Things to See and Do

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.

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 the Dairy sculpture gallery, Wrest Park

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 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 (except Bank Holidays). Contact Visitor Reception on 01525 860000 for details. Tours cost £3 for both members and non-members in addition to the normal admission price

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.

Boy enjoying the swings in the 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.

Garden Tours

Make sure you join a Wrest Park volunteer guide for a tour around the gardens. These free tours (with admission) cover one of a variety of routes which take in the delights of both the Upper and Great Gardens or one of our popular tree tour routes.

Tours start at 11.30am and 1.30pm every Tuesday and Thursday from 1 April 2019. From 1 June 2019, tours will also run on Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.  Please ask at the Visitor Centre for details of which tour is operating and for the departure point. The tour will last approximately 45 minutes.

Wallpaper Tours

Join us on the first Sunday of each month for a unique peek inside the mansion house at Wrest Park as we explore rooms rarely open to visitors – the amazing wallpaper rooms. See the stunning ‘Eldarado’ papers in the French Room and the intricate hand-painted papers in the Chinese Room as our knowledgeable volunteer guides explain the history of these rooms and the family’s use of them. 

Advance booking is recommended as spaces are limited, to book your place call Wrest Park reception on 01525 860000. Please note that there is no disabled access to the Wrest Park wallpaper rooms. The tour costs £3 per member and non-member in addition to the normal admission price.

Pop-up Secondhand Bookshop

Looking for a new book or have a few that you'd like to donate? Visit our pop-up secondhand bookshop in the Bothy building, located in the visitor car park.

During our opening hours, the Bookshop will be open from 10am to 3pm with proceeds going towards projects at Wrest Park. 

Why not pop in and have a look? We've got lots of perfect reading spots in our stunning grounds.  

'step into englands story