Wrest Park, Bedfordshire

I’m not going to say much about the house at Wrest Park, suffice to say it’s big and grand, but it isn’t the main attraction. People go to Wrest Park for the gardens, or should we call them the grounds?

I’m also going to hold my hands up and say that I’m not sure how much I like Wrest Park, but to be fair, that probably has more to do with the fact that over the now quite a few years we’ve been visiting, we’ve only ever been when it’s b****y freezing.

Even our latest visit in April was accompanied by an icy Siberian wind. And this really does limit my ability to engage with the place.

I want to be able to imagine Georgian ladies in crinoline skirts and with impossibly large wigs, strolling along, doing Keira Knightley impressions. I want to imagine a mini Versailles. But somehow the cold drives all those thoughts out of my mind and instead I fantasise about mugs of hot chocolate and thick wedges of coffee and walnut cake in the very modern cafe.

I’ve got to hand it to the people at Wrest Park, they’re bringing what was a neglected, overgrown estate back to life and in time I’m sure it will be glorious. But just for now, my main advice for what it’s worth, is to visit Wrest Park on a nice hot day.

Then you’ll be able to wander about, enjoying the very many vistas.

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Investigating the numerous statues.

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And exploring the Pavilion

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The Bowling Green house


and the Orangery.

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To name but a few of the many interesting nooks and crannies.

However, if you’re unlucky enough to go on a cold day – wear as many layers as you can – I’m thinking the Michelin Man – and remember your hip flask.




For more information.

Here’s the English Heritage visitor information site.




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