Barnsdale Gardens

Places to Visit

The late Geoff Hamilton’s legacy, as BBC Gardener’s World presenter and creator of Barnsdale Gardens, lives on with his family’s commitment to horticulture. There are 38 inspiring gardens all in one place for you to see when you visit Barnsdale.

You can pick up great gardening ideas and inspiration whilst chatting with knowledgeable staff and taking part in a number of different gardening courses.

This Chelsea Gold Medal-winning nursery offers a wide variety of high quality plants for you to buy, including unusual and rare species which are all propagated from the gardens.

  • 01572 813 200

Water feature with lavender plants

Burghley Sculpture Park

Places to Visit

Contemporary sculpture in an historic setting. On entering Burghley Park’s Sculpture Garden, visitors are welcomed by a mixed array of trees and shrubs for all seasons, many framed with an evergreen backdrop of common laurel.

These shrubs form a major structural element within the gardens, forming archways and external rooms where discreetly hidden sculptures can be found.

  • 01780 752451

Family walking on path holding hands smiling

Fineshade Wood

Places to Visit

Fineshade Wood is an ancient mixed broadleaf and conifer woodland with waymarked walks, cycle trails, horse trail, car park and Caravan Club site. The wood contains rich semi-natural native woodland, as well as areas of conifers which are gradually being restored to site-native broadleaf woodland under the ‘Ancient Woodland Project’. The wood was coppiced for many centuries, and the remnant coppice banks can still be seen. The coppice was used in the past for charcoal making, and there is evidence of medieval and Roman iron smelting in the wood.

Top Lodge Visitor centre facility opening hours are 10am till 5pm daily. We try to make the centre as environmentally friendly as possible with solar panels, rainwater harvesting (for the toilets) and a reed bed sewage system.

Falcon in mid flight

Falconry Centre


The Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre is a wonderful corner of Rutland countryside that has become a sought after location for all manner of wildlife. The centre is home to an incredible collection of hundreds of birds of prey from all around the world. The centre’s aim is to provide as natural a setting as possible for owls, hawks, falcons, buzzards, eagles and even vultures, whilst considering the requirements of the native plants, animals and other birds.

There’s been much speculation about the Rutland Panther but if you really want to see the big cats of Rutland up close then the Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre have a real treat in store for you! Book your place on one of 6 limited dates for a select number of visitors to view their collection of rare cats including four Amur Leopards. The Amur Leopard is classified as critically endangered with only 35 thought left in the wild. Proceeds from Wild Cat days at the centre help to raise funds for the plight of the wild Amur Leopard and you’ll have an opportunity to adopt your very own Big Cat too!

Open 6 days a week Summer 10am-4pm Winter times 10am-3pm

  • 07778 152814

Osprey catching fish

Rutland Ospreys


Rutland Water is home to the first Ospreys to breed in England for 150 years, after a translocation programme. We observe them from their arrival from Africa in Spring, through to their Autumn migration. Come and join us at Rutland Water Nature Reserve to learn more about these magnificent birds!

2016 was a special year, as it saw the 20th anniversary of the Rutland Osprey Project!

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Rutland Water Nature Reserve


This internationally famous nature reserve is managed by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust in partnership with Anglian Water and provides one of the most important wildfowl sanctuaries in Great Britain, regularly holding in excess of 25,000 waterfowl.

It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, designated as a European Special Protection Area and internationally recognised as a globally important wetland RAMSAR site.

The reserve occupies shoreline and shallow water lagoons along 9 miles of the western end of Rutland Water and covers a total area of 1000 acres. It was created in the 1970s with the construction of the reservoir. There are over 30 bird watching hides and nature trails from two visitor centres with experts to help you with identification.

  • 01572 770651

Birdfair logo

Bird Fair


The British Birdwatching Fair is jointly organised by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust and the RSPB.

Birdfair encompasses the whole spectrum of the birdwatching industry whilst at the same time supporting global bird conservation. This is the event of the year if you’re into birds and wildlife. A wide range of fantastic conservation projects have been supported by Birdfair.

There are hundreds of stands selling the latest products for wildlife enthusiasts. You’ll find everything, from scopes to sculptures, binoculars to bird food, eGuides to eco-holidays!