Perhaps best known for its pretty villages including Oakham and Uppingham, Rutland is a dream come true for visiting history fans. This pretty part of the UK is largely rural, combining enchanting landscapes with charming communities, heritage style and an abundance of warm welcomes. Amongst the local attractions, you have to take the opportunity to explore the regional heritage. A 12th century castle at Oakham showcasing superb Norman domestic architecture, Roman and Anglo-Saxon settlements, and Rutland County Museum showcasing small displays of local history - are all part of the experience. There's also the 900-year-old Rockingham Castle with its gardens and tea rooms are always a crowd pleaser, while the tranquil reservoir at Rutland Water is a dream for sailing and fishing. The area is also home to some of the UK's most prestigious country house hotels, not least Hambleton Hall. A five-star hotel with a Michelin-star restaurant it's perfect for romantic retreats. Beech House & Olive Branch at Clipsham takes the concept of a B&B to a whole new level, and Lake Isle in Uppingham is a quaint restaurant-with-rooms in the heart of the pretty market town.