Wrest Park Gardens
A little-known but fascinating garden, Wrest Park's formality provides a history of gardening styles, laid out over 150 years and inspired by the great gardens of Versailles in France. The house was home to the De Grey family from the 13th century until 1917, and the gardens are centered on the early 18th-century pavilion designed by Thomas Archer. Subsequent additions include the Bath House and the Chinese Pavilion. There are also an Orangery, Italian Garden and Parterre with magnificent 19th-century lead statues.
Facilities – at a glance
- Parking onsite
- House, walled garden and visitor centre fully accessible, but some steps and steep slopes in garden
- Facilities: Parking, mobility scooter loan, handrails, film subtitles, golf cart shuttle service, alternative entrance platform lift
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Open, Oct, daily 10-5; Nov-23 Dec, Sat-Sun 10-4; 27 Dec-1 Jan, Wed-Mon 10-4; 2 Jan-11 Feb, Sat-Sun 10-4; 12-18 Feb, daily 10-4; 19 Feb-29 Mar, Wed-Sun 10-4; 30 Mar onwards see website (last entry 1 hour before close). The House and Garden
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.
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