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“Nice walk with toddlers”

Whipsnade Tree Cathedral
Ranked #4 of 19 things to do in Dunstable
Certificate of Excellence
Houghton regis
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Nice walk with toddlers”
Reviewed December 12, 2012

I'm a mother of three and have always enjoyed taking my children here for lovely walks especially in the autumn for scrunching through leaves in their wells and collecting conkers when fallen. It's quite secluded so lock up your car and dont leave any valuables inside but that's the same for anywhere nowadays. It's just a small site but well worth a look if you've got am hour to spare.

Visited March 2012
1 Thank Paula W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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139 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Warsaw, Poland
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“A lovely forest park”
Reviewed November 10, 2012

A lot of people think of Whipsnade as just being the zoo, but in addition there is this lovely forest park, It costs nothing to visit and it's a great place for picnics and walks. The trees are truly picturesque and laid out in an architectural way. It is quite a unique place.

1 Thank DavidJJames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheshunt, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
385 reviews
186 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 467 helpful votes
“good for a little me time -designed on the outline of Norwich Cathedral- a must see (SATNAV LU6 2LL)”
Reviewed November 9, 2012

The Tree Cathedral is situated on the road to Woburn Abbey. There is a brown Tourist sign indicating the entrance to the free carpark. To reach the Tree Cathedral you need to drive down a wonky road past a row of houses to a carpark at the back. There is a map and information board explaining the layout of the cathedral in accordance to the tree types and the formation of a cross.

This is a cathedral of a different sort; a peaceful green space created with different varieties of trees planted in the traditional shape of a cathedral, with wide green avenues forming a nave, chancel, choir, chapels, cloisters, and transepts.

The cathedral, which covers 26 acres, was created just after WWI in an effort to foster ‘Faith, hope and reconciliation’.

Don’t miss

The tree cathedral’s outline is based on Norwich Cathedral and was designed in 1986 by landscape architect Neil Higson. He chose different species of trees to represent the character of the Cathedral's sections: hornbeam and tall-growing lime for the Nave, evergreens to represent the central tower and spires, flowering cherry and apple as a focus in the chapels.

In springtime colourful bulbs represent the sun shining through stained glass windows onto the ground.

The cathedral holds an interdenomational service in June (phone for details).

I was amazed at the layout of the trees and would advise to walk in the same motion of walking a maze with your left arm touching the perimeter hedge to get the true outline of the cathedral. The ground is woodland foliage and there is no clear pathway. I enjoyed walking the cathedral in the rain as I was able to be alone and experience the peaceful even spiritual tranquility of the place. It was indeed like the silent awe of being in a real cathedral. These tree cathedrals are very popular in Italy. It made me really appreciate the work and understanding the National Trust has to create such an unusual yet delightful forest in such a prime piece of land. This is a very much loved and cared for place. I left after 40mins but watched in the carpark as more and more people arrived by SATNAV in their cars looking for the entrance. This place would be great to see in all seasons. I would advise bringing your walking boots, a printed out map downlaoded from google- just type in WHIPSNADE TREE CATHEDRAL MAP-binoculars to see the wildlife and some lunch to sit and eat on the benches within the grounds. You could also bring the dog. I will be returning in the snow to see the outline of the cathedral with a white covering. The only one thing missing is a viewing platform as from up above the outline would be alot clearer. The full address is Chapel Farm, Whipsnade, Nr Dunstable, LU6 2LL. There are some wonderful professional photos of the outline in blosom. These photos were taken as aerial shots and look amazing. Go there and see it for yourself, remember to bring a map for guidance of the outline.

Visited November 2012
3 Thank Denise S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2012

A cross shaped "cathedral" worth a visit if in the area. Well signed to walk around. A 30 minute walk was enough though.

Visited June 2012
Thank Alighttomyfeet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England
Level 6 Contributor
745 reviews
257 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 354 helpful votes
“A very pleasant hour...”
Reviewed September 30, 2012

As we live locally we often pop up here for a wander around; it's peaceful, historically interesting, and completely free. You do need some imagination to fully appreciate it in all its glory. If planning a day out, best to combine with a visit to Dunstable Downs (also free but a small charge for parking if not a NT member) or Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, aka the zoo! Now that really is a fabulous day out!

Visited August 2012
1 Thank Andy-S60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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