Things to see and do

 
Parterre and urn at Wrest Park

Parterres and Woodland

Discover over 90 acres of beautiful gardens showcasing French, Dutch, Italian and English styles side by side. Fancy French curves and bold Italian geometry provide an opportunity for contrast through our dynamic bedding displays.

Explore Wrest Park's sweeping landscapes and woodland walks. From an explosion of colour in spring to the lush greens and browns of summer and autumn, Wrest Park changes its coat of colour with every season.

Wrest Park paintings return after 100 years

NEW FOR 2017 - Paintings Return

Five portraits have been rehung at Wrest Park for the first time in 100 years after being purchased and conserved by English Heritage.

The paintings include family portraits of Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Kent, and two of his children, as well as two that came into the collection through his marriage to Jemima Crew. The new collection will be on display to the public in the Library, the Countess' Sitting Room and the Billiard Room.

English Heritage acquired the paintings in 2015 and the paintings have spent the past two years at our conservation studio in London undergoing intricate cleaning work including the removal of thick layers of dirt and the refitting of frames. Read more about the conservation of the paintings and make sure to look out for them on your visit to Wrest Park.

Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire

Hidden Garden Gems

Keep an eye out for our hidden gems in the gardens. These include an ornate marble fountain, the 18th century Bowling Green House, a Chinese Temple and Bridge and over 40 statues dotted around the grounds. Can you find them all? The Chinese Temple and Bridge originally formed part of a tableau imitating scenes found on Chinese willow pattern plates.

The Long Water is encased on either side by walkways leading to the spectacular Archer Pavilion. Built by Thomas Archer between 1709-11, this baroque pavilion, with its stunning interior, is the focal point of the gardens.

Italian marble busts in Dairy sculpture gallery

Dairy Sculpture Gallery

Take a trip to the Dairy Sculpture Gallery, which showcases some of the estate's most beautiful statues, now restored to their former glory.

The dairy which used to supply butter and cream for the de Grey family, was converted into an intimate gallery, bringing together precious garden statues too fragile to remain outside.

Look out for a magnificent Portland Stone Neptune and an elegant bronze sundial from 1682.

Two boys looking at collection items in Wrest Park Store

Archaeological Collections Store Tours

Join our collections team in the Archaeological Collections Store and discover a treasure trove of unique and special objects spanning 2,000 years of England's history.  These are objects not normally on display, and form around a third of our total stored collection.

Tours take place on the first Monday of every month. Contact Visitor Reception for details.

Statutes and parterres in the gardens at Wrest Park

The Revitalisation Project

Wrest Park is one of the few places in the world where visitors can see the evolution of landscape gardening over the last 300 years.

Taking ownership in 2006 English Heritage launched a 20-year master plan for Wrest Park which started with the Revitalisation Project. The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust and English Heritage.

Work included new visitor facilities, new interpretation in the mansion, and the restoration of the rose garden and the Italian garden. In 2012 the French Parterre was restored and a new sculpture gallery opened.  Most recently the Ladies' Lake was restored to its former glory with reinstated paths and repairs to the waterworks.

We will keep you up to date as work continues to the gardens.

Food available at Wrest Park

Eating and Shopping

Feeling peckish? Head to our café with its locally sourced seasonal hot and cold meals, drinks and snacks.

Take inspiration from history at the shop where you can pick up jams and chutneys, wines, beers, books, garden gifts and more. Or you can shop online before or after your visit.

Play area at Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire

Children's Play Area

Make the most of the outdoor space and play. Families with energy to burn can grab an activity backpack and audio trail designed for kids, and head out to explore the grounds.

Bring a picnic and wear the children out playing hide and seek. They will be thrilled to discover the fantastic play area inspired by the property, which includes its very own pavilion to climb, and even a zip wire.

It's right next to the café so parents and grandparents can relax with a cup of tea whilst keeping an eye on the little ones.

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