Royal Visit to Rutland Water

Royal Visit to Rutland Water

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh’s Historic Visit to Rutland

On Tuesday14 May 2024 the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh made their inaugural visit to Rutland, a historic event centered around the unveiling of England’s first permanent memorial to Queen Elizabeth II. This visit not only honored the late Queen but also celebrated Rutland’s rich heritage.

A Royal Welcome at Oakham Castle

The Duke and Duchess began their tour at Oakham Castle, renowned as the oldest court in England and a prime example of Norman domestic architecture. Here, they presented a unique double horseshoe, joining a distinguished collection in the Great Hall. This tradition, dating back centuries, includes contributions from past monarchs like Queen Elizabeth II in 1967 and King Charles III in 2003.

Unveiling the Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Statue

After their castle tour, the royal couple strolled through Oakham’s historic marketplace to the County Library Gardens, where they became the first members of the Royal Family to view the newly unveiled bronze statue of Queen Elizabeth II. Sculpted by Hywel Pratley, the 7 foot statue, which features the late Queen alongside three corgis, took 14 months and cost £125,000 (largely funded by donations) to complete.

A Scenic Journey to Rutland Water

The visit continued with a trip to Rutland Water. The Duke and Duchess enjoyed a cruise on the Rutland Belle, a popular boat offering guided excursions around the reservoir and nature reserve, including osprey sightings. Their excursion included an exquisite eight-course meal prepared by the acclaimed Olive Branch restaurant.

Retrace the Royal Steps in Rutland

Start Your Journey at Oakham Castle

Begin your visit at Oakham Castle to see the newly presented double horseshoe from Prince Edward and Sophie. Explore this historic site and its collection of ceremonial horseshoes.

Marvel at the Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Statue

Next, take a walk through Oakham’s historic marketplace to the County Library Gardens. Admire the 7-foot bronze statue of Queen Elizabeth II, complete with three corgis, a testament to her enduring legacy.

Experience Rutland Water

Conclude your tour with a scenic cruise on the Rutland Belle at Rutland Water. Enjoy the beautiful views and, if you’re lucky, spot the ospreys nesting in the area. You can board the Belle on the North Shore at Whitwell, or the South Shore at Normanton.

Dine at the Olive Branch, Clipsham

Cap off your visit with a meal at the Olive Branch in Clipsham, the very establishment that provided the delectable local fare for the Duke and Duchess during their visit.

Following the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh’s itinerary offers a unique way to experience the historic charm and natural beauty of Rutland, making for an unforgettable day out in England’s smallest county.

Stay in the Heart of Rutland

For those wishing to explore all that Rutland has to offer, why not consider staying at Puddle Cottage or Snowdrop Cottage in Edith Weston, a short drive from Oakham. These charming 4-star holiday cottages are within walking distance of Rutland Water and close to the market towns of Oakham, Uppingham, and Stamford. Both cottages feature modern amenities while retaining the charm of old cottages. Features include exposed beams, stone, and an open fire. We warmly welcome dogs at Puddle Cottage.

For more details on availability and tariffs, visit our website. We look forward to welcoming you to enjoy the natural beauty of Rutland Water and the comfort of our cottages.