Woburn Sands Village and Aspley Heath
Woburn Sands is an attractive village and a great day out for all the family, with miles of bridleways for walking, cycling and horse riding as well as great views of Milton Keynes and Woburn Abbey. It is also ideal for mountain biking due to the dry sandy conditions, which make it perfect for all year riding. Why not use the number 10 or 10a bus from Leighton Buzzard High Street for this great visit.
Aspley Woods are particularly popular for off-road cycling as there are miles upon miles of challenging bridleways. If you’d like to explore even more tracks and also use the mountain bike jumps and downhill skills area, it is possible to get a bike permit (Greensand Trust 01525 237 760).
It’s really easy to get here via public transport. Simply take the number 36 or Dash Direct bus service to the High Street, then change onto either the number 10 or 10A direct to Woburn Sands at the following times (09:00, 11:00, and 13:00 returning at 10:26, 11:26, 12:26, 13:26, 14:26 and 17:26).
Tel: 01908 585 368
The Grand Union Canal
The canal runs from London to Birmingham through the middle of the town and is easily accessible from many locations. For an unusual day out you could hire a canal boat in the town from www.canalholidays.co.uk.
The easiest way to reach it is to take a walk (20 minutes) or cycle ride (10 minutes) across Billington Road into Chartmoor Road, through the Grovebury industrial park to the roundabout, and follow the old railway track to the bridge across the canal. From here you can walk southwards to the Grove Lock pub or north to the town centre. Alternatively you can catch the number 36 or Dash Direct bus to the canal bridge in the centre of the town (approximately 10 minutes).
The Grand Union Canal is a great place for walking, cycling, angling and boating and provides wonderful views of the Bedfordshire Countryside.
For more information visit www.waterscape.com.
Narrow Gauge Railway
For a different type of train journey enjoy a day out on the town’s own internationally-renowned narrow gauge railway – and it’s only 5 minutes walk away in Pages Park!
Made from surplus materials from the First World War and opened by Leighton Buzzard Light Railway Ltd in 1919 to transport sand, the line as carried a steam hauled passenger train service since 1968, and now houses one of the largest and most important collections of narrow-gauge stick in the country.
The railway provides a 70 minute round trip for Page’s Park to Stonehenge Works, a route of approximately 3 miles. The original line continued for another 0.75 miles and it is hoped that this will be restored at some point in the future.
This is a wonderful way to learn about the history surrounding the Leighton Buzzard Railway and all children receive a FREE Rail Trail activity information pack, with more information available in the Souvenir Guide, on sale in the railway shop. You can even hire a whole train for your birthday party if you wish!
The stations at both ends of the railway have fascinating museums explaining the Leighton Buzzard Sand Industry, complete with many machines, equipment and artifacts. Regular open days are held when the machinery can be viewed in action, so you can see what it used to be like being employed as a “dobber” working to extract Leighton’s most famous export!
Simply walk along Billington Road towards the town and the railway station is on the right hand side just before Pages Park (5 minutes).
Stockwood Discovery Centre
A paradise for garden enthusiasts, Stockwood Discovery Centre is a free museum with a range of beautiful gardens that follow period themes including the medieval knot garden, the Victorian garden and the cottage garden. It also includes a medicinal garden, sensory garden and colourful world garden.
The Centre also has an outdoor children’s discovery area, exciting exhibitions and a visitor centre with shop and cafe, providing fun for all the family, not just the adults. For further information on this, why not have a look at www.stockwooddiscoverycentre.co.uk or by call 01582 548 600.
Chilterns Gateway Centre
The Chilterns Gateway Centre at Dunstable Downs boasts outstanding views over the Vale of Aylesbury and Chiltern Ridge from the highest point in the East of England. More than 400,000 people visit the Downs each year to enjoy the unspoilt chalk grassland and views across the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
As you are so high up, in addition to the outstanding views, it is an ideal place for kite-flying and gliding. Operated by the National Trust, the visitor centre helps to raise the public awareness of the area, whilst also providing educational sessions, along with special events, such as the annual kite festival.
Tel: 01582 500 920.
An obvious attraction! Also, getting there couldn’t be easier! Simply take the number 36 or Dash Direct bus directly to the station, pick up a Travelcard, and hop aboard the frequent fast trains (some take only 32 minutes to Euston) – you could be in central London in little more than an hour.
Located approximately 13 miles away to the north of Aylesbury, Waddesdon manor was built between 1874 and 1889 in the style of a 16th-century French chateau for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild to entertain his guests and display his vast collection of art treasures. The Manor boasts one of the finest Victorian gardens in Britain with walks, fountains and statuary. The house has 45 rooms containing highest quality French furniture and decorative arts from the 18th century with magnificent English portraits and Dutch Old Masters. There are a range of restaurants, coffee bars, a gift shop and the wine shop offering one of the most comprehensive ranges of Rothschild wines in the world.
Visit the house and gardens just outside Leighton Buzzard on the road to Aylesbury. Originally a half-timbered Jacobean farmhouse, Ascott was bought in 1876 by the Rothschild family and considerably transformed and enlarged. It now houses an amazing collection of works of art, particularly French furniture and many pictures. The collection was further enhanced by Anthony de Rothschild who added English furniture, paintings and a remarkable collection of over 400 pieces of Chinese ceramics. The three colour wares central to the collection make it amongst the foremost in the world.
Why not take the frequent number 36 or Dash Direct bus service to the High Street, then the hourly number 150 towards Aylesbury which stops just outside the House.
For more information why not visit www.ascottestate.co.uk or call 01296 688 242.
All Saints Church
A church has stood on the site of the present building in Leighton Buzzard for more than 1,000 years. Today’s church dedicated to All Saints, dates from 1277 and is an outstanding example of early English architecture with a 60m spire on a squat tower. Inside it boasts a magnificent 15th century roof adorned with angels and saints contrasting with 25 ferocious gargoyles around the outside. Nearly lost in a fire in 1985, the church has now been fully restored and is a key part of the local community.
There are services Monday to Saturday and on Sunday the parish family meets for worship at 8:00am. Holy Communion takes place at 9:15am, with the Parish Eucharist (Sung with choir); whilst at 6:00pm an evensong (with choir) takes place. In addition, a less formal young families’ Eucharist takes place at 11:15am on the first and third Sundays of every month.
The church is situated in Church Square in the town centre. You can easily walk (20 minutes) or cycle (10 minutes) to the church along Billington Road, turning left into Grove Road and across Parson’s Close Park. Alternatively, why not take the number 36 or Dash Direct, which will take you directly to Church Square (10 minutes).
For further information please call 01525 381 418 or visit www.allsaintslb.org.uk.