Review of Oakham by GLENN on April 28th, 2008
Rutland is England's smallest county; it stretches only 18 miles from North to South at its longest point and only 17 miles from East to West at its widest. Being such a small county has meant a fight to preserve its status during Local Government reviews and at times of administration streamlining. In 1974 it officially became part of Leicestershire, following the Local Government Act of 1972. The post office included Rutland in the postal county of Leicestershire in 1974. Locals fought this for many years before finally getting the post office to create a new postal county of Rutland in 2007. The first mention of Rutland as a separate council was in 1159, but as late as the 14th century there are still references to the 'Soke of Rutland', suggesting that it came under the administrative jurisdiction of another county. The seat of the Duke of Rutland is at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, a little to the north of Rutland. Belvoir Castle and the surrounding estate are open to the public; the estate offers a range of outdoor activities. Rutland Water is a large and famous reservoir which is one of the most popular attractions for visitors; with cycling (hire is available), fishing, walking, bird watching, rock climbing and sailing amongst the activities on offer.