Just short drive from Oakham is the isolated and peaceful hamlet of Hambleton. It sits on a peninsula, almost completely surrounded by Rutland Water, Britain's largest man-made lake. Originally the area was made up of three parts: Upper, Lower and Middle Hambleton. However, in 1976 the lower part was flooded to form part of the reservoir. The two remaining areas are now simply known as Hambleton. The original settlement is said to have been a regional seat of Anglo Saxon Royalty.
Rutland Water © Travel About Britain
Rutland Water is an internationally famous nature reserve - managed by Anglian Water and the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust.
The best views of Rutland Water can be enjoyed from the Hambleton Peninsula. A circular walk (and cycle path) can be followed, which traces the route around the shoreline and back; a distance of about 3 miles. The Finch's Arms, next to the parish church, is an ideal starting and finishing point. This fine stone-built 19th-c inn serves refreshments, food and drinks and also provides overnight accommodation. The rest of Rutland Water is a great place for walking, with miles of tranquil level footpaths, affording uninterrupted views over the water and surrounding countryside. For those wanting a longer stroll the Rutland Round is a popular long-distance trail, covering a 65 mile circular route around the county of Rutland.
The church of St Andrews has a 13th-c tower with a low-broach spire, very characteristic of Rutland architecture. The church was restored in the 19th-c but still retains its original Norman doorway. Nearby is a 16th-c Priest's House and The Old Hall, by the water's edge, is a Jacobean building of 1611. The Old Post & Telegraph Office, on the Oakham Road, has an unusual art-nouveau clock (1898) mounted on the gable wall outside and is currently run as a guesthouse.
One of the finest hotels in Rutland is Hambleton Hall, which stands overlooking the water. A Victorian remnant from the county's foxhunting years, it has been tastefully converted, with a fine garden and picture perfect views over the reservoir. The hall used to be the home of Mrs Astley-Cooper, a friend of Noel Coward, who wrote "Hay Fever" whilst staying as a guest.