Whitwell sits four miles east of Oakham on the north shore of Rutland Water and is named after the spring which flows from beneath the church, which is called 'the white spring', or 'the white well'. St Michael & All Angels church is located at the west end of the village.
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 a number of times to the then Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac, proposing the link. The last letter included the sentence:
"If we receive no reply within five weeks, Mr. Mayor, we shall assume that you have agreed to our proposal."
Wooden signs were erected in the fifth week and remained there until being replaced in metal.