Bedfordshire is a great county to live in and visit. There's plenty to see and do and can be thoroughly enjoyed by the entire family also.
1. Leighton Buzzard Railway
This is believed to be the only remaining line which owed its existence to the ready availability of surplus materials and equipment from the First World War battlefield supply lines. It now houses one of the largest and most important collections of narrow-gauge stock in England. The line runs for around 3 miles between Page’s Park & Stonehenge Works and the Leighton Buzzard Railway’s locomotive fleet numbers more than 60, making it one of the largest narrow-gauge collections in the UK. During your visit, you’ll likely spot Wagon & Coaches, Internal Combustion & Steam collections. Check the Timetables & Fares prior to your visit as they also host special events year-round too. Be sure to pop into the Souvenir shop before you leave to find a keepsake that will remind you of your visit.
Adult £10, Senior £8.50, Child (2-17) £6.00, Child (Under 2) Free
Special fares applicable to events.
Check the Timetable for Standard & Enhances services times.
Page’s Park Station
2. Woburn Abbey
Originally a monastery, Woburn Abbey was given by Edward VI to the Russell family in 1547. During your visit, you will be blown away by the world-renowned collections that feature in the Abbey, from 24 Views of Venice by Canaletto (1697-1768), The Silver & Gold Vaults to The Crypt Porcelain Display and much more. The architecture is simply beautiful and you must explore the Garden’s also, which are currently undergoing redevelopment so, in all, this is a really exciting time to visit. Covering 3,000 acres and home to nine species of deer, Woburn Abbey Deer Park is another must-see which you can experience as you make your way to the Abbey & Gardens or if you would prefer to enjoy on foot, there are designated public footpaths through the park which can be joined from the Woburn Abbey car park.
Woburn Abbey, Gardens & Deer Park
Adult £17.00, Child (3-15) £8.50, Child (Under 3) Free, Concessions £15.50, Family £42.50
Gardens & Deer Park
Adult £7.50, Child (3-15) £4.75, Child (Under 3) Free, Concessions £6.50
The Abbey is now closed until March 23rd, 2018
The Gardens, Tea Room, Shop & Deer Park are open from 3rd November – 23rd March 2018
Friday – Sunday 10am – 4pm
Woburn Abbey & Gardens
01525 290 333
3. The Collection at Shuttleworth
The Collection opened to the public in 1963 and over the years, further aircraft and vehicles have been added. It now contains some of the last airworthy aircraft of their type remaining anywhere in the world. Make sure you download a map before you visit as it’s a working aircraft & vehicle collection and things aren’t always found in the same place! There are regular workshops, talks & tours so do check the ‘What’s On’ section prior to your visit. You will also find the oh-so-pleasant Swiss Garden’s nearby which are worth a stroll around.
Adult £10.50, Children Free, Concession £8.50
Adult £5.50, Children Free, Concessions £5.00
Combined Collection & Swiss Garden Ticket
Adult £14.00, Children Free, Concession £12.00
See online for various opening times.
4. Wardown House, Museum & Gallery
Step back in time at Wardown House which has a rich historic past. Formerly the home of the wealthy Victorian family, the Scargill’s, then turned military hospital – this Museum tells the story of Luton’s transformation into the exciting and diverse town it is today. You’ll find a range of displays throughout the building including the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment Gallery and the popular Luton Life Gallery. There are events and activities for all ages and interests held throughout the year so check the ‘What’s On’ section on the website to prepare for your visit.
Visiting the Museum is free. Although, donations are very much appreciated to help with the upkeep.
14th Feb – 31st October Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm
1st November – 13th February Monday – Sunday 10am – 4pm
Wardown House, Museum & Gallery
Old Bedford Road
5. Ascott House
Dating back to 1606, the core of Ascott House is actually an old farmhouse. Over time, the farmhouse has undergone many changes and during the 1930’s it was extensively modelled when 37 rooms were removed to create the present appearance. Formally a hunting box, the House was donated to the National Trust in 1949 by Anthony de Rothschild, together with the Ascott Collection and still to this day, Ascott remains the countryside residence of the de Rothschild family. Along with the Park & Gardens, this is a truly beautiful place to visit.
