Breakfast, lunch and dinner in Uppingham’s Market Place, punctuated by a five-mile country walk

Try this circular Rutland pub walk, with the option to eat at three recommended Uppingham venues in Market Place…

Uppingham in Rutland is as pretty as a picture, especially its Market Place. Overlooking the handsome square are no less than three food-and-drink businesses that we recommend. Buzzing Don Paddy’s is perfect for breakfast or brunch. Classic English pub The Vaults serves hearty lunches and locally brewed real ales. And the elegant Falcon Hotel is ideal for an evening meal.

Eating at all three venues in one day – achieving the ‘Uppingham Market Place Hat-Trick’ as we like to call it – is a delicious experience (remember, you don’t have to eat a massive portion at each stop, you could do the ‘hat-trick’ by merely snacking at all three).

Still, we could all do with a little assistance when it comes to calorie control. To help you burn a few kilojoules, we’ve devised a five-mile circular country walk (there’s a map and step-by-step route below) to put you in the right place for this Uppingham Market Place feast! Therefore, we recommend the following order of events:

1) Brunch at Don Paddies
2) Walk the five-mile circuit (see below)
3) Snack/lunch and a pint at The Vaults
4) Stroll around Uppingham & coffee
5) Evening meal at The Falcon

However, you could chop that order up in any way you see fit because all three venues serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whichever schedule you choose, you’re guaranteed a delicious experience, enhanced by some gentle exercise amid beautiful Rutland scenery.

The Market Square Trio

1) Don Paddy’s (our suggestion: brunch)

8 Market Place, Uppingham, LE15 9QH

Don Paddy’s is a friendly, bustling and perennially popular café, bar and restaurant. It offers good food and drink from a varied menu. It’s a great spot for a pre-walk brunch (served daily 9-11.30am), or maybe coffee and cake. It’s also good for lunch and evening meals.

You can bring your dog inside as long as lunch or dinner aren’t being served. Don Paddy’s is popular and fills up at peak times, so it’s a good idea to book ahead to be sure of a table.

Click on the menu to enlarge
Pancakes at Don Paddy’s

2) The Vaults (our suggestion: lunch)

4 Market Place, Uppingham, LE15 9QH

The Vaults is the quintessential traditional English pub. Serving hearty meals, real ales (including beers from Uppingham Brewhouse – see below), plus lagers, wines and more, this place is ideal for a good, honest, well-earned meal and refreshment after your walk. Where possible, The Vaults uses locally sourced ingredients, and it offers weekly changing specials alongside breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.

Our recent Sunday lunch at The Vaults

Also look out for…

At the Vaults and elsewhere on your travels, look out for beers from Uppingham Brewhouse, which launched in summer 2019. It brews in a building behind the Falcon Hotel and its first beers are called UB1, a Best Bitter, and UB2, a Golden Ale. The brewing team are also making dog biscuits from the spent grains!

3) The Falcon (our suggestion: dinner)

7 High St East, Uppingham, Rutland, LE15 9PY

The Falcon Hotel is a quietly elegant 16th-century coaching inn and restaurant. As well as the main menu (which can also be taken in the brasserie lounge), there is a lighter bar menu and a special lunch menu. At £9.95 for one course, £13.95 for two and £17.95 for three, this represents good value, with quality to match.

On our visit, crisp-skinned sea bass was perfectly cooked and a simple mushroom and ’Old Nick’ cheese omelette were just right. A shared chocolate and raisin bread-and-butter pudding with salted caramel ice-cream was very good indeed – and surprisingly light.

The hotel has 25 bedrooms and can be hired for weddings and conferences.

A dish served at The Falcon

The walk route

The map below shows the walk route, starting and ending at Uppingham’s Market Place. It’s a simple route and follows well-trodden paths, but it’s a good idea to take a map with you (or download/print this image). Please note the walk contains several wooden stiles you need to climb over…

Walk map
Click up map to enlarge and view walk route

Step-by-step instructions

Step 1

Cross the road from Market Place and walk down Uppingham’s High Street West. Enter Stockerston Road, with Red India on your right. Soon the pavement ends but keep going.

Step 2

Around 100 yards after the pavement ends, you come to a stile on your right. Hop over it and strike out across the field, following the sign for the Rutland Round. The footpath sign may be hidden by foliage depending on the time of year (see picture above). When you reach the far corner of the field you come to another stile.

Step 3

Go over the stile and then negotiate a third and, after another 100 yards, a fourth. Soon you’re walking between two fences along a narrow path. Go over two more stiles in quick succession.

Step 4

After about 200 yards, you reach another stile. Climb over and come out into another field with a good view across Rutland. Crossing the next field, you reach another stile offering an even better view.

Step 5

After the stile, turn left and follow the hedgerow. You soon reach the end of the field, where there’s another stile next to farm buildings. You quickly reach yet another stile – the entrance to Beaumont Chase Farm. Hop over and you’re now back on Stockerston Road.

Step 6

Turn right on Stockerston Road (be careful of traffic). After about 100 yards, you see a gate on your right. Go through it and follow the footpath downhill, which takes you across the field, thereby missing off a chunk of Stockerston Road. You soon come to another gate where you re-join the road.

Step 7

After a few yards, you walk past the sign for Leicestershire and come to a bridge where there is a narrowing in the road. Take care here – wait till no traffic is coming either way. When it’s safe, cross the bridge and you soon come to Lodge Farm. At the farm turn right onto Horninghold Road. Carry on along Horninghold Road for about 150 yards and then turn right on the track towards Allexton.

Step 8

Soon you to come to a cattle grid and around 200 yards beyond the grid, look for a “public bridleway” sign on your right. Follow it and enter Wardley Wood.

Step 9

Cross the wooden bridge over the stream, then walk straight on towards the yellow marker. At the marker, head straight on into the woods.

Step 10

Walk through the woods, following the markers. Soon you come to a small shack and a clearing. Simply follow the markers and before long you exit the wood, finding yourself on a narrow path between two fields.

Step 11

Next, you come out into a grassy field where the path isn’t 100% clear. However, go straight on. The tree pictured above will be on your right. Follow your nose and you’ll soon come to another trusty yellow marker and a metal gate.

Step 12

Go through the gate and you soon find yourself walking upwards through an undulating field. There is the site of an ancient motte-and-bailey castle on your right.

Step 13

Cross the small bridge and stile and walk diagonally across the field uphill towards the treeline and the road.

Step 14

On the other side of the field, you come to a gate to the road. Turn right, cross over onto the pavement and walk towards Uppingham. Before long, you’re back in the town where feasting can commence.

A dish served at The Falcon
The author:

Matt lives in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. He is passionate about the independent food & drink sector and founded Great Food Club in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town.