Oakham is a traditional market town situated in eastern-central England in the county of Rutland (to the east of Leicester).
An important and bustling local centre, the centre of the town is focussed around the Market Place and surrounding streets, and is interesting to explore with various highlights to discover. The small town museum presents various articles that explain and bring to life the history of the town, and they also have a useful leaflet suggesting a route to follow when exploring the town to ensure you see the highlights..
Oakham also has a good selection of shops, cafes, restaurants etc and markets are still held in Oakham each Wednesday and Saturday, perhaps the best time to visit if possible.
The main highlights for visitors include Oakham Castle and All Saints Church:
- Oakham Castle: the Great Hall is all that remains of the once important 12th century Norman Castle, along with earthworks from the original raised defences. Inside the 'castle' there are some notable stone-carving and an extensive collection of horseshoes - traditionally, when noblemen passed through the town they had to donate a horseshoe - and the display includes numerous horseshoes dating back up to 500 years (many are ceremonial rather than 'real', so much larger than normal horseshoes)
- All Saints Church in Oakham dates largely from the 14th century and is best known for its ornate tower and spire.
- Oakham School, a highly reputed public school in the town, dates from the 16th century and also has some very attractive historical buildings to enjoy.
Oakham is also just west of the large lake at Rutland Water, a large (man-made) lake that offers pleasure boat cruises while cycling enthusiasts can cycle the 25 mile circuit around the lake. The village of Hambleton, on a peninsula in the lake, is one of the highlights of a visit.