Must See Attractions & Things to do in Luton, Bedfordshire

Learn all you need to know about Luton, a small town in the United Kingdom, right here, before you decide to spend your holiday there. Luton is packed with a variety of entertaining activities.

Luton, located 50 kilometers north-northwest of the centre of London, had explosive growth in the 20th century, which resulted in the Luton town centre being packed with practical architecture from that era. On the approach to the international Luton airport in Luton, the vast majority of travelers will avoid going through the town entirely. You would also need to know about the best Luton airport hotel.

However, there is a surprising number of things to do in Luton as well as the countryside that surrounds it. Both Stock wood and Wardown, which are the two main parks, have captivating museums, and both of them have lately received money to help them improve.

Luton is located immediately below the northeastern escarpment of the Chiltern Hills, and it is within striking distance of Whipsnade Zoo, often regarded as the top zoo in the United Kingdom. You can also visit Luton to London train

Things to do in Luton & Places to Go

Stockwood Park

Stockwood Park
Stockwood Park

A former country estate, this park that spans 100 hectares may be found on the southeastern edge of Luton. The Stockwood House, which was built in 1740, was demolished in the 1960s, and its stables and walled gardens are now home to the Stockwood Discovery Centre. This center was established with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and we will discuss it further down in this section.

Amidst the towering ancient trees lies the remaining portion of the parkland, which has been developed into athletic fields and a center for sports competitions. The Stockwood Park Golf Centre is located on the eastern side, and it has both an 18-hole course with a par of 69 and a nine-hole course with a par of 3.

The Stockwood Discovery Centre (SDC)

The museum, which is located in the stables at Stockwood Park, is surrounded on three sides by different types of gardens: a medieval garden, an Elizabethan formal knot garden, and a Dig for Victory Garden, which is a recreation of the vegetable plots used during World War II. There is a Discovery Hall, a collection of Victorian greenhouses, and the Discovery Galleries located among the complex of old and modern buildings that make up the museum. You can visit the place by traveling there by Luton train station. 

The springs and Wheel exhibition in the Discovery Hall examines the development of transportation over the course of the ages. The incredible Mossman Collection, which will be discussed further down in this section, can be found in the Life’s Journey exhibition.

The Discovery Galleries are devoted to the history of the local area and include artifacts from the Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Medieval periods. In addition, the galleries have a collection of arts and crafts that were collected from the villages of Bedfordshire between the 1930s and the 1950s.

Wardown Park

Wardown Park
Wardown Park

Wardown Park, which is located next to the River Lea and has a lake for boating on its eastern side, is the kind of municipal park that would make any community proud.

The suspension bridge, which was built in 1908 and was recently renovated in 2015, is the most iconic structure in the park, other than the mansion that houses the Wardown Park Museum. 

The Daisy Chain wall, which was constructed in 1905 with patterned brickwork in the Arts and Crafts style and divides the main park from the more formal pleasure garden, is another delightful feature of the grounds.

In the summer, the flowerbeds around the museum are a kaleidoscope of color, and the lake, which is surrounded by a children’s playground and is home to geese, swans, and ducks, is a popular place for wildlife watching.

Also, know about Hemsworth Water Park before you plan to spend time there.

The Museum Located at Wardown Park

The town museum of Luton is located in a Victorian mansion in Wardown Park. The museum focuses on the archaeology of the area as well as the traditional knowledge of things to do in Bedfordshire. 

You will be able to inspect a mirror that dates back to the Iron Age as well as the Shillington Roman Coin Hoard on the ground floor. This hoard is comprised of 130 coins, the most of which are gold, that were minted throughout the reigns of seven different Roman emperors.

Examples of lace that date back to the 1600s demonstrate that the traditional Bedfordshire crafts of hat-making and lace-making are well-represented in the museum.

However, if there is one display that you only have time to visit, make it the Wenlock Jug, which dates back to the 1400s and is one of just three bronze jugs from the Middle Ages that have survived in England.

Mossman Collection

This impressive collection of horse-drawn vehicles may be seen in the Life’s Journey Gallery at the Discovery Center. It is so impressive that it deserves its own section.

This is the greatest collection of its sort in Europe, and it was put gathered by a local businessman named George Mossman. It comprises 54 of Mossman’s cars, in addition to nine that were contributed by the Luton Museum Services.

A London omnibus, a mail carriage, a Landau from the 1700s, a Barouche from the early 1800s, and a charabanc, a carriage that was utilized in public transportation around the time when motorized vehicles were introduced, are just some of the mesmerizing exhibits that can be seen at this museum. Another of the things to do in Luton. 

