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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 what it lacks in size, it makes up for in pretty towns and villages. 

Case in point, Uppingham. This small but beautiful market town is charming and compact filled with delightful old stone buildings, period properties, a pretty High Street and some 6,000 friendly locals.

Pic Credit: Discover Rutland

Make a beeline for these local favourites.

EAT / DRINK

Don Paddy’s

Slap-bang in the middle of Market Place, this friendly cafe/brasserie/restaurant serves everything from coffee to cocktails. The outdoor seating spills into the square and is one of the best places to bag a table when the sun’s out. Their current summer menu is packed with bangin’ brunch dishes, brilliant bar bites, crowd-pleasing main dishes and a vegan menu. They also host great regular  events everything from music to open mic night.

The Lake Isle

Putting on your stilettos? Then head to this gourmet bolthole just further up on High Street. The 350-year-old building epitomises the charm and style of the historic market town itself but inside old charm meets modern decor. Food here is delicious – all created with a contemporary twist think beetroot poletna, grilled sea bass samphire pakora, lamb rack and scrumpets with lovage pesto – tummy rumbling yet? There’s a stupendous wine list, too. Among the choice of some 160 wines (and a selection of 20 champagnes) there’s a wonderful range of everything from Italian to South African wines. If you want to carry on the party, you don’t need to travel far as they’ve also got 12 bedrooms.

STAY

The Falcon

Perhaps the most iconic building in the town, this 16th century coaching inn is everything you’d want from a hotel plus, they won Best Boutique Stay in the Muddy awards 2021. Enjoy an overnighter in rooms that come with luxury toiletries from The White Company, white fluffy robes and freshly baked biscuits. Don’t leave without enjoying their hearty breakfast.

The Old Noel Arms

For something a little quirkier, the Barn at The Old Noel Arms in Ridlington (a village on top of a hill overlooking Rutland Water) is a hidden gem. It’s a 5 minute walk from Uppingham and comes with one double bedroom and one twin mezzanine both accessed by a spiral staircase. Incredibly quiet and cosy with great walks right outside the door. Uppingham is a 5 minute walk away. 

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. Staff here are caring and considerate and because they believe that you can’t serve from an ’empty vessel’ they’re 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 ankle-biters.

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 this month they’ve got comedy from Daliso Chaponda and Gary Delaney.

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 (not taking place this year) and the Fatstock Show in winter. This unique event is a traditional one where 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

Don’t overlook Eyebrook Reservoir. Built between 1937 and 1940 by damming the Eye Brook, the jewel hidden in one of the prettiest parts of England now covers around 200 hectares. Much quieter than Rutland Water, it’s still worth visiting and nature lovers will appreciate the wildlife and bursting wildflowers.

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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