• Home
  • Disconnect and Discover Rutland
Disconnect and Discover Rutland

Disconnect and Discover Rutland

Wedged between Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire is Rutland, home to rolling countryside, lakes and hiking and biking trails, making it a fabulous destination to reconnect with nature. 

August 16th, 2022

Wedged between Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire is Rutland, home to rolling countryside, lakes and hiking and biking trails, making it a fabulous destination to reconnect with nature. Whether you are looking to escape the everyday with your beau, disconnect with your girlfriends or get active as a family, Rutland is a fantastic location for a mini-break. Just two hours outside London, I took the opportunity to kick back and make the most of country living.

Clematis Cottages are part of Lodge Farm, located in the medieval hamlet of Aunby near Stamford. Situated on a hilltop, it’s enveloped by fields and forests and from the moment I arrive I feel myself relax. Stone outbuildings which are believed to date back to the eighteenth century have been sympathetically restored and tastefully converted into rental cottages, retaining many original features to provide luxury accommodation furnished in keeping with the building. I stayed in The Eco Barn, which was spacious and homely, incorporating many eco-friendly elements. It is split across two floors and the top floor, which has a large, dedicated lounge area offers the most amazing views of the countryside. With two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a generous sized kitchen and lounge area, it’s a beautiful base to retreat and unwind. The peace and tranquillity that surround the cottages bring instant zen to my stay. Owners, Kaye and Richard, grow all their own fruit and vegetables, and I arrive to a welcome package of fresh eggs, milk, and home-made jam. Richard is also an avid Beekeeper, and his honey is divine. Close to the market town of Stamford and not far from Burghley House and Belvoir Castle, the cottages are in a great location to explore the local area.

Rutland Water, a large man-made reservoir is the focal point of the county. Rutland Watersports offer a range of exhilarating activities, and the team are all knowledgeable, advising on the best activity to suit your goals. I opted for some kayaking to start followed by a bit of paddle boarding. I recently tried kayaking for the first time and loved it so was excited to get back on the water. It’s a brilliant way to switch off. The sun was beaming and the views around the lake were gorgeous. After an hour exploring, I hopped on a paddle board. I’d passed a couple of people effortlessly gliding along the water and after my kayaking success I thought I’d give it a whirl. This was not as easy as it looked, and I spent most of the time on my knees. I wobbled along for 15 minutes before my abs and arms gave up. You can also windsurf and sail, with an option to hire equipment. The team run courses, personal tuition and have an activity programme geared up for beginners through to seasoned sailors.

For those looking for a bit more action there’s a large inflatable Aqua Park on the site. Thrill-seekers can slip, slide and splash at one of the UK’s biggest inflatable outdoor water parks. The Aqua Park features the UK’s tallest obstacle: The Rutland Mammoth. Plummet from the giant slides or free fall from a staggering five metre drop. This Ninja Warrior style course is great fun and will test you to the limit, ideal for families and groups

You can also hire bikes and explore around the water, it’s pretty flat making it just right for a leisurely pedal.

After all the fun on the water I had worked up an appetite. Just 10 minutes from Clematis Cottages is The Olive Branch pub. Situated in the pretty village of Clipsham, this is more than a local pub. Their accolades include Michelin Pub of the Year, Winner of the Good Pub Guide UK Pub of the Year for 2021 and nominated as a Finalist in the GQ Food & Drinks Awards Pub of the Year 2021 and upon arrival it’s easy to see why.

The team are on the ball and friendly. After been shown to my table I am swiftly served drinks and given the low down on the menu. The outdoor space has been converted into a series of ‘garden party’ style gazebos for the summer season. Our tented table was awash with colour and detail. Gingham napkins, dainty flower vases and candles set the shabby chic vibe, while fairy lights, cushions and throws make it cosy and intimate.

The kitchen is overseen by Head Chef, Luke Holland and the menu is determined by the availability of homegrown, local produce. It’s not your usual pub fare, Holland has successfully combined a gastro menu with fine dining touches. I started with a flavoursome Braised ham hock served with heritage radish and perfectly balanced with a light, tasty apple and lovage velouté. The Olive Branch fish and chips are a firm favourite and it’s easy to see why. The haddock comes encased in an airy, crispy beer batter alongside triple cooked chunky chips with soft fluffy centres and a delicious homemade tartare sauce. The team regularly run masterclasses and tasting sessions. Inside the pub there’s a bottle shop for those looking to take the party home. The Olive Branch has successfully combined provenance and quality which is why snagging a table here isn’t easy. Book early to avoid disappointment.

For more information on where to stay and what to do visit Discover Rutland

Anji McGrandles

Anji McGrandles

Anji is our resident wellbeing coach and expert. She loves experiencing wellness destinations and checking out the latest wellness products, books and events.