Top tourism destinations
To avoid disappointment, please book events in advance on 01582 500920 unless otherwise stated. Normal admission unless otherwise stated.
Details of the events being held at the centre is available here.
Address: Dunstable Downs, Chiltern Gateway Centre, Whipsnade Road, Dunstable, Beds LU6 2GY
Telephone: 01582 500920
Opening times: Dunstable downs are open all year. The Gateway Centre is open daily:
12 Mar - 30 Oct 11 - 10:00am - 5:00pm
31 Oct - 31 Dec 11 - 10:00am - 54:00pm
DisabledGo is a unique new guide designed to empower thousands of disabled residents across the UK and Ireland to get out and about by providing free detailed access information.
DisabledGo and Central Bedfordshire Council have worked with hundreds of shops, pubs, restaurants, theatres and other public venues so that DisabledGo Central Bedfordshire can provide access details for a number of goods and service providers in the area. This information can make a huge difference for people with hearing, vision or mobility related access concerns. The guide may also be useful for older people and those with pushchairs.
By logging on to DisabledGo Central Bedfordshire, people can check for example, whether a pub is accessible to a wheelchair user, if a cinema can offer a hearing loop, whether a hotel offers adapted rooms or if a restaurant offers menus in large print or Braille.
The guide will also enable Central Bedfordshire business and service providers to make contact with customers whom have accessibility concerns.
Address: Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, Bedfordshire SG17 5TQ
Telephone: 0300 300 6109
Opening times: Please contact Clare Harding for further information about DisabledGo.
The Forest covers sixty-one square miles of Bedfordshire. There are a growing number of beautiful woodlands, wetlands and open spaces for everyone to enjoy.
The Forest Centre is a lively conservation centre, set in the spectacular Millennium Country Park, just a few minutes drive away from Milton Keynes and Bedford. The main park and visitors centre are open all year round and entry's free! The Wetlands reserve has a ticketed charge in order to support maintaining this part of the site for wildlife. With easy parking and trouble free access for everyone, the Forest Centre is a natural place for the all your family to come and explore!
For walkers and cyclists, there are eight kilometres of traffic-free, surfaced footpaths and cycle paths. You can even rent a bicycle from the cycle hire.
Detailed information on events for 2013 at the Forest of Marston Vale is available here
For further information and updates contact The Forest of Marston Vale
Address: The Forest Centre, Marston Vale Millennium Country Park, Station Road, Marston Moretaine, Bedford. Mk43 0PR
Telephone: 01234 767037
Opening times: Forest Centre
Winter (GMT) 10:00a.m. to 5:00p.m.
Summer (BST) 10:00a.m. to 6:00p.m
Activities: Gardens open for Charity in Bedfordshire 2011
Every year National Garden Scheme (NGS) gardens across England and Wales welcome over half a million visitors. Most gardens which open for the NGS are privately owned and open just a few times each year. Some gardens open as part of a group with the whole community involved.
The tradition of opening gardens of quality, character and interest is supported by the schemes Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales.
The NGS raises over £2 million each year for nursing, caring and gardening charities. A full list of NGS facts and figures (PDF 58KB) can be downloaded here.
- Founded in 1927, The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) has donated more than £22 million to charity in the last ten years.
- The NGS gave £2.6 million in 2011 to nursing and other caring charities from money raised by opening more than 3,800 private gardens in England and Wales.
- The 2012 edition of the famous Yellow Book, listing opening details of all 3800 gardens is available to purchase from bookstores and garden centres or it can be ordered direct from the NGS – for £9.99 which includes all post and packaging charges.
- Charities supported by the NGS include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Help the Hospices and Crossroads Care.
Address: The National Gardens Scheme, Hatchlands Park, East Clandon, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7RT
Telephone: 01483 211535
Opening times: A list of properties open under the National Gardens Scheme in Bedfordshire can be downloaded here (PDF 466KB)
Further information about gardens open in Bedfordshire can be found on the National Gardens Scheme website
The King's Arms Garden is a small woodland garden of about 1½ acres created by plantsman the late William Nourish. Trees, shrubs, bulbs and many interesting collections throughout the yr. Maintained since 1987 by 'The Friends of the Garden' on behalf of Ampthill Town Council.
