Rutland may be England’s smallest county but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in gorgeous villages and some totally beautiful photograph opportunities! Its largest town has fewer than 11,000 (at the last census) and most of the county is comprised of rolling green pastures and fields with charming villages dotted at every fold in the landscape. If you’re visiting Rutland then head to these spots for dreamy shots to fill up your Insta feed.
1. The Nook
If you’ve searched Rutland on Instagram then you’ll probably recognise this cosy little cottage! It’s situated just off the village green in beautiful Exton (which is fuuuuuull of glorious homes 😍). I’m in love with this thatched roof and the ever so slightly overgrown flowers lining the pathway up to the doorway. Although I do wonder how hard it is to look after that thatched roof!
2. The Buttercross
This is just a gorgeous spot in Oakham that feels like a little step back into history as you see the beautiful Oakham School building on the left. It looks like you’ve stepped amongst the dreaming spires of Oxford or Cambridge. On the right is the Buttercross which was a place where people from surrounding villages would come to buy local produce such as milk and butter.
3. Normanton Church
Normanton Church is one of the most striking images of Rutland Water and seeing it in person is even more surreal than any image shows. The village of Rutland was mostly flooded in the creation of the reservoir but when locals realised it would destroy the church an appeal was created to save it and the bottom half of the church was filled in. The result is a church that looks like it floats on the water in a fairytale setting.
4. Hambleton Cottage
Have you ever watched the Christmas film The Holiday? If you have, this isn’t the cottage from the film but it does look a lot like it! Especially with all of the roses around the trellis. A photo of this cottage is what drew me to Rutland in the first place although most other Instagram shots appear to be later in the seasons and the garden considerably less overgrown! Either way it’s wonderfully pretty.
5. Cottesmore Cottage
Cottesmore is the third biggest settlement in Rutland but retains an entirely village feel. The village church is hidden amongst winding roads and pathways and there is an original tithe barn (complete with lots of pigeon holes for roosting). This lovely little cottage is perfect for a snap because it really looks as though it’s from a children’s fairy tale book with its thatched roof and white wash. For some reason it’s reminding me a little of a toadstool house or the distinctive gnome houses of Alberobello in Italy!
6. Church Street
The view down Church Street in Empingham towards the village’s church is an enchanting spot and the bright pink and yellow flowers frame this Instagram shot perfectly! There are a number of pretty little cottages down this street so look out for your favourite and try and spot the ones with names such as The Old Bakery and The Old Post Office!
7. Wing Cottage
I was surprised to find one of the villages I found when scrolling through google maps was called Wing and was intrigued to stop and have a look around! There are plenty of back streets to explore and lots of wonderful spots to take some lovely cottage doorway photos but my fave spot was this home towards the bottom of the village (on Bottom Street) and it has the moooost vibrant colours!
8. Blacksmith’s Lane
Blacksmith’s Lane is a lovely row of stone cottages with little slate roofs that’s near the centre of Exton and its village green! Bizarrely, it was only after returning from Rutland I discovered that this spot is actually right outside my Aunt & Uncle’s first house!
9. Edith Weston Cottages
Edith Weston is a peaceful village just along the road from the South Shore car park of Rutland Water. It’s named after Edith, the queen of Edward the Confessor and has a beautiful church as well as a gorgeous row of cottages set nearby the Well Cross. The cottages in this image really showcase how different cottage styles are just as beautiful as each other and how pretty are the dashes of pink from the roses 💗
10. Dean’s Street
I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when I came upon Dean’s Street in Oakham – it’s literally like a dreamy little London mews street with the cobble stones, brightly coloured facades and the plants outside 🥰
11. Pudding Bag Lane
The amusingly named Pudding Bag Lane is located in Exton. Yes I know! Another Exton spot but truly this village is so gorgeous! As I was photographing another street in this village a car drove up and the window rolled down. I must admit I was worried they were about to tell me off but in fact the driver suggested I move to another street!
I was not disappointed when I turned down onto Pudding Bag Lane – it was the chocolate box street my unexpected guide had promised 😍 the dreamy greenery complements the golden hued cottages with their nearly thatched tops. The pop of colour from the summer flowers just accentuates the details.
12. Hambleton Rose Cottage
I don’t know whether this cute little building is called Rose Cottage or not but it certainly should be with all of the colourful blooms that decorate the golden stones. From white to red to pink they all smelled divine proving that Summer is the best time to visit this dreamy little county! You can find this on the way into Hambleton.
If you’re thinking about road tripping through Rutland and need some stops then check out my blog post 7 stops to make on a road trip through Rutland and click the link in the image below!