It is located about four miles (6 km) east of Oakham, on the north shore of Rutland Water. A pleasure boat known as the Rutland Belle operates from Whitwell Harbour. It is also a popular sailing and water sports area.
Whitwell claims to be twinned with Paris, France. In the 1970s, regulars from the pub, the Noel Arms wrote to the then Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac proposing the link and with a tight deadline for a response. As no answer arrived from the Mayor's office by the set date, the village unilaterally declared itself to be twinned and erected road signs to that effect. The original wooden signs were later replaced in metal by Rutland County Council.
Whitwell is one of the smallest villages in Rutland. It only has 19 houses, plus a pub and hotel nestled amongst those. Both are located on the main A606 opposite each other.