Stockwood Discovery Centre
Stockwood Park Museum has been transformed into the Stockwood Discovery Centre. This is a visitor centre with brand new facilities such as café, shop, extensive gardens, children’s outdoor area, feature exhibitions and corporate venue hire. The new centre has an environmental theme running throughout and hosts various collections along with the Mossman carriages, which is the largest museum collection of horse-drawn vehicles in the UK. There are also fascinating displays concerning the history of the area including the former Stockwood House.
Housed in tranquil parkland on the site of the former Stockwood House approximately 2 miles to the south of Luton town centre, close to junction 10 of the M1 visitors will find rural crafts and trades on display, giving a flavour of life in Bedfordshire before the industrial revolution.
The beautiful Period Gardens are situated within the original walled gardens of Stockwood House. They are inspired by nine centuries of gardening history including an Elizabethan Knot Garden and Victorian Cottage Gardens.
Stockwood is one of the few places outside of Scotland where visitors can enjoy the work of international artist, Ian Hamilton Finlay. The Improvement Garden has a classical theme, with sculptures full of allusions to ancient Greece and Rome.
The Centre holds events and activities for all ages and interests and together with the new outdoor play area, children and adults will be kept entertained the whole day.
Please phone the museum for news of up-to-date exhibitions, events and activities and also for venue hire and children’s birthday parties on 01582 548600 or visit www.stockwooddiscoverycentre.com
Free admission and parking
Wardown Park Museum
Wardown Park Museum is situated in a beautiful landscaped park around one and a half miles north from the centre of Luton.
The first floor galleries opened as the Luton Life displays in February 2003. Funded with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the displays explore the stories of Luton people over the past 150 years. Throughout the galleries there are listening posts where visitors can hear local people telling their stories. There are also hands-on exhibits and touchscreen computers with images of old Luton.
The ground floor galleries include the Lace Gallery displaying some of the museum’s extensive collection of local lace and the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire gallery tells the story of the local regiment.
The ground floor also houses the special exhibitions gallery. The museum holds around four temporary exhibitions a year on different subjects. There are also events and activities for all ages and interests throughout the year. Exhibitions range from nationally significant partnership exhibitions with the British Museum to hands - on displays for all the family.
The Museum Education Service runs a varied schools programme with sessions to complement the national curriculum using both the galleries and artifacts for handling.
There is free parking at the museum and good disabled access (including a lift to the first floor). A small tearoom serves drinks and snacks. The museum shop sells souvenirs, local history publications and old photographs.
Tel: 01582 546722 or visit www.wardownparkmuseum.com
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday and admission is free.
Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
Open Bank Holiday Mondays
Olde Watermill Shopping Village
The Olde Watermill Shopping Village is probably Bedfordshire’s Best Kept Secret, It was built around a 1000 year old watermill and will allow you to take a step back in time.
The Dickensian Village has over 15 different shops where you can listen to the hustle and bustle of the cobbled streets around you as you pay a visit to the old fashioned sweet shop, jewellers ,antiques centre and specialist wool shop to name a few, or the arts crafts and local artists gallery set on three floors in the old mill.
For those that like the outdoors, the garden centre and gift shop is set around the old mill pond. If you are looking to entertain the children then the our Pirates and Mermaids outdoor adventure play area will keep them entertained for hours.
From the beginning of October the Victorian Christmas Village will provide you with the ultimate Christmas experience. The World of Dickens has over 3500f2 of Christmas themes and decorations and with 10 colour themed rooms and settings to create that special magical touch. Book afternoon tea with Santa or visit him in his winter wonderland.
Sample the homemade cakes, afternoon cream teas or try a traditional hot meals or, from October, a Christmas special. For a complete day out for all The Olde Watermill is a must.
Open 7 days a week: Monday – Saturday 9.30am – 5.30pm Sunday 10.00am – 5pm
Woodside Animal Farm & Leisure Park
So much to do. The kids can wear themselves out in the many play and activity areas. There are climbing frames, bouncy castles, trampolines, tractor rides, a sandpit, paddling pool, mini-tractors, teacups, helter-skelter, 18 hole golf course and Professor Peabody’s heated indoor play barn.
So many animals to see: alpacas, cranes, flamingos, iguanas, llamas, monkeys, racoons, tortoises, wallabies and many more. Children are encouraged to get touchy-feely with many of them including the rabbits, chicks, goats, owls and even some reptiles, and they love the treats that you can buy to feed them.
Woodside Animal Farm and Leisure Park
Slip End Village
Just south of London Luton Airport off the B653, the site contains the ruins of a brick chapel and gatehouse from a fortified medieval Manor.