House & Gardens
Adult £10.00, Child (16 & under) £5.00
Adult £5.00, Child (16 & under) £2.50
2017 Opening dates have now ended. 2018 times TBA.
Things to do with the kids in Bedfordshire
1. ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
Love animals? Why not take a walk on the wild side at Whipsnade. They have so many experiences available like getting up-close to the animals and becoming a keeper for a day – there’s something for everyone here. You’ll be stunned by the beautiful exhibits from the Passage Through Asia to Hullabazoo Farm. Enjoying spotting Amur Tigers, Red Pandas and Rhinos of Nepal...Just to name a few. There are plenty of places to eat if you get peckish and you will certainly be spoilt for choice. Check the ‘What’s On’ schedule for any special events to ensure you make the most of your trip.
Adult £19.65, Children (3-15) £15.40, Children (Under 3) Free, Concession £17.70, Family £63.60
On the Gate
Adult £24, Children (3-15) £18.85, Children (Under 3) Free, Concession £21.60
From 29th October, open daily. 10am – 3pm
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
2. Go Bowling Dunstable
Does your family love to bowl? Why not enjoy a fun few hours at Dunstable bowling alley: Go bowling. They have offers, specially for families too including 10% off every day between 10am-11am and also £6.99 per child for 1 game of bowling + a meal and drink with an after-school deal. So there really is a family-friendly vibe that comes with this.
Not specified online.
Monday – Friday 12 noon – 11pm
Saturday 9.30 am – Midnight
Sunday 10am – 11pm
School & Bank Holidays 10am till late
3. Herrings Green Activity Farm & Birds of Prey Centre
Falcons, Eagles, Hawks & Owls can all be found at this centre and it boasts being one of the UK’s largest collections of Birds of Prey with over 200 birds on display. There are also lots of opportunities to get up close to the likes of Reptiles, Shire Horses, Rabbits, Guinea pigs, Alpacas and more! Why not put your farm hands to the test in ‘Freda’s Milking Parlour’ or give panning for gold a go..There is so much to see and do here you will be spoilt for choice.
Adult £12.50, Senior £11.50, Child (3-15) £9.50, Family £34.50
Monday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
The English School of Falconry
Herrings Green Farm
Cotton End Road
4. Mead Open Farm
Open since 1994, this is a really popular place to visit with the children. Mead Open Farm was actually one of the first Open Farms in Bedfordshire. It spans 30 acres and is home to farmyard animals large and small. You’ll meet ponies, rabbits, goats, cows, pigs and sheep as well as some ducks who you may see waddling around and hens in the henhouse. There are also other fun activities like go-karts, an outdoor adventure playground, crazy golf and sand play in the ‘Digger Village’. Definitely a great place to keep those little ones busy! There are places to eat on site or if you’d prefer, pack yourself a picnic to complete your fun day out.
Prices vary so do double check online for your time of visit
Adult From £10.45 - £11.95, Child From £9.45 - £10.95, Senior From £9.75 - £11.25, Disabled plus carer From £6.75 - £8.95, Under 2 Free
Daily 10am – 6pm
Some days may vary depending on events being held at the Farm.
Mead Open Farm
5. The Lodge
Opened in 1961, The Lodge is a nature reserve which can be explored over a vast 5 miles of trails and beautifully managed gardens. This is a fun and interactive place to bring the kids and get them more involved in nature. Each season brings a different experience to the nature reserve so it doesn’t matter when you visit, you will still be able to spot many species of birds which can become a fun ‘I, spy’ game and children will enjoy looking out for them. If you’d like to make the most of your visit, why not take a look at the Events section online – there are some really great things on including ‘Stargazing night at RSPB The Lodge’, ‘Give Nature a Home Day’ and ‘The Tale of the Robin – Christmas Trail’.
Non-members £5.00 per motor vehicle
7am – 9pm (or sunset when earlier)
Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
Saturday – Sunday & Bank Holidays 10am – 5pm