EXTON: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CHOCOLATE BOX VILLAGE IN RUTLAND
It seems that we are completely in love with Chocolate Box villages here in the UK and Exton in Rutland has to one of the best. examples of such a village. It most certainly delivers on stone facades, neat rows of thatched cottages trellised in the scent of fresh roses and peonies, lavender and honeysuckle. Exton is the apitamy of quintessentially English there can be.
On first glance, you could be mistaken thinking you’ve arrived in The Cotswolds but head a little further north, this complete beauty of a dwelling is nestled in the county of Rutland and will leave you completely speechless.
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How to get to Exton, Rutland
- Look at exactly where Exton is located on Google Maps
- Car: Rutland lies just off the A1, roughly halfway between London and York. The A47, from Leicester to Peterborough, also passes through the county allowing for easy access to either city.
- Train: Oakham, the county town of Rutland, has its own railway station providing visitors with excellent rail connections to the rest of the country. A taxi or car hire would need to be arranged to make the 5 miles (8 minutes) journey to Exton. Rail services are run by East Midlands Railway and CrossCountry with connections to Oakham available from Peterborough, Leicester, Nottingham and beyond. From Oakham you can take the train to Peterborough and then connect with the direct service to London King’s Cross. For more train and coach information head to Trainline.
- Bus: There are many bus routes to enjoy getting around Rutland and getting to neighbouring cities of Peterborough, Leicester and Nottingham. View Rutland bus timetables here.
- Air: The closest Airport to Exton Nottingham East Midlands and is around 27 miles away.
The Best Time to Visit Exton
Exton is lovely to visit all year around with a different landscape with the seasons but early summer is particularly beautiful. The village is filled with the most roses in every shade and the foliage is a vivid green colour. There are some great walks around the village which would best be enjoyed in the warm summer months and the village. pub, The Fox & Hounds is a great spot to stop off for a well deserved rest and drink.
How to Get Around the Village
Exton is pretty small, and you can walk around it very easily in no time at all. There are also many walks around the village to admire the surrounding countryside and Estate as well as the famous Rutland Water.
How Long to Visit
Exton is ideal to visit for a day or can even make a good half day visit if you’re visiting the county of Rutland and fancy seeing many village and towns within the county.
Weather in Exton
When visiting anywhere in the UK, it’s a running joke ‘to dress for all seasons’ and Exton is no exception. Always pack a rain mac and a brolly!
The Best Things to See & Do in Exton
Exton is quiet, calm and has all the demure of a a quaint English village. It has been deemed one of the most beautiful villages in Rutland and it’s easy to see why…
The Village Green
At the heart of the Exton community stands the perfectly manicured Green framed with a pretty scattering of stoned cottages, which date back 300 years. It’s also a meeting point for those passing through on their bike rides around the area or even a walk from and to the nearby reservoir of Rutland Water.
Walk around the green and spot the most beautiful drool-worthy cottages and start debating which one you’d love to own on day. Many have the traditional thatched roof and the quaint storybook English gardens filled with sweet peas, the most stunning hues of roses and peonies galore. The gardens glow like technicolour jewels, infront of the stone- walled cottages.
The Fox & Hounds
With a prime positioning facing the village green is the village local watering hole, cafe, restaurant and boutique hotel , the Fox & Hounds. It’ makes for the perfect spot to refuel or stop for lunch, drop in for a very lovely evening meal or even sit in their garden terrace with a long drink in hand.
St Peter & St Paul’s Church
Just as you drive or walk into the village, take the walk down the long tree-lined path to spot the peaceful yet idyllic location of the church. They lie within the grounds of Exton Park which for many years was the home of the Earls of Gainsborough.
The church dates back to the 13th century and the interior is largely Victorian, not too surprising when you consider that in 1843 a lightning strike toppled the spire, which destroyed large parts of the nave and gallery beneath.
As you walk around the church grounds, let you eyes wonder over to The Vicarage, with its beautiful stone work and villa-style presence.
Strolling around the village, spot the locals going about their daily business, especially tending to their gardens – they are absolutely stunning in this chocolate box village.
The Old School Building
Walk by the Old School Building which is now a private residence
A quiet narrow road leading to a terrace of small cottages, giving Exton is absolute charm and quintessential appeal.
