RUTLAND & SURROUNDING AREAS
Preston is situated in the East Midlands county of Rutland , a small but beautiful and unsung area waiting to be discovered. Nestling in Middle England one hundred miles north of London , it is bounded on the west and north by Leicestershire, northeast by Lincolnshire , and southeast by Northamptonshire. The historic town of Stamford is just over the border in a protruding part of Lincolnshire .
Autumn Cottage therefore makes a perfect base from which to explore the immediate area as well as treasures such as Cambridge and Lincoln plus major cities such Nottingham , Leicester and Peterborough , all of which are within a 60 minute drive.
Rutland 's greatest length north to south is only 18 miles; greatest breadth east to west, 17 miles. It is the smallest (in terms of area) normal unitary authority in mainland England (only the City of London is smaller!).
The two principal towns are Oakham, the county town, and Uppingham, whilst there are many quintessentially English villages to be enjoyed. At the centre of the county is a vast and picturesque reservoir, Rutland Water, which is an important nature reserve, serving as an over-wintering site for wildfowl and a breeding site for Ospreys. Rutland Water is one of the largest man-made reservoirs in Europe , covering some 1225 hectares(3100 acres). Completed in 1977, the reservoir is in the centre of Rutland and has a 25-mile circular track for walking and cycling.
Oakham and Uppingham are charming market towns, famous for their public schools. Oakham hosts its own summer festival. Melton Mowbray including its renowned Pork Pie shop lies just to the north of the county.
Stamford is a beautiful historic town with marvellous shops and on its outskirts boasts the jewel of Burghley House home to the Burghley Horse Trials (7-10 September 2006) and a popular location for filming. The Stamford Shakespeare Festival (5 June-2 September 2006 - The Recruiting Officer, Coriolanus, A Midsummer Night's Dream) is held annually at Tolethorpe Hall where a picnic on the lawns, a stroll around the lawn, pond and flowerbeds and shrubberies all add to the magic of a visit to Rutland Open Air Theatre.
Rockingham Motor Speedway and Rockingham Castle lie just 25 minutes drive south. The Stunning Belvoir Castle stands splendidly in the Vale of Belvoir just 25 minutes drive to the north.
There are 3 golf courses within a short drive, including the excellent Greetham Valley.