The carriages are all in excellent condition and are often rented out to production companies working in the fields of television and film.

St Mary’s Church

St Mary's Church
St Mary’s Church

St. Mary’s is more than 850 years old and is the biggest church in Bedfordshire. The façade of the building has a flint and stone checker pattern that makes it stand out.

The majority of the monument’s architecture is in the Perpendicular Gothic style, which dates back to the 15th century when the local lord John Wenlock funded an expansion and built a chapel for his family. Even though the monument has undergone extensive restoration, the majority of its architecture is in this style.

There you will discover the grave of his father, William Wenlock, as well as a picture of John Wenlock in one of the stained glass windows of the chapel, which dates back to the early 20th century. Both of these may be found in the same location. Be sure to check out the breathtaking transept windows as well as the baptismal font, which has a magnificent Gothic octagonal canopy dating back to the 14th century.

Things to Know about Luton 

In the English county of Bedfordshire, you’ll find the sizable town, borough, and unitary authority region known as Luton. The Luton/Dunstable Urban Area is home to around 258,000 people and is comprised of the Lutons, Dunstable, and Houghton Regis, which are located in close proximity to one another.

It is situated 30 kilometers (20 miles) to the east of Aylesbury, 14 kilometers (20 miles) to the west of Stevenage, 50 kilometers (80 miles) to the north-west of London, and 22 kilometers (40 miles) to the south-east of Milton Keynes.

Luton Town Football Club now competes in League One. Over the course of its existence, the club has spent many seasons in the first division of the English league and won the Football League Cup in 1988 at Wembley Stadium. Luton is home to the team. They play their home games at the Kenilworth Road Luton stadium, which has served as their base of operations since the year 1905.

Must see places in Luton

The Whipsnade Zoo and Wildlife Park

Whipsnade Zoo and Wildlife Park: Things to do in Luton
Whipsnade Zoo and Wildlife Park

The biggest zoo in the United Kingdom may be found only a few miles into Dunstable Downs. The Zoological Society of London, often known as ZSL, is a charitable organization that works to protect animals all over the globe. ZSL is the owner of Whipsnade Zoo.

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 brand new butterfly house that houses the enormous Atlas moth. All of these animals can be found spread out across more than a dozen different zones.

In addition to the daily sea lion and bird shows, the zoo also offers a variety of animal experiences. For an additional fee, visitors can get up close and personal with animals like rhinos and giraffes. The “Zoo Explorers” program is a one-day course for children aged 5-7 that includes educational hands-on games and activities led by zookeepers.

Woodside Animal Farm

Woodside Animal Farm
Woodside Animal Farm

Woodside Animal Farm is a great place for families with young children since it provides a secure setting for youngsters to feed and touch animals while still being supervised by knowledgeable personnel.

These hands-on workshops have a tendency to change with the seasons; the greatest time to visit is around Easter, when there are newborn animals such as lambs, ducklings, and bunnies. 

The children will learn about the diets and behaviors of the animals while walking about the farm, which has paddocks with goats, ponies, donkeys, and alpacas, as well as cows.

On the farm, there is a diverse selection of activities and points of interest, including rides on tractors and fairground attractions, crazy golf, a sand pit, bike and scooter rentals, and both indoor and outdoor play spaces.

Dunstable Downs

Dunstable Downs
Dunstable Downs

You are never more than a few minutes away from the picturesque Chilterns while you are in Luton, which is a chalk range that runs straight southwest of the town.

At Haddington Hill, located in the Dunstable Downs, you’ll find the highest point in the East of England. This escarpment is part of the Chiltern Mountains’ northeastern extension.

You may learn about the Bronze Age history of the downs by following the Five Knolls Wildlife and Heritage Walk provided by the National Trust. This walk will also allow you to learn about the flora and animals that live in this ecosystem.

A tourist center that is also maintained by the trust and has a store, a café, and information about the surrounding environment is available.

The London Glider Club also uses the downs, and while you’re walking there, you could see some of their planes gliding lazily through the air above you.

Best Dunstable Hotels To Stay

The top recommended hotels in Dunstable are:

  • Highwayman Hotel
  • The Old Palace Lodge
  • Cherish End Guest House
  • Holiday Inn Express Dunstable, an IHG Hotel
  • Huku Kwetu

Barton Hills National Nature Reserve 

In the Chilterns’ northeastern foothills, which are located to the north of Luton, there is an even more stunning landscape. Weather Luton is another thing to keep in consideration. 

This stretch of downland is revered for the rare wildflowers that grow there, including larger pignuts, hair violets, orchids, fleaworts, and, perhaps most notably, pasques, which bloom between the months of April and June.

