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“Poorly laid out and expensive” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Woburn Abbey and Gardens

Woburn Abbey and Gardens
1/2 mile from the village, Woburn, England
01525 290333
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Ranked #1 of 2 attractions in Woburn
Type: Historic Sites, Golf Courses
Activities: Golfing
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Woburn Abbey has been the home of the Earls and Dukes of Bedford for nearly 400 years and is now home to the 15th Duke and his family. Alongside the world class collection of art, the house contains the fascinating stories of the people who have shaped the history of both the Abbey and the nation; including the ‘creation ‘ of Afternoon Tea. The Gardens, with a twenty year restoration programme, are of equal splendour with 28 acres of Repton designs to be explored and discovered.Throughout the year Woburn also hosts a series of events including: classic cars rallies, The Woburn Abbey Garden Show, summer theatre, the country fair, vintage airplane rally and autumn deer walks.
Ampthill, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Poorly laid out and expensive”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

We decided to go for a walk around the deer park as we have a annual pass for the local Safari park and understood this to part of the price. It's a bit difficult to describe unless you have been there, but the layout for walkers is a complete nonsense. It forces you to use a couple of very specific and not well sign-posted or laid out paths across open fields which have no logical loop except one of about 4 miles.

We were with our young 5 year old, who after about two miles was a bit fed up and wanted to be carried. As we were only 500 years from the car park (across an open field), we decided to walk back directly alongside what is the entrance road (a small gravel track with a car every 5-10 minutes) with open verges into fields either side which you can walk along. We came to a wide bridge, which has pedestrian paths either side, but for some reason there are signs stating that we were not allowed to be use it (although cyclists could). Given the alternative route was a mile walk back around a lake simply to reach the other side of of this 20 yard bridge we crossed anyway.

On crossing this bridge we were confronted by a guy whose sole job appeared to be making sure nobody "strays" from the badly signed paths. He said we needed to get "special clearance". He didn't say it was dangerous, just that it wasn't allowed (bikes can travel over the bridge). There is no logical purpose for preventing pedestrians from using this pathway (he certainly offered non) and I am not a fan being told to do something for no reason other than just because it says so. It's quite clear that this guy just sits there all day to prevent people walking 50 yards across an specific area.

It left a real sour taste in the mouth and appears to symptomatic of the lack of hospitality and customer awareness of these kind of attractions. They should:

a) Make the pathways clearer and more logical for people to walk around.
b) Reduce the cost of entrance by getting rid of the staff whose current job appears to prevent people enjoying the park.

Visited May 2013
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239 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
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English first
Northampton, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“A pleasant day out”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

This is worth including on a weekend's outing. All very pleasant apart from the very slow moving queue in the tea room (it took 30 minutes to queue for an expensive afternoon tea)...it was a bank holiday but there was not a system amongst the staff to cope. House and gardens are worth a visit and the history there is quite something. Don't miss the famous Armada Portrait.
The Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I of England is the name of any of three surviving versions of an allegorical panel painting depicting the Tudor queen surrounded by symbols of imperial majesty against a backdrop representing the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“An amazing day out”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

Went to the Classic Car Show 6/5/2013, drooled all day, well organised and the fact that the sun was out was a bonus! What beautiful surroundings, deer everywhere, well worth a visit.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
88 attraction reviews
Reviews in 79 cities Reviews in 79 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Enjoyable visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

Stopped here on our journey from home to St Albans.
Nice tea rooms for a lunchtime snack.
The tour of the house was well worth our time and the paintings and furnishings were impressive.
Don't miss the small dining room with its collection of Canaletto paintings of Venice.
Unfortunately didn't have time to explore the gardens so we'll have to make a return visit.
As we have cards for the Historic Houses Association the visit was free for us.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

Came here recently to have an afternoon out,was pleasant but nothing riveting,a tad expensive for what you get,a typical place with lots of history and pictures adorn the walls,the old paintings seem to tell a story unlike the modern ones which to be honest I doubt anyone's really interested in ! It's ok for whining away a couple of hours.

Visited March 2013
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