Beautiful Rutland is the smallest historic county in England and the fourth smallest in the UK as a whole. Its greatest length north to south is only 18 miles (29 km) and its greatest breadth east to west is 17 miles (27 km). Because of this, the Latin motto Multum in Parvo or "much in little" was adopted by the county council in 1950. It has the smallest population of any normal unitary authority in mainland England and only the City of London is smaller in terms of area.
The only towns in Rutland are Oakham and Uppingham. Rutland is dominated by Rutland Water, a large artificial lake formerly known "Empingham Reservoir", in the middle of the county, which is almost bisected by a large spit of land. Rutland Water, when construction started in 1971, became Europe's largest man-made lake; construction was completed in 1975, and filling the lake took a further four years. This has now been voted Rutland's favourite tourist attraction, and is an important nature reserve serving as an overwintering site for wildfowl and a breeding site for ospreys.
Rutland's older cottages are built from limestone or ironstone and many have roofs of Collyweston stone slate or thatch.