Day-to-day life in the area's most picturesque village – Leicestershire Live


Hambleton, in the middle of Rutland Water, is unofficially the best village in the Midlands
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A village surrounded by water, sailing boats and wildlife has been named one of Conde Nast Traveller's 20 most beautiful villages in the British Isles.
With views across Rutland Water, rare ospreys circling above and dozens of stunning little thatched cottages and other ancient buildings, it's not much of a surprise Hambleton made the list.
The tiny village even boasts the longest-held Michelin star in the UK – at the Hambleton Hall Hotel restaurant.
READ MORE: Discover more Rutland stories on Leicestershire Live
Strolling around the quiet village there's plenty to see – although if you happen to be in a car you'll find there aren't many places to go.
In the centre of the village, three roads lead away from the small grassy island – one sign points towards Oakham and the other two are just labelled "no through road".
Since the 1970s when the reservoir was created, Hambleton has sat on a peninsula in the middle of the U-shaped lake.
Jonathan Griffin, the barman at the Finch's Arms pub and hotel in the village centre, said: "It's a very nice quiet little village and we have a lot of repeat guests who come back because they enjoy the experience so much.
"We see quite a lot of the locals here. There are only about 200 people in the village. It's lovely but the house prices are very high."
The Finch's Arms regularly does 1,300 covers a week, which makes it a very busy pub for such a small village.
Simon McEnery, the pub manager said: "It is a very scenic place. It's quite a quiet village and no traffic coming through.
"It's small in terms of how many residents there are, but it's very popular with tourists because it's a central location in the country for people to meet up. And, of course, there's Rutland Water and all the wildlife around.
"From our terrace at the back of the pub you can sit and watch the boats on the water."
Along with the pub and a number of attractive homes, the main things to see in Hambleton village centre are the 12th century church of St Andrews, an old-fashioned red phone box and the former "Hambleton Post and Telegraph Office", which is no longer open.
In St Andrews, the visitor book shows how popular the little village is; in the four months since the beginning of November 2021, it has been signed from guests from Norfolk, Manchester, the Isle of Wight, Somerset and even Half Moon Bay in California.
Among the handful of visitors to Hambleton on Wednesday was Sam Patchesa, 44, who visits Rutland Water from Kettering about twice a month.
Heading out into the drizzle for a walk around the peninsula, he said: "It's very unusual because it's a village with no through roads and there's not a lot of places like that.
"But the village pub is quite a substantial one and and the houses are pretty grand – and not very affordable!"
Rutland Water was the first place in England to re-introduce birds of prey called osprey, which Sam, 44, enjoys spotting.
He said: "It's great to see the ospreys around here. There are all kinds of birds to see, including the plover and the Peregrine Falcons, which you sometimes spot hunting smaller birds.
"There are buzzards and red kite, as well, and lots of good bird watching places around the reservoir.
"I found it very frustrating when everything was shut off during the lockdown, but when it lifted the birds were much easier to see.
"There were osprey very close to the roads so you got to see them much closer-up, so it's been even better."
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