Beautiful little county named one of Britain’s healthiest places to live

It may be the smallest county in England populated by just 42,000 people, but Rutland in the east Midlands has plenty to offer its residents.

Bordered by several other, much larger, counties including Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, it seems the region could hold the secret to longevity.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), taken between 2017 and 2019, shows that men in Rutland have the highest healthy life expectancy at birth.

They are expected to live 71.5 healthy years – significantly higher than the UK average of 62.9 years.

Perhaps this could be attributed to the beautiful, unspoilt countryside residents have on their doorstep.

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Aside from the hills and farmland that make for pleasant walking, it is home to the largest reservoir in the country – Rutland Water.

This serves as an idyllic spot to watch wildlife, while its surrounding park is popular for hiking, biking and other activities.

Picturesque villages are also an attraction, with more than 50 to visit across the county.

With a miniscule population of just 607, Exton in Rutland is often noted as one of the area’s prettiest places to live.

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It boasts multiple beautiful thatched cottages as well as a quintessentially English village green.

On Right Move, properties here are currently listed for sale from a range of £350,000 for a three-bedroom bungalow to £1.19m for a detached five-bedroom family home.

Actually, the county has only two towns – Oakham and Uppington.

Oakham is the larger of the two with a population of around 12,000.

Full of Medieval history, visitors of Oakham can expect to find a castle and museum as well as plenty of dining and shopping opportunities in the market town.

According to Right Move, property prices here range from £130,000 for a two-bed flat to £950,000 for an end-of-terrace Georgian home.

Diet could also hold the key to why Rutland residents are healthier than their counterparts.

Discover Rutland states that the region is known as the “county of good taste”, due to a vast array of local produce available.

Life expectancy

Data from the ONS also shows how the county is ranked highly for overall life expectancy for men, with the male population living an average of 83 years. Again this is above the national average of 79.4 years.

This means that outside of London men in Rutland live longer than anywhere else in the UK.

Only the affluent boroughs of Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea live longer.

And women in Rutland live longer than most of the female population. The ONS figures show they are expected to live 85.4 years, above the UK average of 83.1.

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