What to do while you stay?
A beautiful, yet underrated countryside town, Luton lies on 30 miles (48.2 km) north of the capital city, London. Instead of crowded streets bustling with tourists and endless traffic, you instead get the quiet bliss of this countryside town. Overcome with beautiful parks, such as Wardown Park with its enriching history, or Whipsnade Tree Cathedral with its fascinating architecture, you’ll truly feel like you’re in another world when you come to this quaint town. Priding itself on its beautiful natural havens, you can still enjoy a fun evening out at the Luton Library Theatre where you can watch high-quality performances, on a romantic date, or as family time with your children! Check out the best things to do in Luton for a fun and memorable trip.
This 100-hectare park is at Luton’s southern limits is a former country estate.
Stockwood House (1740) was pulled down in the 1960s, and its stables and walled gardens now host the Stockwood Discovery Centre, developed with finance from the Heritage Lottery Fund and which we’ll cover below.
The remainder of the parkland features sports pitches and an athletics facility among the giant historic trees. On the east side is the Stockwood Park Golf Centre, which has an 18-hole par 69 and a nine-hole par 3 course.
Stockwood Discovery Centre
The museum in the stables at Stockwood Park is fringed by a Medieval garden, Elizabethan formal knot garden, and a Dig for Victory Garden, recreating the vegetable plots of the Second World War.
In the museum’s complex of old and new buildings, there’s a Discovery Hall, a set of Victorian Greenhouses, and the Discovery Galleries.
In the Discovery Hall, the Springs and Wheel exhibition looks at the evolution of transport over centuries, while Life’s Journey is home to the awesome Mossman Collection, which we’ll talk about below.
The Discovery Galleries are dedicated to local history and have Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Medieval artifacts, as well as a collection of arts and crafts, gathered from Bedfordshire villages from the 1930s to the 1950s.
A few miles into the Dunstable Downs is the largest zoo in the UK. Whipsnade Zoo is owned by the ZSL (Zoological Society of London), a non-profit organisation engaged in animal conservation around the world.
Over more than a dozen zones, Whipsnade has cheetahs, Indian rhinos, birds from around the world, a herd of nine Asian elephants, sea lions, African lions, African hunting dogs, and a new butterfly house, containing the humungous Atlas moth.
On top of daily sea lion and bird demonstrations, the zoo also has a range of animal experiences, where for an extra fee you can get up close to rhinos and giraffes, “Zoo Explorers” is a one-day course for kids aged 5-7 with educational hands-on games and zookeeper activities.