When it comes to planning our holidays most of us tend to plump for well known destinations abroad. But for those residing here in the U.K., we are fortunate enough to find ourselves with many beautiful options for a break that we might not ordinarily think about. There are many stunning National Parks to visit along with some beautiful counties all within driving distance of our very own doorsteps. Also, if you happen to be visiting the U.K. and are looking for an alternative destination then I would highly recommend that you consider giving Rutland a visit. If you still need a little convincing, I have compiled a quick list of 7 reasons why you should visit Rutland and I hope that when you are considering your next trip you consider coming over to to England’s smallest county and pay beautiful Rutland a visit.
1) The scenery
Endless rolling fields and picturesque countryside provide beauty as far as the eye can see in a county that offers a unique charm and often leaves a big impression on those who visit. Quaint old English cottages reside in picturesque villages, whilst summer evenings can be spent admiring colourful sunsets as you make your way around one of the county’s many hiking trails, before rounding off your evening at one of the local pubs for a well earned drink and something to eat. The countryside is simply breathtaking, whilst the villages and towns are charming and friendly. There is no doubt Rutland has an alluring quality that pulls you in from the very first moment that you arrive, and seems to stay fresh in your memory long after you have left.
2) The hiking trails
lace up your hiking boots, grab your map and enjoy the many scenic trails that are on offer. Although you won’t be scaling mountains in Rutland, the scenery and walks are quite spectacular. There are many walking routes for you to enjoy all varying in length and difficulty meaning that all levels of fitness and experience are catered for. If you are a keen hiker who wants to put in some serious miles then you could attempt to walk the very well known and popular Rutland Round; a circular walk of 65 miles around the county of Rutland taking in all of its landmarks and views. You don’t have to walk the full length though and can break the trail down into smaller sections by choosing which parts you would like to cover whilst admiring the scenery along the way. Two other walks that you might like to consider are the Rutland Water loop, and the Exton Village to Greetham village trail. Both are extremely enjoyable and popular amongst the locals and visitors to the county.
3)Its perfect for photography
The beautiful scenery not only makes for great walking and exploration, but is also the perfect setting for those that are interested in photography. The sweeping views become more prominent during sunrise and sunset when the sky lights up in an array of colours allowing you to capture some quite spectacular photographs. There are always plenty of new photography locations to find due to a tangle of public footpaths leading through the county’s countryside, allowing you freedom to wander and photograph as you please.
4) It’s small
Bigger isn’t always better! One of the great advantages of being England’s smallest county is that you can make your way around quite easily covering a large portion of what the county has to offer in a relatively short period of time. Whether you chose to walk, cycle or drive, the county’s diminutive nature makes it simple and time effective to navigate your way around.
5) Rutland Water
Nestled amongst 4,200 acres of sprawling countryside lies the beautiful rutland water. Without doubt the county’s most popular attraction and with good reason, as the beautiful surroundings provide the perfect setting for you to admire the views whilst taking a stroll or cycling around one of its many trails. The trails are pet friendly for those who are looking to bring their dogs along with them and are very family oriented with a children’s play area and mini golf helping to keep the children occupied. Watersport’s provide fun and entertainment for those who are feeling a little more adventurous, but most importantly there is a real, genuine, welcoming atmosphere as the locals are friendly, making it not only a great place to walk and cycle, but equally enjoyable to just park yourself and relax in your own quiet spot with a book in hand whilst admiring the scenery.
6) It turns into a winter wonderland when it snows
Although beautiful at any time of year, Rutland transforms into a winter wonderland during those very few occasions that we experience snow here in the UK. Villages and countryside become even more enchanting under a blanket of snow adding a dash of fairytale magic to an already charming personality. Countryside pubs with open log fires become extremely inviting, whilst walks become a more tranquil experience as a silence washes over and provides a real serenity to accompany the beauty. It is also a great time for photography, as landscapes become even more photographic and pleasing on the eye when a white frosting covers rooftops and fields creating quite the fairytale setting.
7)The people are friendly
The locals are a friendly bunch! People are polite and only too willing to engage in conversation or to wish you a good morning. The trails around the county are also dog friendly, so you can take your dog with you and expect to see some fellow dog walkers along the way. Cycling is also another popular past time in Rutland, so if you want to cycle your way around then you will find yourself in good company and will likely meet some friendly and hospitable people along the way.
The easiest way to reach and travel around the area is by car. Most trails will have villages, or verges where you can park before embarking upon your hike. The County is also serviced by one train station in the town of Oakham, whilst the neighbouring county of Lincolnshire also has a station in the town of Stamford that is close by.
4 things that you might not have known about Rutland
1)Rutland is the smallest county in England and the fourth smallest in the UK. Its greatest length north to south is 18 miles and its greatest breadth east to west is 17 miles. Because of this, the Latin motto Multum in Parvo (much in little) was adopted by the county council in 1950.
2)Rutland Water is the largest man-made lake in the UK.
3)Rutland gained independence as a county in 1997 after being part of Leicestershire since 1974.
4)Whitwell, a village in Rutland with approximately 50 residents claims to be twinned with Paris, France. In 1980, the village wrote to the Mayor of Paris proposing a twin agreement with a short deadline for a response. As no answer arrived from the Mayor’s office by the set date, the village declared itself to be twinned and erected road signs stating so.
So those are my 7 reasons to visit Rutland-I hope that you enjoyed reading along. Have you ever visited Rutland before? Let me know in the comments.
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