Exton Park Estate
A park existing since the 12th Century, this is a large traditional English country estate home now to the Noel family (the Earls of Gainsborough) for over 400 years. The Park is also associated with Handel and Shakespeare, who have put on performances in the gardens of Exton.
The 6th Earl of Gainsborough, Henry Noel, had a building erected on the Western shore of the Upper Lake, aptly named Fort Henry and was used by the Noels family for the enactment of naval battles at the time. Fort Henry was also a place the Noels could entertain their guests and used to celebrate family weddings and occasions.
Exton Hall or the Old Hall was lived in until 1810, when there was a fire that destroyed the South east Wing. The present house dates back to 1850 when the house was made four times its original size and by the mid-19th century a chapel was added to the Hall.
Today Exton Hall is principally the private home of Viscount Campden, his wife and their three children. The estate is also used as a wedding venue, private functions, as a filming location, farming land and shooting.
Keen walkers will be delighted to know that Exton and the surroundings have some superb picturesque walks, which you can find out about at the Discover Rutland’s Walks Site
Where to Stay When Visiting Exton
Search your preferred place to stay in Exton or in the surrounding county of Rutalnd.
The Fox And Hounds
Located on The Green right in the heart of Exton, The Fox and Hounds is a 17th century coaching Inn offering a 3 bedroom boutique hotel as well as a bar, restaurant. coffee shop and an outdoor terrace. It’s the perfect homely base to explore teh village and surrounding county which has much to offer from beautiful walks, to locally sourced produce as well as numerous things to see and do.
The ambience is relaxing with chilled vibes, and rooms equipment with all the comforts you’d want. Think individually and tastefully designed rooms complete with fluffy bathrobes, luxurious bed linens, Nespresso machines, all with a homely feel.
You can make a great little midweek break out of your stay here or just an overnighter but you’ll be sure to be welcomed with the friendly local Rutland hospitality. Oh and a cooked breakfast is available on the mornings to as well as all your wining and dining needs in its restaurant and pub. There’s also a terrace to sit out and enjoy a drink or two!
- Address: 9 The Green, Exton, Oakham LE15 8AP. Tel: +44 (0) 1572 811032 Website
- Price Range: ££
Hambleton Hall is a 17 bedroom luxurious country house hotel situated on the peninsula above Rutland Water. Renowned for impeccable service and has been owned for the past 4 decades by the Hart family. It’s elegantly-designed rooms, exquisite gardens and Michelin-starred cuisine are reason enough to visit. Infact it’s restaurant headed by Chef director Aaron Patterson is the longer retainer of teh Michelin Star, at 40 years.
Hambleton Hall is part of the esteemed Relais & Chateax independently owned luxury hotels and also the Pride of Britain Hotels, and it’s easy to see why as service, location, accommodation, and gardens is absolute perfection.
Its the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion and makes for a great overnight or short break.
- Address: Hambleton, Oakham, Rutland. LE15 8TH, Tel. +44 (0) 1572 756 991. Website
- Price Range: £££
Places to Eat in and Around Rutland
- The Fox & Hounds, Exton: Mid-range restaurant good quality pub food.
- Hambledon Hall, Hambledon Fine dining, Michelin Star
- Hambleton Hall Bakery & Shops. Delicious bakes and see how the famous independent Bakery works.
- Otters Fine Foods. Mid-range, freshly made light breakfasts, brunch, deli lunches, tea, coffee and homemade cakes throughout the day
Places to Shop in & Around Exton
Due to the nature and size of teh village. Exton is not the hub for shopping however, there are lots of lovely independent and local stores you can visit in the county as a whole or head to nearby Leicester, Peterborough or Cambridge for a mix of High Street names too.
- Paper Plane: A really great shop for gifts or just something for yourself maybe. They have a great selection of homeware, self-care items and clothing made and sourced locally in the UK,
- Antique Lovers: There is so much to feats your eyes on with an array of antique outlets in Rutland.
- Home & Garden: Rutland naturally has a fab range of shops to please the keen gardeners and interior lovers:
- Fashion & Jewellery: Check out what the county has to offer in terms of independent shopping and outlet stores.
More Villages to Visit in Rutland and the Area:
If you loved this article on Exton, You’re sure to adore these other villages in Rutland too:
- Bisbrooke: A pretty village in Rutland
- Introducing Seaton: A village in the county of Rutland
- Harringworth: A village in Northamptonshire