Houghton House - Ampthill

Houghton House is the shell of a 17th-century mansion commanding spectacular views over the Bedfordshire countryside. It was reputedly the inspiration for the 'Palace Beautiful' in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. The original house was built around 1615 and was dismantled in 1797. The ruins survived as a garden feature in the grounds of nearby Ampthill Park.

There are no facilities on site but there are grassed areas that are lovely for a picnic and taking in the views.

English Heritage. Free entry.