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Insider’s Guide to Uppingham

Thinking of planning an overnighter or a weekend away? You don't need to venture far to have fun. Here is your Muddy guide to the best places to eat, drink, stay and play in Uppingham, Rutland.

Rutland maybe England’s smallest county but it’s home to some of the prettiest towns this side of the East Midlands.

Namely, Uppingham. This small but beautiful market town is charming and compact filled with old stone buildings, period properties, a pretty High Street and overwhelmingly friendly locals (some 6,000 of them).

Pic Credit: Discover Rutland

Make a beeline for these local favourites.

EAT / DRINK

Don Paddy’s

Slap-bang in the middle of the market place, this friendly cafe/brasserie/restaurant serves everything from coffee to cocktails. Need breakfast or brunch? They’ve got you covered and their current winter menu features a range of sharing dishes from gooey baked camembert to tantalising tapas boards plus, they also host great local events everything from music to open mic night.

The Marquess of Exeter

The rustic pub/restaurant in Lyddington is less than a 5 minute drive from the town. It serves delicious, locally-sourced fare. Warm yourself up in the bar by its cosy open log fires and leather sofas, before tucking into comforting and hearty food with a contemporary twist – think king prawn and smoked haddock risotto or wild mushroom, bok choi, cous cous falafels and truffle oil plus, the sharing dishes are really popular with locals.

STAY

The Falcon

In an enviable location in Uppingham’s historic Market Place, this 16th century coaching inn is everything you’d want from a hotel. Enjoy a boutique overnighter in rooms that come with luxury toiletries from The White Company, white fluffy robes and freshly baked biscuits. Don’t leave without enjoying a hearty breakfast here.

The Old Noel Arms

For something a little quirkier, the Barn at The Old Noel Arms in Ridlington is a good spot. It has one double bedroom and one twin mezzanine. Incredibly quiet and cosy and just a few minutes walk from Uppingham.

SHOP

Art mecca – Goldmark Gallery

It’s hard to believe this gallery is a family-run business – not only that, they’ve been going for more than 40 years making it an Uppingham institution plus, they have everything from Warhol’s famous Marilyn Monroe screen prints to etchings and lithographs from Picasso. So much more than just an art gallery, they also provide a top-notch framing service and keep your eye on their website for up-and-coming events. Main exhibitions take place on the ground and first floor with other work throughout, plus they sell a range of intricate and impressive ceramics too.

Treat yourself – Made Gallery

We love to mooch around arty gift shops and this one ticks all the boxes plus the location couldn’t be better – right in the heart of town and adjacent to the Market Place (2 High Street East). It’s the perfect place to get a fix of pretty pieces of jewellery and an eclectic mix of edgy art, ceramics, prints, cards, wooden planters and more with an emphasis on everything being handmade by different creative makers.

Spoil yourself – LolaWood

This family-run business specialises in decorative items for your home and garden that you won’t necessarily find in the bigger high street stores and they’ve just moved to a beautiful grade 2 listed building so there’s even more of a reason to pop in. They’re all about relaxed, cosy living with elegant and stylish furniture, home accents, lighting, mirrors and gifts – everything from vases to mirrors, from the quirky to the downright cute.

 And relax – Organic Ritual Beauty

There’s something really special about this place and you sense it from the moment you walk through the doors. The charming organic beauty salon is housed in a wonderfully old building that dates back to 1750s. They believe you can’t serve from an ’empty vessel’ and are pretty much on hand to ‘fill’ you up with their no nasties products. If you’re in town, be sure to book a massage or an organic facial. Read our review here.

QUIRKY

If you’ve got the kids in tow, explore Uppingham on a self-guided murder mystery themed Treasure Trail. As you follow the trail route, solve the clues set on existing buildings and monuments to eliminate the suspects to discover ‘whodunit.’ The Trail starts and finishes in the Market Square and lasts just over an hour making it easy and fun jaunt for the mudlets.

The local arts scene is small and mainly centred around Uppingham Theatre. Part of the prestigious Uppingham School, the theatre is one of the largest privately owned theatres in the country and next month are putting on Scrooge The Musical.

Each year the town hosts a number of events including the Stilton Cheese Classic Car Run in April, the Uppingham Feast and the Fete and Flower Show in Summer. On the last Wednesday in November (27 this year) the Market Place hosts the Fatstock Show – a unique tradition still continued in the town. Rutland farmers get together and proudly show off the best of their stock to encourage people to buy British and support the local industry.

Pic Credit: Discover Rutland

Tie your visit in with Christmas in Uppingham on 5 Dec. The local celebration is very much a family event with lots of food and wine, festive spirit and late night shopping and kicks off from 5.30pm.

 Don’t overlook Eyebrook Reservoir. Built between 1937 and 1940 by damming the Eye Brook, the site now covers around 200 hectares. Much quieter than Rutland Water, but worth visiting because of the number of birds that visit.

WALKS

Explore Uppingham with a little help from the ‘Heritage Trail’.  Download a map here to follow the easy trail which starts in Market Square and covers all the main sites of the town including Uppingham School, Orange Street and Hopes Yard.

PARKING

Park up at North East Street where you’ll find a long and short stay car park starting from £1 for 2 hours. There’s also parking in the Market Place and on High street for a maximum of two hours. Other car parks include Mercers Yard – LE15 9QL next to Falcon or Queen Street – LE15 9QR behind Library. Up to 3 hours £2.50. You can also find more general information on Uppingham at Discover Rutland.

What’s your fave spot in Uppingham? Let me know in the comment section below.

Kx

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