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“Not much here - but that's the whole point”

The Chiltern Gateway Centre
Reviewed July 27, 2014

I wasn't sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by the (newish) Chiltern Gateway Centre. The eco-building is cleverly done, and the wind catcher ventilation system is both eye-catching and fascinating. The centre provides excellent views and a welcome shelter from the elements, as well as info about the surrounding area and habitat.

The cream tea was a little disappointing - the scone was very, very dry - but with outdoor temps of about 29C the day we visited, and it being late in the day I guess that's not really a surprise.

Parking is free for NT members. Unlike most NT places, there is no free guide map to show you where to go or what to do. There are boards showing suggested trails, or you can purchase a guide leaflet for £1. There is no entry fee, just the parking charge for non-members.

We were just passing through on this particular visit, but look forward to returning another day and enjoying some of the walks. You can walk from there to Whipsnade Tree Cathedral (also NT).The centre is wheelchair accessible from the car park and there are some wheelchair/buggy friendly paths around the main centre out along the edge of the downs. I love the way the National Trust is trying so hard to make it possible for everyone to enjoy their properties.

Thank Miss_Elspeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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90 - 94 of 96 reviews

Reviewed July 17, 2014

The position of the visitor centre is great with great views and information boards clearly visible around it. BUT the service is certainly slow and not what I would have expected at 13.00 lunchtime. With just 4 in the food service queue and 2 serving and 2 in the back it should not take over 15minutes to buy our teas. The staff were slow and seemed directionless.
At the shop I also had to go and find a member of staff so that I could make my purchase.
I should point out that the centre was not busy.

Thank Maura J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2014

I used to use that little hut on the downs, it seemed to be open most of the time, I would sit on the hill with an ice cream and enjoy the view and watch the gliders for hours. Then they opened the Gate way Centre, they do not open very late, You have to pay to park and you cannot really see anything of the view from the parking area . Seems its all a money making scheme but without the benefits, bring back the little hut I really miss it.

1  Thank Kay R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2014

It has stunning views out across Bedfordshire and Bucks. Food is OK but bit limited and pricey.
But not sure if I would prefer the skyline with no building on it no mater how good it is or isn't?

Thank buskerboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2014 via mobile

Lucky to have this beauty spot near us 10 minute drive from our home. Beautiful views of the Dunstable Downs. Watch the gliders and paragliders floating across the sky. A great place to escape the hustle and bustle. Ideal place for a picnic, families including your dog. Loads of activities. Kite fest every July.

Thank SutcliffeAVS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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