A new home in Oakham, Rutland
Buying a new house in Oakham is the perfect choice for homeowners looking for a life in a charming, pretty and traditional rural town.
The town is the ‘capital’ of Rutland, England’s smallest county, which recently won the title of ‘best rural place to live in the UK’ in the Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey. Oakham is therefore a location that tempts many house buyers.
Although development is tightly controlled, as you would expect in such a historic setting, there are new homes being built to suit a wide range of budgets and lifestyles.
Much of the new housing is in Oakham Heights, a major urban expansion of the town which will eventually include more than 1,000 homes as well as shops, leisure facilities and extensive open space.
All of this is just a few minutes’ walk from the town centre where Oakham hosts open air markets twice a week as well as monthly farmers’ markets.
Oakham’s rural charm is just a short distance from major urban centres such as Peterborough (23 miles), Leicester (25 miles) and Nottingham (28 miles).
House prices in Oakham
The average house value in Oakham is just under £350,000 with terraced properties valued at an average of £226,000 and detached properties at £461,000.
House prices from Zoopla, November 2018
Shopping, leisure and living in Oakham
There is plenty going on in Oakham so, once you have bought your new home in the town, you will never be bored or lacking things to do.
Oakham has a busy calendar of events and festivals. It also has a thriving artistic community which welcomes new members and holds regular exhibitions at local venues.
As well as the weekly market, held in the historic market place with its buttercross and stocks, Oakham has a wide range of independent stores plus all the usual national high street names. There is also a great selection of pubs and restaurants.
Right next to the market is Oakham Castle, said to be Britain’s finest example of Norman architecture, which has recently been restored thanks to a £2.2 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The castle is free to enter – unless you are royalty, in which case tradition dictates that you must bring a horseshoe to hang on the castle walls.
Rutland Museum gives a fascinating insight into life in Oakham over the centuries – including the only surviving New Drop Gallows in England!
There are clubs and facilities for a wide range of sports including football, cricket, rugby, tennis and swimming. Nearby Rutland Water offers a variety of water sports as well as cycling, walking and angling.
If you are looking to buy a new home in Oakham and need to commute for work, you will be pleased to hear that the town has great transport links.
The Birmingham to Peterborough railway line runs through Oakham providing links to both of these cities and to Leicester, London and Cambridge. Road users are also catered for with excellent links across the country.
Education in Oakham
Oakham is home to Oakham School, one of the major English public schools, which was founded along with the nearby Uppingham School in 1584.
Oakham also supports a number of primary and nursery schools – within both the private and state sectors – and the Catmose College secondary school, making it a perfect location for families looking for a new home.
There are four universities within 30 miles (two in Leicester and two in Nottingham) and there is soon to be one in nearby Peterborough.
A brief history of Oakham
If you move to a new home in Oakham you probably won’t make quite the same mark on the town as some of the earliest new arrivals. When the Normans arrived in the 11thcentury they built the castle that still dominates the town.
Sadly only the banqueting hall is still standing, but this is the oldest surviving English castle hall and its walls are decorated with over 200 horseshoes left by visiting dignitaries and royalty. The earliest dates to 1474 and was donated by King Edward IV.
Actually, the Normans were far from being the first residents of Oakham – there was a royal manor there in the Saxon period and there is evidence of Roman and iron age settlements beneath what is now Catmose College.
If you are interested in the history of the town there is a waymarked heritage trail which takes in many of Oakham's most interesting historic sites.