re-enactments and art exhibitions. Oakham Castle is a unique attraction that offers a glimpse into the county’s rich history and is a must-visit for anyone interested in architecture and history.
Day Out #3: Sampling Local Delicacies at the Rutland Food and Drink Festival
The Rutland Food and Drink Festival is a celebration of the county’s finest produce and culinary delights. This annual event takes place in Oakham and features over 40 local food and drink vendors. Visitors can sample a variety of cheeses, meats, jams, and beverages, all made with locally sourced ingredients. The festival also features live music, cooking demonstrations, and kid-friendly activities.
The Rutland Food and Drink Festival is a unique way to experience the county’s culinary heritage and support local businesses. The event is held in September and is a must-visit for foodies and families alike.
Day Out #4: Relaxing at the Award-Winning Barnsdale Gardens
Barnsdale Gardens is a 38-acre horticultural paradise located near the village of Exton. This award-winning garden was created by the late Geoff Hamilton, a beloved TV presenter and gardening expert. The garden features over 38 individual gardens, each with its own theme and style. Visitors can explore the Japanese garden, the herb garden, and the rose garden, among others.
Barnsdale Gardens also hosts a variety of gardening workshops and events throughout the year. The garden has won numerous awards, including the Best Garden for Wildlife award and the Best Garden Centre award. Barnsdale Gardens is a unique attraction that offers a peaceful and relaxing day out for visitors of all ages.
Day Out #5: Admiring the Views from the Top of Normanton Church
Normanton Church is a unique landmark located on the shores of Rutland Water. This 19th-century church was saved from demolition and turned into a museum and event space. Visitors can climb the tower for stunning views of Rutland Water and the surrounding countryside. The church also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including weddings and concerts.
Normanton Church is a unique attraction that offers a glimpse into the county’s history and architecture. The views from the top of the tower are breathtaking and make for a great photo opportunity.
Day Out #6: Taking a Scenic Walk Along the Rutland Round
The Rutland Round is a 65-mile walking trail that takes you through the county’s most picturesque villages and countryside. The trail is divided into 8 sections, each with its own unique scenery and landmarks. You can choose to walk the entire trail or just a section of it.
The trail takes you through the charming villages of Lyddington and Empingham and offers stunning views of the countryside. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, making it a great activity for families and outdoor enthusiasts.
Day Out #7: Exploring the Art and Culture of Uppingham
Uppingham is a charming market town located in the south of Rutland. The town is known for its independent shops, art galleries, and historic buildings. Visitors can explore the Uppingham Heritage Trail, which takes you through the town’s most significant landmarks. The trail includes the Market Place, the Falcon Hotel, and the Uppingham School.
Uppingham is also home to a variety of art galleries, including the Goldmark Gallery and the Rutland Antiques and Art Centre. These galleries feature contemporary and traditional art from local and international artists. Uppingham is a unique attraction that offers a glimpse into the county’s culture and art scene.
Day Out #8: Visiting the Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre
The Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre is a unique attraction that offers visitors a chance to get up close and personal with birds of prey. The centre is home to a variety of birds, including hawks, falcons, and owls. Visitors can take part in a falconry experience, which includes handling and flying the birds.
The centre also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including bird of prey displays and photography workshops. The Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre is a unique attraction that offers a thrilling and educational day out for visitors of all ages.
Day Out #9: Enjoying a Day of Family Fun at Rutland Farm Park
Rutland Farm Park is a family-friendly attraction located near Oakham. The park features a variety of animals, including pigs, goats, and chickens. Visitors can feed and interact with the animals and learn about farming and agriculture. The park also features a playground, a café, and a gift shop.
Rutland Farm Park is a unique attraction that offers a fun and educational day out for families with young children. The park is open year-round and hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including Easter egg hunts and Christmas fairs.
My Favourite Things To Do In Rutland
Rutland County Museum
If you’re interested in history, then a visit to the Rutland County Museum is a must. This small but fascinating museum is located in Oakham and tells the story of Rutland through the ages. From prehistoric times to the present day, the museum has a wide range of exhibits and artefacts that bring the history of the county to life.
One of the highlights of the museum is the collection of horseshoes that adorn the walls. According to local legend, if a bridegroom could give a horseshoe to the bride’s father, then he would be granted permission to marry her. The museum also has a collection of paintings, costumes, and household items that give an insight into life in Rutland over the centuries.
Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre
If you’re a fan of birds of prey, then a visit to the Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre is a must. This award-winning attraction is located near the village of Oakham and is home to a wide variety of birds of prey and owls.
You can book a falconry experience and have the opportunity to handle and fly birds of prey, or you can simply watch one of the daily displays and learn more about these amazing birds. The centre also has a café and gift shop, making it the perfect place for a day out with the family.
Rutland Belle Boat Trips
If you want to see Rutland Water from a different perspective, then a boat trip on the Rutland Belle is a must. This 40-minute boat trip takes you on a tour of the lake, giving you the chance to see some of the wildlife and scenery up close.
The boat has a licensed bar and refreshments are available on board, making it the perfect way to relax and enjoy the views. There are also longer boat trips available, including a sunset cruise and a lunchtime cruise, giving you the chance to see even more of Rutland Water.
Outdoor activities in Rutland – cycling, hiking, and fishing
Rutland is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with a wide range of activities available. Cycling is a popular activity, with the 25-mile cycle track around Rutland Water being a particular highlight. There are also plenty of other cycling routes to choose from, ranging from gentle rides through the countryside to more challenging routes for experienced cyclists.
Hiking is also a popular activity in Rutland, with plenty of walking trails to choose from. The Rutland Round is a 65-mile circular walk that takes you through some of the county’s most beautiful scenery, while the Viking Way is a 147-mile long-distance footpath that passes through Rutland.
And if you’re into fishing, Rutland Water is one of the best places in the country to cast a line. The lake is home to a wide range of fish species, including trout, pike, and perch, and there are plenty of fishing spots to choose from.
Events and festivals in Rutland
Rutland has a busy calendar of events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from food and drink to music and culture. The Rutland Food and Drink Festival is a popular event, showcasing the best of local produce and cuisine.
The Rutland County Show is another popular event, with livestock displays, vintage vehicles, and a wide range of family-friendly activities. And if you’re a fan of music, the Uppingham Jazz and Soul Festival is not to be missed, with a wide range of acts performing over the weekend.
Where to eat in Rutland
Rutland is home to a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and pubs, serving everything from traditional British cuisine to international dishes. The Olive Branch in Clipsham is a popular choice, serving locally sourced food in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The Lake Isle in Uppingham is another popular choice, with a menu that focuses on fresh, seasonal ingredients.
For something a bit different, head to Hambleton Hall, a luxury hotel and restaurant that has been awarded a Michelin star. The restaurant serves modern British cuisine with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients, and the views over Rutland Water are simply stunning.
Where to stay in Rutland
Rutland has a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to campsites. The George Hotel in Stamford is a popular choice, with its stylish rooms and central location. The Falcon Hotel in Uppingham is another popular choice, with its elegant rooms and excellent restaurant.
For a more unique experience, try staying in one of the shepherd’s huts at Rutland Shepherd Huts. These cosy huts are located in a peaceful setting and are the perfect place to relax and unwind.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
Rutland is a hidden gem in the heart of England that offers a variety of unique attractions for visitors. From exploring the countryside by bike to admiring the views from the top of Normanton Church, Rutland has something for everyone. The county’s rich history, culture, and culinary delights make it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a peaceful and relaxing getaway. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the best of Rutland’s attractions that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.