Since 1987 the garden had been maintained by the Friends of the Garden on behalf of the Ampthill Town Council. It is usually open the last Sunday in the month to the public and to groups by arrangement. The first opening of the year is in late January for the many varieties of snowdrops and hellebores. Bill planted so well that there is something new to be seen every month, especially in the Spring when there is something is a splendid succession of bulbs. It is usually open on the last Sunday of each month except in November and December.
Further information can be found on the National Gardens Scheme website
Address: Ampthill, Bedfordshire, MK45 2PP
Telephone: 01525 403945
Opening times: Sun 29 Jan 2012 (2-4)
Admission:Adm £2, children free
Activities: About The Lodge
The Lodge nature reserve opened in 1961. The woodland, heath and acid grassland here cover 180 hectares, and are being restored to form the largest stretch of heathland in Bedfordshire.
You can explore this attractive nature reserve along 8 km of trails, visit the beautifully managed gardens, the Iron Age banks and ditches on Galley Hill, or watch woodland birds from the hide. You can see a wide range of woodland species throughout the year, and spotted flycatchers and hobbies during the summer.
The shop has an excellent range of binoculars and telescopes, books, bird food and gifts. Guided walks can also be booked here. There is a picnic area, and snacks are available at the shop. The hide, gardens and toilets are wheelchair accessible.
Address: The Lodge, Potton Road, Sandy. SG19 2DL
Telephone: 01767 680541
Opening times: The reserve is open from 7:00am to 9:00pm (or sunset when earlier). The shop is open from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays and 10:00am to 5:00pm at weekends and on Bank Holidays.
Entrance charges: Non-members: £4 per motor vehicle. Members, and those just visiting the shop, can park for free. Please get a ticket from the ticket machine in the visitors' car park and display it in your vehicle.
Ancient woodland and chalk escarpment with fantastic views.
The hill top beech wood on the Clappers is thought to have been an Iron Age Hill fort, and the chalk grasslands on the slopes below are important for many species of butterfly. The area comes alive in the summer with the sound of skylarks. (Natural Interest)
Start/Finish Point: Start at the car park at Sharpenhoe Clappers. Start Nat GR: TL064295.
How to get there by car/Parking: This area lies off Sharpenhoe Road, reached from the village of Streatley on the A6 between Luton and Bedford. There is a small car park at Sharpenhoe Clappers, on the road between Streatley and Sharpenhoe, signposted from the road.
How to get there by Car:This area lies off Sharpenhoe Road, reached from the village of Streatley on the A6 between Luton and Bedford.
There is a small car park at Sharpenhoe Clappers, on the road between Streatley and Sharpenhoe, signposted from the road.
More information can be found on the Let's go website or The National Trust
Address: The National Trust, Dunstable Downs Gateway Centre
Telephone: 01582 608489
Opening times:are available on the National Trust/Sharpenhoe webpage.
Take a trip down Memory Lane, and visit our museum to see bygone vehicles from the beginning of the century right up to modern day classics. Most of our exhibits originate from the largest private collection in the country, plus more recent acquisitions by the museum, making a total of over 350 exhibits.
Coffee shop for tea, coffee, snacks and ice creams.
Gift Shop with wide range of associated memorabilia.
The Museum is located in Lower Stondon, which is on the A600 between Hitchin and Shefford. The museum is signposted from the roundabout on the A600 in the centre of Lower Stondon. Follow the turning towards Shillington. After about half a mile you will see the entrance to the museum on the left hand side.
Address: Lower Stondon, Henlow, Beds. SG16 6JN
Telephone: 01462 850339
Opening times: Open 6 days a week, 10:00am to 4:00pm
Closed Fridays (other than Good Friday)
Visit Stondon Motor Museum website for further information
Stotfold Watermill, in its idyllic setting on the River Ivel, is unique - it is a Grade II listed watermill that has been completely rebuilt since it burnt down in 1992 and has three fully accessible floors to view. Some of the machinery survived the fire and has been restored by a team of volunteers working alongside the mill specialists. Notable features are the 4.4 metre wide overshot corn mill waterwheel which is the widest in the country, and the hursting frame originally installed in 1897 by Whitmore and Binyon.
The adjacent 8.5 acre Mill Meadows, which has been officially designated a Local Nature Reserve by Natural England.
Open to the public some Sundays from April - October. Free entry to the mill. Tea room, gift shop, quality stone-ground flour.
