The Prince of Wales has cooled down in balmy heat by tasting local ales at a farmers market.

Charles, accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall, seemed to enjoy his tipple of Rutland Bitter, brewed locally by The Grainstore Brewery, at one of the stalls in Oakham, Rutland, today.

The couple also received gifts of honey, a leg of lamb and a loaf of local bread as they chatted with stall holders in the town square.

Camilla was presented with numerous bouquets of flowers from members of the crowd who had lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the royal couple.

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets wave flags and cheer as Charles and his wife walked through the town towards Oakham Castle.

Tony Davis, managing director of The Grainstore Brewery, said: "They came over to the stall and both Charles and Camilla tried our Rutland Bitter. They said it was a very nice light beer which wasn't too strong."

Children from the local primary schools sang for the royal couple as they arrived at Oakham Castle before Camilla presented a decorative horseshoe to the Lord of the Manor Mr Hanbury to mark her first official visit to the town.

The horseshoe will be hung with more than 230 others in the Great Hall which have been presented over the years.

It is tradition that a Peer of the Realm or senior member of the Royal Family should donate a horseshoe to the Lord of the Manor on their first visit to the town.

The oldest surviving horseshoe is said to have been given by Edward IV around 1470.

After the presentation the royal couple met with military personnel from Kendrew and St Georges Barracks including members of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and Arms Explosive Search Dogs, local scouts and brownies before leaving the castle to travel on to Rutland Water Nature Reserve.

The couple were due to meet Wildlife Trust Volunteers and tour the land at the reserve.

Charles will be shown the wetland lagoons that have been created to extend the nature reserve and protect the wildlife that lives there, while allowing more water to be taken from the reservoir to supply drinking water to the surrounding area.

Meanwhile, Camilla will tour the education centre and meet local children at the pond-dipping area.

Earlier the royal couple visited St John and St Anne Almshouse in Oakham, which provides housing for retired people who want to maintain their independence.

Charles, who is patron of the Almshouse Association, and Camilla were given a tour of the facilities in St Anne's Close.