The home of the Dukes of Bedford for nearly 400 years.
Time is precious nowadays and people expect more and more from their days out. They want to be moved by fine art, left awe-struck by grand designs, witness exotic animals charging around, and lose themselves in the great outdoors.
And why not, when places like Woburn Abbey offer all this and more. Art aficionados will lap up the Abbey’s private collection which includes paintings by Van Dyck, Gainsborough and Canaletto as well as the famous Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I painted by George Gower in 1588. In fact, examples of fine taste are everywhere, lurking in nooks and crannies, from 18th century French furniture to the rare porcelain in the crypt. And when you finally leave the Palladian mansion, the fun starts all over again. You can wander around the beautiful gardens, lose yourself in the pagoda maze, or sit in the 300 year old Grottoes and breath in the Bedfordshire air.
Animal lovers can witness the UK’s largest herd of Pere David Deer in the Deer park or drive around a savannah straight out of Africa with rhinos, zebras, buffalos and giraffe roaming freely in the safari park. If that wasn’t enough action for one day, there’s still time to squeeze in one more unique experience before heading home.
Round off your day in style with afternoon tea in the Duchess’ Tea Room or at the Woburn Hotel. The quintessential English tradition was popularised by Duchess Anna who entertained her friends in the Abbey’s Blue Drawing Room around 1840. We’ll raise a pinky to that.