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WEDNESDAY, 27TH MARCH 2013
Bedfordshire Tourist Attractions

Bedfordshire is a county divided. While the agricultural North retains the simplicity and old world charm commonly associated with the most Easterly of Anglian counties, the populous South continues to expand and diversify in keeping with industrial demands. As the primary gateway to the Midlands, Bedfordshire shares much of the hilly topography popular with weekender cyclists and hang-gliding enthusiasts - namely the Chiltern Hills which see over 2 million visitors each year. Despite its multifarious green settings and peaceful idylls, Bedfordshire is more commonly known for its architectural heritage; home to Woburn Abbey, one of the largest stately homes in England and Houghton House, featured in writer John Bunyan's acclaimed novella 'Pilgrim's Progress'. With dedicated public transport routes snaking the region, a day filled with excitement and education for the entire family is entirely possible!

If you are looking for a delightful holiday cottage to stay in whilst visiting Bedfordshire please visit bookcottages.com.

 

Woburn Abbey - flckr - jimbowen0306Woburn Abbey, Woburn Park
Beset within an ancient deer park of over 3,000 acres, historic Woburn Abbey presents a delightful country manor with endless sources of entertainment and intrigue. Built in the early 13th Century as a Cistercian monastery for pilgrims and monks, the Abbey enjoyed four Centuries of devotion until it was disbanded in 1543. Commissioned by the Abbey's first owner Sir John Russel in the late 16th Century, the serene formal gardens are a testament to the creativity of landscape architect Humphry Renton. Sprawling across an area in excess of 30 acres, the gardens include a number of mysterious grottos and arboretums said to have been planted for the woodland nymphs, leading to  a series of symmetric water gardens framed by exotic borders. Beyond the stately lawns lies Woburn Safari Park, housing one the largest collections of African and Australian mammals in the UK. Whether you opt for the Road Safari or explore on foot, you'll find a host of fascinating marsupials, big cats and reptiles in their vast natural habitats!  www.woburn.co.uk/abbey/

 

The Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden Park, North Biggleswade
The tranquil and unassuming estate of Old Warden House seems an unlikely place for one of England's finest aeronautical museums. Behind this flamboyant example of Jacobean architecture stands the Old Warden Airfield, made famous by aviator and racing car driver Richard Ormonde Shuttleworth. Since his untimely death whilst flying a Fairey Battle aircraft at Ewelme in 1940, the estate has concentrated its efforts on the preservation of vintage aircraft, including a de-Havilland Hermes Moth (1928) restored by the man himself.  www.shuttleworth.org/

Of particular interest is the 'Edwardian Exhibition', which houses the world's oldest plane (still airworthy) Bleriot XI (1909). Car enthusiasts will find an equally prestigious array of pre-war and Edwardian motors, notably the 1903 De Dietrich and Hillman Minx 'RAF Staff Car'(1939). The majority of Shuttleworth's collection remain airworthy and can frequently be seen in various displays throughout the summer months. Don't miss the automobile workshop where you can see firsthand numerous vintage automobiles undergoing restoration!

 

Bromham Mill, Bridge End, Bedford
Millers have worked the water-powered site at Bromham since before the Domesday census in 1086 and 1,000 years on, continues to thrive as one of the last operational flour mills in England. Group tours of the site are available by appointment and include a guided walk-through of the inner buildings, coupled with a baking session on the ground floor. Now a popular art gallery showcasing local talent, the first floor also houses a small exhibition of machinery, photographs and diary excerpts for anyone interested in agricultural history.  www.bedford.gov.uk/leisure_and_culture/

 

 

POSTED BY: LISA
AT 11:23

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