Dog-friendly walks, parks, farms and more, explore the best of Bedfordshire this spring.
Silsoe, Bedfordshire MK45 4HR
Explore the evolution of the English garden and take a stroll through three centuries of landscape design at Wrest Park. From beautiful borders to wonderful woodlands, there’s over 92 acres to discover. Finish up with tea and cake at the café. There’s a children’s plays area too!
Forest of Marston Vale
The Forest Centre, Station Road, Marston Moretaine, Bedford, MK43 0PR
With 61sq miles of community forest, surrounded by beautiful Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire countryside, there’s lots of ground to cover. Pull on your walking boots and enjoy one of the many walking routes ranging for seven to 14 miles.
The Forest Centre in the heart of Forest of Marston Vale, is a great place to start your adventure. Stop by the café or gift shop or let the children have fun in the outdoor play area. Here, you can also hire a bike and explore the area on two wheels!
Bluebells at Landpark Wood
Kensworth, Dunstable, LU6 2PZ
A tranquil spot near Whipsnade with a carpet of vibrant bluebells in spring and birdsong in the canopy. Park at Whipsnade Heath and take the circular walk to the wood via Dunstable Downs.
Priory Country Park, Barkers Lane, Bedford, MK41 9DJ
Admire the historic bridges and spot a kingfisher or two along the Great Ouse. Relax with an afternoon tea or party as the world floats by with a jazz, folk, Motown or northern soul river cruise.
Whipsnade, LU6 2LF
Explore the UK’s biggest zoo with lions, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, chimpanzees, tigers, bears, penguins and more. Take the Great Whipsnade Railway or drive across Passage through Asia, where the animals roam in acres of open space.
Shuttleworth Swiss Garden
Old Warden Aerodrome, Nr Biggleswade, SG18 9DX
Home to The Shuttleworth Collection, a fascinating exhibition of vintage aircraft and vehicles which can be seen in action from May to October. The picturesque Swiss Garden is a delight to explore with 13 listed structures, a woodland sculpture trail and two resident peacocks.
Box End Park
Box End Road, Bedford, MK43 8RQ
Centred around two purpose built lakes with water sport activities for all ages and abilities including water skiing and wakeboarding. The Aqua Park, which boasts the UK’s biggest water mega slide, is open from Easter to the end of September.
Linslade Road, Heath and Reach, LU7 0EB
A great place to enjoy the outdoors and view herons nesting in spring. 400 acres of woodland, heathland and meadows offering walking, biking and horse riding trails with play areas and a treetop café. There’s even a fun area designed for dogs. Plan your visit.
Chapel Lane, Willington, MK44 3QG
A Norwegian log cabin and café surrounded by woodland on the banks of the Great Ouse. Enjoy a river cruise, hire a family-friendly boat or a bike with trailer and take in the beautiful countryside.
Crawley Road, Woburn, MK17 9QG
One of the UK’s few remaining outdoor pools, Woburn Lido is a popular attraction in a lovely setting adjoining the Woburn Abbey Estate with plenty of space for picnics. The pool is heated from May to September.
Mead Open Farm
Stanbridge Road, Billington, LU7 9JH
A great place to visit in any weather with farm animals, adventure playground, indoor play area, go-karts, sandpit and crazy golf. From February to April there’s lots to see in the Lamb Nursery when the ewes give birth to fluffy lambs.
Holme Mills, Southill Road, Broom, SG18 9JX
Take a guided tour of the Victorian mill, explore the gardens and relax in the Riverside Café. Younger visitors can let off steam in Mill Meadow and explore the wildlife in the woodland area with its woodpiles, bird boxes and insect hotel.
The Embankment, Bedford, MK40 3QF
An award-winning, family run business offering canoe, kayak, and stand up paddle hire and training courses. Extend the fun with a paddle and camping adventure in their beautiful Matchstick Wood with boats, tents, and equipment provided.
A village at the foot of the beautiful Barton Hills with a chalk stream river where children can splash around in wellies. It’s also home to the The Olde Watermill Shopping Village with independent stores, crazy golf, restaurant, tea room, antique centre and children’s play area.
Woburn Abbey and Gardens
Woburn, MK17 9WA
Woburn Abbey and Gardens will officially re-open for in 2022, but it’s still worth putting on your list for future plans. There are 28 acres of beautiful gardens to explore and a varied programme of events running throughout the season including open-air theatre, carriage tours of the grounds, gardening and floristry classes and talks.