Experiences & Hobbies

Learn Something New through Workshops, Courses and Experience Days in Rutland


With a huge selection of skills and activities to train in throughout the year, your next Rutland break could guarantee a chance to learn something new and try something different.  Barnsdale Gardens and Rutland Water Nature Reserve offer a year round calendar of events, so plan your next trip to Rutland and choose from watercolour painting to willow weaving, or even try your hand at old countryside skills such as dry stone walling.


Experience Days

Watersports on Rutland Water

Rutland Watersports offer sessions for sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing or stand up paddle boarding, from beginner to expert.

Or for an unforgettable 3 hour sailing experience on one of Europe’s great lakes, Rutland Sailing Club offers the chance for individuals and small groups to have a taster session in a Dinghy or catamaran with an instructor. Prices from £40per person.


Learn to Fly Fish

Rutland Water Fishing Lodge offers everything you need; boats, permits, tackle and tuition by experienced instructors, and is ideally situated under the Waterside Cafe at Normanton! Either head over for some advice, or book onto one of their full day beginners courses, getting to grips with casting techniques, trout behaviour, tackle and safely.

Driver Experiences: Steam Train & Diggers

If you’ve been a fan of the Railway Children or Thomas the Tank Engine and always harboured a dream to be at the helm of a steam train, then it’s time to take a trip to Rocks by Rail: The Living Ironstone Museum (formerly Rutland Railway Museum). You certainly won’t be hitting the buffers with this experience as it’s full steam ahead for an exciting day out!

Take the controls of a vintage Ruston Bucyrus 22RB diesel face shovel to simulate digging ore from the quarry face and loading it into the iron ore wagons on the train.  Learn to fire up and manage the boiler of the locomotive and make sure there’s enough steam before taking the controls of an historic engine to propel the wagons up to the quarry and shunt them onwards. This fun packed day out makes a great gift experience or a special gift for Dad!


Workshops and Courses

Hoggy’s Grill: BBQ Academy and pop up restaurant run by the former England cricketer at Rutland Nursery, offering courses including ‘3 course gourmet’ ‘veggie extravaganza’ and providing a great fun environment making an experience to remember.

Tresillian House in Melton Mowbray also have a huge variety of opportunities, from Willow Sculpture to all aspects of Gardening, from designing and making your own jewellery to learning a new language.

Rosie Makes Jam offers a wide range of hands-on courses that will give you the know how on making jams, preserves, chutney.

The Rutland Cookery School offers a delicious menu of courses running throughout the year.  Enjoy expert advice, hands on learning all set in a friendly, fun atmosphere.

Plus (as mentioned in the intro) Barnsdale Gardens and Rutland Water Nature Reserve  never fail to offer an excellent programme throughout the year.

Group Experiences

Enjoy some group activities in Rutland, great for team building or having a laugh with friends and family.

Aqua Park Rutland; Don a wetsuit and jump into Rutland Water during the summer months to experience one of the larges aqua parks in England. With obstacles including the Rutland Mammoth jump and the Rutland Sea Dragon, it’s great fun.

One Way Out Escape Rooms; Great for any time of year, the choice of rooms in Oakham will require your thinking caps to solve the puzzles and beat the clock – this is the best value escape room in the UK and has been cleverly designed by an ex-science teacher.

Nordic Walk It!; organise a group session of Nordic walking, an enhanced walking technique that uses poles to exercise your upper body as well as your legs giving a full body, low impact workout, promoting good posture, muscle tone and flow of movement. A great way to enjoy our beautiful countryside!

And, or course, there’s the range of golf courses in the county to satisfy newbies and experienced golfers. Rutland Water Golf Course has fantastic views of the water and Greetham Valley enjoys two championship courses in rolling countryside. Both also offer par three courses, driving range and fantastic restaurant.


Horse Riding Experiences

Enjoy the stunning Rutland countryside riding through a patchwork quilt of fields and bridleways on horseback. From half hour lessons, to two hour hacking experiences, or even whole day rides – enjoy a safe, affordable, horse riding experience with fully qualified instructors and expert guidance on hand. Children’s Pony Days, which combine a mix of riding and stable management, are held throughout the year and are always hugely popular.

Airsoft Rutland

Test your skills at The Gaol, an urban Airsoft experience – a full day of strategy and team building starts at 08:00hrs at the old HMP Ashwell Prison site.  After a full safety briefing, an intense Airsoft battle commences.  Realistic scenarios involving the old prison wing, office space and open air situations bring an adrenaline fuelled day at one of the best Airsoft experiences in the UK!

Mallard Point Vineyard & Distillery

Mallard Point is a family-run Single Estate Vineyard and Distillery located in Essendine, Rutland, offering tours and creating a range of local gins and still and sparkling wines.

Rocks by Rail: The Living Ironstone Museum

Rocks by Rail is an outdoor living museum covering 19 acres of reclaimed quarry and railway tracks to offer a journey back in time. Situated 4 miles from Oakham, explore fascinating nature trails, take a train trip, drive a classic loco and tour the workshop.

Price from £4

Nene Valley Railway

Experience the thrill of riding a steam engine, learn about the railway’s history and explore the picturesque surroundings of the Nene Valley area.

Rutland Water Golf Course

Play the most outstanding golf in Rutland! With Panoramic views of Rutland Water you have a choice of the challenging 18 hole Championship Normanton course or nine par 3 holes on the Hambleton course.

Ganders Goat Walking

Ganders Goat pride themselves on their green focused farming and production methods. Come Goat Walking on the farm, where they produce a range of Soap and Ice Cream from the goat milk.


A unique small business with a highly personalised approach to inspiring remarkable sporting & fitness achievements at all levels of ability from people with ‘real lives’. Operating from a rural setting, Inspire2Tri offers fitness classes, coaching & training for anyone aspiring to reach a fitness or athletic goal.

Stapleford Estate

The Stapleford Estate is a large rural estate on the borders of Leicestershire and Rutland, providing an exceptional location for events and rural activities.

Rutland Belle

A cruise aboard the Rutland Belle allows you to enjoy the sights of Rutland Water whilst listening to commentary highlighting points of interest.
The Rutland Belle can carry up to 110 passengers, with 60 places in the under-cover saloons. Drinks are available on board.

Price from £7

The Rutland Vineyard

A single site vineyard in between two valleys located on Jurassic limestone soil.

Hoggy's Grill: Cookery School

Rutland Water Garden Nursery Ltd, Lyndon Road, Oakham, UK

Mallard Point Vineyard & Distillery

Mallard Point, Bourne Road, Essendine, Stamford, UK

Rocks by Rail: The Living Ironstone Museum

Cottesmore Iron Ore Mines Sidings, Ashwell Road, Cottesmore, Rutland, LE15 7FF, United Kingdom

Nene Valley Railway

Nene Valley Railway - (Wansford, Station), Stibbington, Peterborough, UK

Rutland Water Golf Course

Unnamed Road, Oakham LE15 8TU, UK

Ganders Goat Walking

Ganders Goat, Cottingham, UK


St Mary's Rd, Manton, Oakham, UK

Stapleford Estate

Stapleford Farms, Holygate Road, Stapleford, Melton Mowbray, UK

Rutland Belle

Whitwell Harbou, Rutland Wate, Whitwell, Rutland, LE15 8BL, United Kingdom

The Rutland Vineyard

JC9W+RF Stamford, UK