Houghton House

Free Entry

Open daily from 10 am until 6 pm or dusk, whichever is earliest


Hazelwood Lane, Ampthill, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK45 2EZ

Before You Go

Houghton House today is the shell of a 17th-century mansion commanding magnificent views, reputedly the inspiration for the ‘House Beautiful’ in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.

It was built around 1615 for Mary, Dowager Countess of Pembroke, in a mixture of Jacobean and Classical styles: the ground floors of two Italianate loggias survive, possibly the work of Inigo Jones.

Information panels describe the house, its owners and the surrounding hunting estate. 

Read a description of the house or more about its history.

Before You Go

Parking: Please park in the designated car park only and then walk the remaining 500 metres to the house.

How to Find it: The gate for the track down to the house is through the car park and on the left after about 100 metres (near a junction with a farm track). Please use the small pedestrian gate at the right hand side of the track entrance.

Access: Please be aware that there may be traffic on the lane between the car park and the gate for the property, and that the track from the gate down to house is rough gravel. Once at the house, the paths can be muddy in wet weather.

Facilities: There are no facilities on site but there are grassed areas that are lovely for a picnic and taking in the views. Otherwise the town of Ampthill is less than two miles away.

Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome.

Please be aware: English Heritage does not permit drone flying from or over sites in our care, except by contractors or partners undertaking flights for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and permissions, and are operating under controlled conditions.

Plan a Great Day Out

If you are looking for things to do in the area, three miles away, in the pretty village of Silsoe, lies Wrest Park. Previously home to the De Grey family, with dazzling parterres and fragrant borders, sweeping views and woodland walks, it's a real treat for the senses. Once you've explored some of its 90 acres and 300 years of garden history, treat yourself to something tasty at the café, learn more about Wrest at War in the exhibition, or let the kids run off some steam in the playground. 

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