With a huge nature reserve, the Rutland county town of Oakham is all about outdoor life. There are hikes, cycle trails and peaceful meadows to explore, plus more than a few great local country pubs to enjoy a Sunday Roast and a drink or two after a long day out. Add in the great schools and a thriving community, and it’s easy to see why many young families are moving to Oakham to lay down roots. In our latest guide, we’re finding out what makes Oakham tick, from its history to local house prices and day-to-day life in this Rutland gem.
A brief history of Oakham
Prior to the Norman invasion, Oakham was an existing Anglo-Saxon settlement owned by Queen Edith. After 1066, Oakham acted as an administrative centre for the Normans, with Norman Baron Walkelin de Ferrers fortifying the old manor by the marketplace and changing its name to Oakham Castle. Fast-forward to World War II, and Oakham’s countryside location was used as a place to take in evacuees, allowing children who lived in big cities to escape bomb strikes.
Where is Oakham?
Oakham is located in the county of Rutland, which is the UK’s smallest county. It’s part of the East Midlands and is located around 25 miles east of Leicester and 28 miles southeast of Nottingham. Oakham is close to Rutland Water, one of Europe’s largest human-made lakes.
Moving to Oakham
As an upmarket town, Oakham has plenty of suitors. It has become particularly popular with families and anyone who wants to escape city life for more space and green pastures. Housing won’t disappoint either, with it coming in many forms, from charming period properties to thatched houses and quaint cottages.
Buying in Oakham
The average house value in Oakham is £372,485, with sale prices more or less meeting their valuations at £372,667. Expect to pay around £477,070 for a detached home, £237,890 for a terraced house and £264,953 for an apartment.
Oakham property prices are considerably higher than the UK national average of £269,150; it’s not one of the cheapest places to buy. Over the last 12 months, house prices have seen an impressive 10% increase and a 24% increase over the past five years.
Estate and letting agents work tirelessly in Oakham, and there’s a good mix of independent and brand options to help you find a home.
Renting in Oakham
One-bedroom homes rent for an average of £1,035 per month in Oakham, two-bedroom properties fetch in the region of £1,974 per month, and three-bedroom-and-up houses achieve £2,100 per month. Around 39% of residents rent their home in Oakham.
Cost of living
The cost of living in Oakham is eight per cent more affordable than the UK national average. That means you can expect to pay similar prices for day-to-day goods like groceries and monthly utility bills such as gas, electricity, water and internet. The average yearly salary is £29,000.
Life in Oakham
Rutland might be the smallest county in the UK, but there’s plenty to do – especially in Oakham, where quaint restaurants and cafes await. It was once voted Britain’s best rural place to live by a Lloyds Bank survey, and it’s not hard to see why…
Open spaces are now a key criteria for the best places to live, and Oakland shouldn’t disappoint. There are loads of country walks and footpaths to enjoy a day out in nature and walk your dog. Make sure you visit Rutland Water Nature Reserve, a place to discover 393 acres of wild habitat.
Living in Oakland means you have good travel links, with hourly trains to Leicester taking around 25 minutes. You can also benefit from direct services to Peterborough in 30 minutes and Stamford in 15 minutes. The A1 is also a 15-minute drive.
There are plenty of independent shops to discover in Oakham. Cavells is a stylish boutique selling a range of men and women’s clothes, while Rutland Furniture is the place to go for items for your new Oakham home.
Head to the Finch’s Arms in Upper Hambleton to enjoy delectable dishes and afternoon teas. If you’re after fine dining, Oakham has two Michelin-star restaurants, Hambleton Hall, which is also a hotel, and The Olive Branch Pub.
While there are no nightclubs in Oakham, Leicester and Nottingham are both less than 30 miles away and have you covered if you’re looking for a night (or weekend) out. Back in Oakham, you can enjoy local pubs and bars for a quiet night on the town.
Art & culture
Pay a visit to Trent Galleries to purchase some art for your new Oakham home, or head to Kooky Creations for handcrafted gifts. The Uppingham Theatre is a local theatre, and there’s also a drive-in cinema called The Star and Mouse.
Things to do
The wider county of Rutland has plenty of history, with landmarks like Lyddington’s Bede House a point of interest. As a market town, there are markets to explore, including Oakham’s Farmers’ Market, which is held on the third Saturday of every month.
What’s not to like?
While Oakham appeals to families and older generations, it doesn’t have a great deal going for it if you’re aged between 18-35 and looking for somewhere with slightly more buzz. The town is calm, which is great if you want peace and quiet. But it’s not as appealing for anyone looking for a lively place to live.
Who lives there?
Oakham has a population of just 11,000 and a median age of 43.
Typical broadband speeds
The average broadband speed is 33mbps in Oakham, which is lower than the UK national average of 67mbps.
Crime rates in Oakham average 523 per year and are lower than the national average of 10,000.
Last Updated: September 23rd, 2021