- Visit Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre for a great day out in Rutland where you can feet falcons, hold birds and more.
- Don't miss out on the chance to meet the wolves and big cats that live nearby and in the area on their open days.
- Take a relaxing stroll through the ancient woodland and learn about all the diverse wildlife that lives in Rutland.
The Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre is a fantastic place to visit for a fun family day out, especially for lovers of birds, conservation and ancient woodland walks. This is a great activity to do with the kids when in Rutland, where they can come into contact with fierce birds of prey at the centre in Exton, and get up close and personal. Watch these magnificent creatures in flight!
The centre aims to create a natural setting for the hawks, owls, falcons, buzzards, eagles and even vultures so that you get get the full owl experience and the full falconry experience as you watch them in action. After, explore the natural ancient woodland trails that take you around ponds and purpose-built wild bird feeding stations, where you can relax, take in the sights, and come into contact with different nesting boxes as you enjoy the sounds and atmosphere of the countryside birds. This is a multi-sensory experience in Rutland, both at the bird of prey centre and the historic woodland.
Its roots began in 1999, and the Rutland Falconry Centre became home to what was an existing large bird of prey collection, but since then, it has grown considerably and now is home to exquisite falconry and owl birds just waiting to be discovered. As a conservation centre, it also has an educational element, making for a relaxing visit while you learn on the go. The little ones always have a blast on the guided walks where they can let their imaginations run wild in this beautiful landscape, plus handling birds whilst learning about their lives, such as how they live, fly and hunt, is an unforgettable experience. As you'd expect, there is an abundance of wildlife found within the 42 acres of land owned by the centre. There are local birds, badgers and sometimes even deer that wander into the woodland.
There are plenty of surprises to be had during this Rutland Falconry experience as birds aren’t the only animals that live at Burley Bushes, Exton Lane, but visitors can take a gander at the two wolves that live in enclosures which is just outside. Or, if you call in advance, you might be lucky enough to meet the only big cats that live in Rutland. If you're after some more fascinating surprises that Rutland has to offer, then check out Rutland Water Nature Reserve, where you can explore the wetland area that has lagoons and islands, meet ospreys and enjoy the 31 bird watching hides.
Some of the Birds of Prey are happy to be held by visitors while some will fly for you so you can watch them in action. And, of course, there are shy birds who like to be admired from afar, at a safe distance. You could meet Misty, a 25-year-old Canadian Great Eared Owl who is an excellent companion. The guides at the Falconry centre are helpful, casual, informative and charismatic. They'll help you fly and feed Harris the Hawk, Dave, and an idiosyncratic Barn Owl, Paddy.
Plus, with the nesting boxes, too, this has meant that Treecreepers, Wrens, Robins and wild Tawny Owls, as well as pipistrelle bats, have been seen and recorded in the area, along with the resident blue, Great, Coal and Marsh Tits. The Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre is just brimming with life, from wildlife to trees, stunning landscapes and more.
Walk around the gorgeous paths that meander through the Woodlands, which are delightfully soft underfoot as they blend effortlessly and sensitively with the vegetation that encircles and surrounds it. The walking trails and paths act as a natural guide, giving you access and the ability to explore this breathtakingly pretty landscape, which is an ever-changing environment. Take a moment to sit quietly and listen to the sounds of the woodland and relax as it comes alive. The Ancient Woodlands have developed naturally for continuous 300-400 years or more, not artificially planted but steeped in history. This is an integral part of England's heritage, as the diverse eco-systems from these woods are protected and regulated by law as this is truly an irreplaceable habitat.
Don't miss out on the centre's ever-increasing diversity in flora and fauna, which is a delight to look at. As the ecology of this stunning habitat has increased and strengthened, rarer scarce species are beginning to make an appearance in the landscape. There are wild birds, animals and plant species found within the varied habitats of the centre which include the familiar blue tits, rabbits and bluebells, among others. If you're after some more great diverse habitats to explore in Rutland, check out Bugtopia the Zoo, featuring a small interactive zoo that is home to over 75 species of invertebrates and reptiles, plus entertainment for the family.
What to know before you go
- When you're feeling peckish, bring a picnic as there are some benches for you to sit and relax as you soak up the landscape. There is no café or eatery on site.
- There are toilets and accessible facilities on site, but no baby changing facilities.
- The paths are mostly navigable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, although there are some uneven areas.
- Kidadl tips are to wear footwear suitable for walking through woodland and take note of the weather in case it rains. Bring water and drinks with you, especially if you plan to explore the woodland.
- The Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre is located in Burley Bushes, Exton Lane, Oakham, Rutland.
- If travelling by car, from Oakham centre, it's just a short distance away, at 6 minutes. Ensure to head north on Burley Rd/B668 towards Bull Lane, then at the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Burley Rd/B668. Continue to follow B668, then continue onto Cottesmore Road, then turn right onto Exton Lane. Alternatively, if you're coming from Stamford, the other closest town, you can get to the Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre via the A606.
- There is a car park on site.
- If travelling by public transport, there is a regular service to the site from Oakham Train Station and Stamford Train Station. From Stamford Train Station take the number 9 bus to the A606 opposite Barnsdale Avenue. Or from Oakham Train Station you can take a taxi for six minutes.