Roam around Rutland
As you might expect from England’s most rural county, Rutland has some great walks, whether you are a serious “fully equipped, all weather walker” ready to tackle the Viking Way, the Hereward Way or Macmillan Way, or more of a short ‘stroller’. The rolling countryside changes from gold to brown after harvest, ready for winter sowing of next years crop; the trees, and there are many, turn from gold and russet to bare branches – like black lace against the autumn and winter skies. Beautiful stone built villages usually have a good pub, so aim to start and finish your walk at one of them.
The county’s oldest public house is the Blue Ball in Braunston, where a roaring fire and good food await you, after an enjoyable walk from Braunton’s ‘Rutland Walks’ leaflet, one of five in the series. You don’t need a leaflet to enjoy a stroll, close to the Olive Branch in Clipsham is the Yew Tree Walk a stunning avenue of sculptured trees, while the 16th century thatched pub, The Sun Inn, at Cottesmore, has a fascinating history relating to the nearby quarry.
The Horse & Jockey at Manton is a traditional country pub, close to Rutland Water, with plenty of parking for cars and bikes. The Fox and Hounds in beautiful Exton overlooks the village green and is a popular rendezvous for walkers as is The Kings Arms in the village of Wing which has had some notable residents in the past – go and investigate. Both Exton and Wing also benefit from a ‘Rutland Walks’ leaflet, each offering two circular routes to choose from. Another village worth seeking out is Lyddington, home to The Marquess of Exeter, a simple stroll through the village will provide you an encounter with one of Rutland’s most notable buildings, Lyddington Bede House.
If a stroll is more to your liking park in Uppingham’s Market Square visit the newly refurbished Falcon Hotel, a former coaching Inn or pop into Don Paddy’s bistro bar. Oakham’s Market Place has a deceptively spacious pub, The Lord Nelson, tucked into the corner close to the Castle and the ancient Butter Cross. Both towns are on bus routes and have leaflets for self-guided walks.
Rutland is easily accessible by road so go on and explore somewhere different. You are assured of a warm welcome in the hostelries of England’s smallest county, whether you call in for a drink, light lunch or a three course meal.