Woburn Abbey is approximately ten minutes from junction 13 of the M1 motorway, not far from Milton Keynes. The Abbey itself is open daily from 11am to 5pm, and the gardens and deer park are open daily from 10am to 6pm. All attractions are closed to the public from late October to early April.
Woburn Abbey has been the family home of the Earls and Dukes of Bedford since the early 17th century. It has been open to the public since 1955, and there are 22 rooms which can be explored. The Abbey houses one of the world’s most significant private art collections, along with antique furniture from France and England. Within the house there are paintings by Reynolds, Hogarth, Lely, Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Van Dyck and Tintoretto on public display. The dining room displays a collection of famous Venetian views by Canaletto.
The sixth Duke of Bedford asked an 18th-century landscape gardener called Humphrey Repton to design the gardens and park. There have been changes and improvements to the gardens since that time, but many of Repton’s features can still be seen. The gardens have been granted partner status by the Royal Horticultural Society, meaning that RHS members can access the gardens free of charge.
The Deer Park
The Woburn Abbey Deer Park has nine different species of deer, including herds of Pere David’s Deer, Barasingha, Sika and Axis. The estate’s conservation work has played a major role in the conservation of rare species such as Pere David’s. There are also individual Muntjac and Chinese Water Deer who call the park home. Spread over 3,000 acres, the Woburn Abbey Deer Park houses over 1,200 deer.
The Local Area
In addition to the abbey and gardens, the picturesque village of Woburn also has a nearby safari park with drive-through animal exhibits. Woburn offers hotel rooms for overnight stays, and there is a variety of bed and breakfast or self-catering accommodation nearby. The region is popular with visitors, so there is a growing market for park homes for sale in Bedfordshire, and you can find details of some on offer at http://www.parkhomelife.com.
Woburn Abbey and Gardens host frequent events throughout the year, including charity functions, behind the scenes experiences and an annual garden show.