The prosperity of well-heeled OAKHAM, 23 miles east of Leicester, is bolstered by Oakham School, one of the region’s more exclusive private schools, and by its proximity to Rutland Water, a large reservoir whose assorted facilities attract cyclists, ramblers, sailors and birdwatchers by the hundred. Oakham’s stone terraces and Georgian villas are too often interrupted to assume much grace, but the town does have its architectural moments, particularly in the L-shaped Market Place, where a brace of sturdy awnings shelter the old water pump and town stocks, and where Oakham School is housed in a series of impressive ironstone buildings.

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