OLD WARDEN, BEDFORDSHIRE
Housed in eight hangars on a classic grass aerodrome, over 50 working historic aeroplanes span the progress of aviation with exhibits ranging from a 1909 Bleriot to a 1941 Spitfire. A garage of roadworthy motor vehicles explores the eras of the 1898 Panhard Levassor to the Railton sports car of 1937. The 19th-century coach house displays horse-drawn vehicles from 1880 to 1914. Flying displays of historic aeroplanes are held May through to October.
Awards, accolades and Welcome Schemes
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
Assist dogs allowed
- Parking onsite
- Fully accessible
- Facilities: Wheelchairs, audio guide, app
- Accessible toilets
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Open Feb (half term)-Oct 9.30-5; Nov-Feb (half term) 10-4 (last admission 1hr before closing). Closed 25-26 Dec
Also in the area
About the area
At its most southern point, Bedfordshire is only 35 miles from London Waterloo, so there’s a good reason for the UK’s fifth busiest airport to be called London Luton Airport. The county is one of England’s smaller in terms of area, but more than makes up for it in terms of business HQs and visitor attractions. Among the most popular of these, and among the top attractions in the UK, is ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, founded in 1931, and now covering around 600 acres.
Along similar lines Woburn Safari Park opened more recently (in 1970) and is just over half the size. Fans of old flying machines or cars will enjoy a visit to the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden, a tiny village near Biggleswade. Among the oldest examples in the collection are a pioneering French Blériot XI from 1910, and a number of early French and German automobiles from the very late 19th century.
Bedford itself is located on either side of the River Ouse, and has a large Italian population, descended from those who came to work at a local brick factory in the 1950s.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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