Address: Stotfold, Bedfordshire, SG5 4NU
Telephone: 01462 734541
Opening times: Opening times
The Shuttleworth Collection depicts the history of flight from the early 1900s to the 1950s and shows how the aeroplane operated in the pioneering years, was rapidly developed through necessity during World War I, was used for sport, pleasure and business in the 1920s and 30s and once again became a fighting machine in World War II.
Admission: Adults £12.00 (On non event days)
Seniors £10.00 (On non event days)
Accompanied Children up to 16 yrs FREE when with paying adults. Maximum number of children four.
For all adult groups, youth groups, cubs, beavers, cadets, play schemes, please telephone our groups organiser 01767 627924
Admission includes a gift aid donation.
At certain times during the year there is a charge for car parking of £3, this can be redeemed against Collection admission or a hot meal in the restaurant
Address: The Shuttleworth Collection, Shuttleworth (Old Warden) Aerodrome, Nr. Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. SG18 9EP
Telephone: 01767 627927
Opening times: 9:30am to 4:00pm Last admission 3pm
Further information is available on the Shuttleworth website
A visit to The Swiss Garden takes you back to the early 19th century, when an interest in ornamental gardening and picturesque architecture first came together.
The Swiss Garden, Old Warden Park, Bedfordshire, created in the 1820's by Lord Ongley, is a late Regency garden and an outstanding example of the Swiss picturesque.
The Swiss Cottage provides the main element for this unusual and atmospheric garden. It provides the principal aspect for a number of contrived vistas which lead the eye towards this attractive thatched structure.
Please visit the Swiss Garden website for further information, opening times and entrance fees.
Address: The Shuttleworth Collection, Shuttleworth (Old Warden) Aerodrome, Nr. Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. SG18 9EP
Telephone: +44 (0)1767 627927
Opening times:Opening times: please see the Swiss Garden website
Admission: Adults £5, Seniors £4 and children up to 16yrs free
Exciting days out at English Heritage’s Wrest Park.
Wrest Park will be opening its doors for the start of the new 2013 season seven days a week for the first time ever - from Good Friday 29 March.
The egg-citement kicks off at the historic site with a fun family Easter Trail around the magnificent grounds, running every day from Good Friday, 29 March until Monday 1 April. Easter’s visitors to Wrest Park will also be able to enjoy colourful spring flowers bursting into bloom, including daffodils, crocus and Hellebores in the Italian and Rose Garden borders and the Walled Garden.
Wrest Park’s once secret but stunning 90-acre landscape has quickly become one of the country’s most talked about garden attractions and this year its huge success sees its doors open seven days a week through to 3 November, in response to increasing visitor demand.
Later this spring, the French Parterre – newly restored during 2012 – will be blooming beautifully with a delicate theme of white and pale pink ground cover and broad swathes of china pink tulips dotted with dark purple tulips, whilst the Italian Garden will feature a 'sunset' planting theme, with hot reds, oranges and yellows.
Wave the flag for St George
Make a diary date to attend Wrest Park’s annual St George’s Day Festival – the biggest in the land - on 20 and 21 April to watch England’s gallant patron saint in dragon-slaying action. From crack troops from the imperial Roman army to medieval jousting knights, the festival has a host of entertainers lined up. Discounted early bird prices apply on bookings made before 5 April with weekend tickets (to attend both Saturday and Sunday) available for the first time. For more information or to book, visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/wrestpark or call 0870 333 1181.
Wrest Park’s landscaped grounds provide a unique walk through 300 years of garden history. Miles of reinstated historic paths plus motorised golf carts have made it easier to access its many highlights including the long canal, woodland walks, statues, vistas and lovely Baroque and French style garden buildings.
It has a visitor centre with 74-seater café, shop and plant sales area, interactive exhibitions and selected rooms inside the 1830s French-style mansion to view, including the refurbished Countess’s Sitting Room.
Address: Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, MK45 4HR
Telephone: 01525 860000
Opening times: Information on Opening times for 2013/14 is available on the Wrest Park website
Admission prices: Adults £8.80, Concessions £7.90, Children £5.30, Family Ticket £22.90.
Where: Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, MK45 4HR. By road: ¾ mile east of Silsoe off the A6, 10 miles south of Bedford. Train: Flitwick (4 miles) Tel: 01525 860000 Web: www.english-heritage.org.uk/wrestpark