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Rutland – “much in little”
Rutland has often been called the smallest normal unitary authority in England, and in respect of the number of people living there, this is true. However, in terms of area, the City of London is actually smaller. As far as modern ceremonial counties are concerned, the Isle of Wight, City of London and City of Bristol are all smaller.
The middle of Rutland is dominated by a large artificial lake called Rutland Water (previously known as the Empingham Reservoir. In 1971, when construction on Rutland Water began, it was Europe’s largest man-made lake. It took 4 years to complete the construction and another 4 years to fill it. It has now become Rutland’s most popular tourist attraction.
The small workforce in Rutland is mainly employed in Public Administration, Distribution, Hotels and Restaurants.
Reasons to visit Rutland
Due to the county’s size, it doesn’t offer the same level of interest that others do, yet it is still a popular destination for tourists.
Some of the attractions available include Barnsdale Gardens, which began as a ploughed field in 1983 and developed by Geoff Hamilton (who appeared on the BBC television series Gardeners’ World). The garden now covers an area of 8 acres and features a bust of Geoff Hamilton, who died in 1996.
Other places of interest are Lyddington Bede House, Oakham Castle (which looks more like a house than a castle) and the great hall of Oakham Castle, which dates to around 1180 AD (It is the earliest hall of any English castle surviving so completely). There is also the Rutland County Museum, Rutland Railway Museum and of course Rutland Water.
Entertainment and Dining in Rutland
Entertainment may be a little limited in Rutland, but can be found if that is what you are looking for. Restaurants include Hambleton Hall Restaurant, The Olive Branch and Barnsdale Hall.
Accommodation in Rutland
Rutland offers Bed and Breakfast, Pubs & Inns, Self-Catering Cottages and hotels like the Barnsdale Hall Hotel and Country Club, Greetham Valley Hotel and the Normanton Park Hotel.