Rutland is surrounded by stately homes with fascinating histories
Rutland is the ideal location to stay of you want to visit the undiscovered treasures at the heart of the countryhighlighted by Hidden England;
A short drive from Uppingham, Rockingham Castle was built by William the Conqueror and was a Royal residence for 450 years and is the best example of a Norman Castle in Britain. The predominantly Tudor building has architecture, furniture and works of art, including a remarkable collection of 20th century pictures and British history. Charles Dickens was a regular visitor to the Castle and based Chesney Wolds in Bleak House on Rockingham. Open from Easter, the Castle is still a family home and has been owned by the same family for 450 years. Click here to visit Rockingham Castle's website
Burghley House, in Stamford is a 20 minute drive from Oakham and well known as the largest and grandest house of the first Elizabethan Age. There are 35 major rooms, and over 80 lesser rooms, not to mention halls, bathrooms and service areas. The lead roof alone extends to ¾ acre. Visitor facilities at Burghley include The Orangery Restaurant, which was designed by Capability Brown and features huge windows, providing amazing natural light and a delicious menu. Within the grounds, lies the Gardens of Surprise, incorporating the Historical Garden of Surprises and the Contemporary Sculpture Garden. There are also some wonderful walks to enjoy around the grounds. This magnificent property has been featured in many films, such as Pride & Prejudice, The Da Vinci Code and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. www.burghley.co.uk
Belvoir Castle, in nearby Leicestershire dates back to Norman times. Belvoir has been the ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland for one thousand years and is currently the family home of 11th Duke and Duchess and their five children. Belvoir, meaning 'beautiful view' in French is pronounced as 'beaver' due to centuries of the Ango-Saxons inability to master the french tongue! The castle offers the contrast of the grandure of the State Rooms to the 'below stairs life' of the Old Kitchen and Bakery. The School Room and Nursery allow children to experience lessons and games from Regency times. Open from March to October with free guided tours on weekdays at 12.30pm and 2.30pm. www.belvoircastle.com
Belton House near Grantham, managed by the National Trust, is a 17th Century county house featuring magnificent interiors, extensive parkland and beautiful gardens. A number of films have featured the House, including Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre and Tom Jones. There is also an Orangery, Italian Garden and Dutch Gardens to explore during a visit to Belton House.
Grimsthorpe Castle was built for a visit by Henry VIII in 1541, the imposing Castle sits amongst rolling countryside, surrounded by formal gardens, extensive woodland and a 50-acre lake.
Each of these grand historic buildings have lots of fun events on through the year and are dotted around the edge of Rutland, so why not stay in Rutland and visit them all?!