Photo of Rutland

About Rutland

Quiet, peaceful Rutland is England's smallest historic county, a place for ramblers who like their unspoilt rural vistas dotted with historic houses and castles, and the occasional pretty village with an interesting museum, and a tea shop, or a pub. Most of the best places to stay in Rutland are picture-postcard perfect, with a backdrop of either green and pleasant vistas, a pretty market town, charming rural village, or a lovely landed pile. Our pick of the properties includes a country house hotel with michelin starred dining and a charming pub with rooms.

Rutland’s two old market towns, Oakham and Uppingham, are only six miles apart, but they still both have regular farmers markets. They also both boast charming high streets lined with little independent shops, cafes, and several very good pubs — Uppingham has a couple of galleries too. Its villages offer more of the same, differentiated by their local produce and pubs. All these local producers and markets have turned Rutland into something of a foodie county, and if you’re interested in tasting the region's delicacies, C Clipsham has a Michelin-recommeded pub, Exton has a modern British restaurant popular with foodies, and Hambleton Hall has a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Rutland is also home to Europe's largest man made lake, Rutland Water, Anglian Water's drinking water reservoir. As well as its practical uses, Rutland Water has become home to a vast array of wildlife, from fish, to waterfowl, to migrating birds: Rutland's Egleton Nature Reserve, on Rutland Water, is host to the annual British Birdwatching Fair. The lake is also a fantastic place for watersports of all ilks.

This pretty little county is a popular year round destination. So if you want to guarantee a room in one of the best places to stay in Rutland (plus a table in the restaurant!), you'll need to get organised and book well ahead.

The Best Places to Stay in Rutland

For foodies

  • Hambleton Hall is a late Victorian mansion turned luxurious country house hotel, perfectly positioned by Rutland Water, in the middle of the nature reserve. The Hall is set in 17 acres of picturesque land, including a south-facing terraced garden, tennis course and a pool. The rooms are pretty and refreshingly un-gimmicky — there’s no mini-bar, pillow menu or spa treatments — but there is lots of light and lovely views and personally run, quintessential luxury. But for many the highlight is the fabulous food to be discovered in the Michelin starred restaurant.

Best Pubs-with-Rooms

  • The Olive Branch is a Michelin recommended pub/restaurant-with-rooms, converted from a pretty Georgian house and a rustic country pub, in a neat stone village. The food is unpretentious, but delicious: the menu is packed with classics, and they grow a lot of what they serve onsite, or nearby. There are six rooms in the converted cottage, all individually decorated with a rustic country feel; our favourites offer roll-top baths and garden views.
  • The Fox and Hounds Hotel started life as a coaching inn in the 17th century, and is now a charming pub with three rooms. The location is picturesque, right on the green of pretty Exton. The pub downstairs is warm and welcoming, and there’s a very good modern British restaurant. Upstairs the rooms are warmly and elegantly decorated with a collection of antiques and unique pieces of furniture.

For Families

  • The Barnsdale Lodge Hotel is a pleasingly affordable, 46 room country house hotel, in pretty gardens. Each room is individually designed and decorated, offering an excellent choice of size and style. Family rooms offer a double with separate bunk room for the little ones. The restaurant is excellent, and very popular locally.

Prefer a Private Apartment or Cottage?

  • If you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • From London, the quickest route is probably a train from Kings Cross, travelling via Peterborough. A quick connection will get you to Oakham in just under an hour and a half. If you’re looking for the closest airport, it’s East Midlands Airport, which is about 50 minutes away by car or taxi, or around two hours away by rail.
  • If you want to hire a car we recommend you visit our online partner, Rentalcars.
  • Because so many people visit Rutland for Rutland Waters, the most popular time to visit is during the summer. Rutland hosts markets throughout the year, with additional foodie events in the summer, autumn and around Christmas. Rutland’s castles and manor houses are a year-round reason to visit — ideal attractions for a short break somewhere beautiful and peaceful.

Still not sure where to stay?


Monthly Weather in Rutland

Best Hotels in Rutland

  • The Olive Branch Rutland 6 rooms from £115

    Cooking classes  -  Kitchen masterclasses where you can work alongside the kitchen team and learn butchery and finish preparation skills
    Restaurant  -  Michelin recommended and County Dining Pub of the Year. Closed Sunday night to Wednesday
    Restaurant with rooms
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyDisabled access
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide

    Michelin recommended gourmet pub/restaurant of just six smartly refurbished rooms with a charming atmosphere in the middle of a small village in Rutland. See More

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  • Barnsdale Lodge Hotel Rutland 46 rooms from £125

    Country Escape  -  A pretty country house set in mature gardens and offering a fantastic restaurant and warm welcome.
    Great walks  -  Explore miles of walking trails that run through the picturesque countryside.
    Fishing  -  Fish for trout on Rutland Water, known to be some of the best in Europe.
    Sailing  -  Rutland Sailing School offers lessons on the scenic Rutland Water.
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking

    A charming country house in the picturesque Rutland countryside. Individually styled rooms are simply dressed with soft hues, crisp white linen and contemporary bathrooms. Expect a fantastic (and locally popular) restaurant, pretty gardens and a very warm welcome. See More

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  • Fox and Hounds Hotel EXTON, Rutland 4 rooms from £126

    Country Escape  -  A traditional country inn surrounded by glorious countryside.
    Great walks  -  Explore the miles of scenic walking trails starting straight from the property.
    Full of character
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyParking

    A small country hotel, a former 17th Century coaching inn, boasting a picturesque spot on the large green in the pretty village of Exton. Elegant rooms are warm and atmospheric with rich hues, antique pieces and open fireplaces. There's an excellent modern British restaurant too. See More

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  • Hambleton Hall Rutland 17 rooms from £195

    Garden  -  17 acre grounds
    Restaurant  -  Michelin star
    Lakeside  -  On Rutland Water, the largest manmade lake in Europe
    Restrictions on children  -  No young children allowed in the restaurant
    TennisRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyViews
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection, Relais & Chateaux

    Superbly run lakeside luxury country house hotel with no gimmicks but Michelin-star food, peace and comfort, along with plenty of outdoor activities on tap. Family friendly, an oasis of comfort. See More

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