The tiny county of Rutland has for many years been famous as the smallest county in England. Having had a spell as a district of the larger Leicestershire, it is now officially a county again in its own right.
A mere 15 miles long and 11 miles wide, Rutland is almost entirely rural, with only two towns, Oakham and Uppingham. Although it is so small, it contains the largest man-made lake in Europe, the lovely Rutland Water.
Oakham, the county town, is a pretty market town whose castle contains an amazing collection of giant horseshoes, given by visiting peers of the realm. It has an old and famous public school which was founded in 1584.
Uppingham, which is even smaller than Oakham, is another delightful market town with a church that is entered direct from the Market Place. The even more famous public school here was founded in the same year by the same man, Archdeacon Robert Johnson.
Villages in Rutland include Clipsham, which has a superb topiary avenue; Cottesmore, home of the famous Cottesmore Hunt; Ketton, where one of the many local stone quarries is situated; Market Overton, with Isaac Newton connections; and Wing, the proud possessor of a turf maze similar to the one at Saffron Walden.