Rutland

Situated in the heart of England, a lovely way to enjoy all the comforts of home while on holiday is at to stay in a Rutland holiday cottage. The smallest English county, but one that has a great rural and pastoral heart, with fishing, golfing and water-sports providing attractions not to be resisted. The towns of Oakham and Uppingham are found in Rutland, both filled with traces of past inhabitants, such as the towering Norman Castle in Oakham. Take a day trip to Oakham while passing by its many landmarks, and later find yourself a cosy pub and let the hours roll lazily by. For a traditional weekly market, be sure to visit Uppingham on a Friday, also taking the time to wind through its lovely streets and nosy through its selection of speciality, antique and independent shops. Sip tea in a tearoom with your partner, and later pick an art gallery to enjoy local work. Bird watchers are catered for in the two nature reserves on Rutland Water, and horticulturalists will be delighted with the many gardens to be visited, especially Barnsdale Gardens. And when you are hungry and ready to eat, numerous pubs will offer you meals using locally sourced produce - there are even two Michelin-starred restaurants to be found.

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Renting a self catering property in Rutland makes for a perfect base from which to truly delve into this county. If you are itching for some water sports, make your way to the centre of Rutland, where Rutland Water lies – a stunning water reservoir which as a track running around it, ideal for walking or cycling. However, you can also sail in the waters, or hop on a cruiser and enjoy the sights. Fishing is also a possibility, and the water is home to many species of fish, such as rainbow trout. Find out more about local history by visiting the Rutland Railway Museum or the County Museum, both great fun for curious kids and grown-ups. Once here, be sure to also visit the Paris of Exton, where the Barnsdale Gardens (as seen on the BBC programme, ‘Gardener’s World’) are, and makes for a most gorgeous summer’s day out.