Bottesford lies about east of Nottingham and north of Melton Mowbray. The village is the largest in the Vale of Belvoir and is near to Belvoir Castle, home to the Duke and Duchess of Rutland. It had a population of 3587 at the time of the 2011 census. It borders parishes in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, nearby places being Sedgebrook (in Lincs), Elton (in Notts), and Redmile (in Leics). There is a post office, a railway station and a library in Bottesford.
The village was built around the river Devon (pronounced Dee-von) and was named because of the ford at the centre of the village. St Mary the Virgin's Church, Bottesford, sometimes known as the "Lady of the Vale", is a large medieval church which has the highest spire in Leicestershire (at 212 feet) and is the burial place of several earls of Rutland. One of the Rutland tombs is famous for its inscription, which attributes a death to witchcraft by the Witches of Belvoir. Most of the church is 15th century, but the chancel was rebuilt in the 17th century to accommodate the Rutland monuments. These completely fill the chancel and offer a view of changing aristocratic taste in the 16th and 17th centuries. After the Manners family were elevated to the dukedom of Rutland in 1703, they built a mausoleum in the grounds of Belvoir Castle, the family home. All the dukes have been buried there, and not in Bottesford church.
There is a local website that covers many sides of Bottesford's local history, including mounting evidence of occupation in Roman times and earlier. Bottesford was the venue of one of the country's early friendly societies, thought to have been founded in the 1750s. It provided members with sickness and funeral benefits for over 200 years. Eleven contributors from the history group produced in 2009 a book on the local history since 1850.
During World War II, from December 1941, there was an RAF Bomber Command airfield located to the north near Long Bennington called RAF Bottesford. Initially it belonged to No. 3 Group RAF, then after being used by USAAF's IX Troop Carrier Command for D-Day, was used by No. 5 Group from late 1944. It is no longer in use as an airfield, but the runways can still be seen.
Entertainers Laurel and Hardy stayed for Christmas 1952 at the Bull Inn, where the landlady was Stan Laurel's sister Olga. They were appearing at the Empire Theatre in Nottingham. There is a plaque to this effect on the building.
There were two brickyards at Beckinthorpe in the 19th century, one of them also producing the unique Bottesford Blue pantiles still to be seen on some local buildings. Local employment declined in the 20th century. The four pubs, six restaurants, at least 16 retailers, and 20 odd small producers and service providers today are one-person or family concerns, whereas the building firm of William Roberts Ltd, founded by Joseph William Roberts (1898-2010) in Sutton-cum-Granby and moved to Bottesford in 1937, employed over 500 people at one time.