This help attracts a colorful assortment of butterflies, and the nature reserve has a crystal clear chalk stream that can be found at the bottom of the valley.

The Dartmoor ponies are let out on these hills during the summer months so that they may graze.

Shaw’s Corner 

Culture vultures should definitely make the journey to Shaw’s Corner, which is located 10 miles southeast of Luton.

From 1906 until his death in 1950, Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw called Shaw’s Corner his country home. Shaw was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work. The home is filled with his belongings, such as his writing desk, writing implements, Nobel Prize, and a bust of George Bernard Shaw sculpted by Auguste Rodin.

You can view a portion of Shaw’s large personal library as well as his writing shed, which was dubbed “London” and could be moved to follow the sun throughout the day. Shaw named the shed “London” so that visitors would assume he was truly writing when he was in the city.

A schedule of performances of Shaw’s plays may be found in the gardens throughout the summer, and there are also temporary exhibits on various facets of his life that can be seen there.

In the year 2018, it will be possible to learn more about George and his wife Charlotte’s involvement in the push to provide women the right to vote.

Wrest Park

Wrest Park
Wrest Park

This magnificent rural house is a testament to three hundred years of garden design from across the world.

A variety of parterres designed in the French, Dutch, Italian, and English styles can be seen at Wrest Park. These parterres are separated from one another by a gravel path that curves into a canal and leads to a magnificent Baroque pavilion banqueting house built in 1711. During the 18th century, two of the most well-known names in landscape design were hired to work in Wrest Park. These names were Henry Wise and Capability Brown.

More than 40 sculptures may be seen throughout the grounds, in addition to other outstanding monuments such as a Bowling Green House dating back to the 18th century, an elaborate bridge, and a Chinese temple.

In the dairy on the estate, you’ll find even more sculptures, including a sundial from 1682 and a Neptune carved from Portland stone. Both of these pieces are on display.

Luton Hoo Walled Garden

A stately mansion designed by the renowned Neoclassical architect Robert Adam and constructed in the 1760s for the 3rd Earl of Bute is located south of Luton outlaws and just beyond Stockwood Park.

The author and physician Samuel Johnson was an early visitor to the home, and he was impressed by its splendor. Robert Smirke made alterations to the home in the 19th century, and it was eventually put up for sale in 1991.

Although it is now one of the hotels in Luton other than the luton airport hotel, Luton Hoo offers guided tours of its five-acre walled garden on Wednesdays during the summer months. The garden was designed by the third Earl of Bute in the 1760s and is open to the public.

The garden has gorgeous glasshouses that date back to the Victorian and Edwardian eras. There is also a produce stand where you can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as honey that was produced on-site.

Someries Castle

Just to the east of Luton Airport is where you’ll find a fascinating piece of history tucked away in an unlikely spot.

Someries Castle is a fortified manor house that dates back to the 15th century and was created by Sir John Wenlock. It is thought to have been one of the earliest brick homes built in England. 

Someries Castle was abandoned in a condition of incomplete construction and many of its bricks were reused in the building of nearby farmhouses in the 1600s because Wenlock passed away before his dwelling could be finished built.

You may enter through the pointed Gothic arches at the doorway and examine the ruins of the house’s chapel. The gatehouse is in outstanding shape given how old it is.

When you go outside, you can see the earthworks of a Norman castle that used to be here before Wenlock acquired the parcel of land.

Luton Carnival

On the Bank Holiday Saturday at the end of May, Luton will play host to the biggest one-day carnival in the United Kingdom.

The West Indian community of the town initiated the event in the 1970s, and since then it has grown into a vibrant celebration that takes place around Wardown Park. The event now features a funfair, dancing, stalls for international cuisine, arts and crafts, yoga, and a lot of other activities in addition to live music.

The parade is the most important part of the celebration, and it customarily begins on the outskirts of Wardown Park and travels down Old and New Bedford Roads.

More than 1,500 people take part in the parade, which sees dozens of community organizations from all across the city coming together to spend months preparing colorful costumes, floats, and sound systems for the event.

Luton Prayer Times

The prayer times Bedford is shown below:

Prayer NamePrayer Time
Prayer Times in Luton

Also, know about the GLM prayer times if you live in or around Birmingham.

End Note

The town was well-known for its hat-making industry for a good number of years. It also had a significant Vauxhall Motors plant in the past, and the company’s headquarters are still located in the town today. Manufacture of automobiles started at this site in 1905 and lasted until 2002; nevertheless, production of commercial vehicles is still going strong. Therefore, there are not only a lot of things to do in Luton but fun things to do in Luton too. There are also many Luton restaurants and restaurants near Dunstable you would love to dine in!

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