Rutland may be England’s smallest county The Best Date but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked when it comes to finding a great place to enjoy a variety of romantic dates.
Plus, from a dating point of view, Rutland may very well be a promising place to meet somebody new – if you are a single lady, that is.
This tiny county is the most male-dominated place in ChinaLove.com the country, according to recent census figures. According to The Daily Telegraph, the findings show there are significantly fewer women than men in Rutland – a striking 40% female to 60% male aged 20 to 30. It may well be the case this is a trend echoed throughout the age groups.
So, what else has the county got going for it?
Boasting the title of England’s smallest county, it has a total area of just 147 square miles, so it’s not hard to travel around the county to explore the highlights it has to offer. Not to mention the fact that it borders Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, and Northamptonshire so offers up an easily accessible slice of rural charm to people living in nearby towns and cities.
It’s also home to Ignite Dating’s regional office so our expert matchmaking team are well-placed to share their pearls of wisdom on the best places to date in the area! So, whether you’ve just started seeing somebody new, or you’re looking to mix up your dating journey with your significant other, here are our top date ideas to take advantage of in the county.
The jewel in Rutland’s crown is Rutland Water, a reservoir surrounded by 4,200 acres of open countryside. It’s a beautiful place for a romantic stroll and picnic while admiring the spectacular views over the calm water. If you can, grab some of the excellent fare on offer from the nearby artisan Hambleton Bakery. If you are feeling active, then hire a bike and enjoy a short scenic route or take on the full 23-mile lap of the reservoir.
In the warmer months, it’s the perfect place to try your hand at a range of water sports by hiring a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. Or you could break the ice with an adrenalin-filled date at the Aqua Park, an inflatable obstacle course with thrill slides, free falls, and trampolining available on the water. With so many possibilities for a range of interests, it’s easy to see why Rutland Water is a dating favourite amongst locals and visitors alike.
However, if you enjoy getting off the beaten path, Rutland is the perfect place to explore tiny villages, little known tracks, and country lanes. There are so many areas to discover on a romantic stroll, with the benefit of finding plenty of traditional village pubs along the way for a bite to eat and a well-deserved drink.
Looking for a more sedate al fresco experience? The Tolethorpe Hall open air theatre is home to the Stamford Shakespeare Company, which offers a selection of plays throughout the summer months, all set against a stunning and historical backdrop.
Spa and Stay – The Best Date
If you are at the mini-break Stage of Your Relationship, Hambleton Hall offers. A luxury country hotel break on the peninsula above Rutland Water. Complete with Michelin-starred cuisine and stunning views from its outdoor pool.
OK, admittedly it’s just across the border but Stapleford Park is the perfect place to unwind and a great base for exploring Rutland. The country house and 500-acre estate offer luxurious rooms, suites, and cottages with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Spa treatments are offered in the 1889 Baroque Revival Stable Block with an indoor pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi found in the main house.
Eat and drink
You’re spoilt for choice for romantic date dining spots across the county. The charming market town of Oakham has Otters Fine Foods. Which is a great place to graze over a cheese and charcuterie platter for a casual lunchtime date. If traditional pubs are more your thing. Then Oakham boasts its own brewer. The Grainstore Brewery with a pub to sample the fruits of its labour. The Olive Branch is a village pub that is well worth a visit. Not to mention it was recently named UK Pub of the Year 2023 by the Good Pub Guide. The venue focuses on locally sourced and seasonal produce with daily changing menus featuring. Ingredients grown in their own pub paddock. Over in Uppingham there’s the quintessential traditional pub. The Vaults and fine dining with an extensive wine offering at The Lake Isle.
Visit nearby Stamford – The Best Date
Again, it may be just over the border but the historic town of Stamford is well worth. A look for a romantic day out. Home to the famous Burghley House. A grand sixteenth century English country home. There’s plenty to enjoy in the beautiful Sculpture Garden. But be sure to leave time for a cream tea in the stunning Orangery before you leave. The George Hotel is another amazing building. Situated in the centre of the town, offering a range of hospitality. From Champagne outside under. The heated canopy to fine dining in the Oak Room Restaurant. The Slanted Door restaurant and cocktail bar is a recent addition to Stamford’s thriving nightlife and it’s well worth bagging. A table on the balcony overlooking the pretty Stamford Meadows if you can.