Beds and Bucks: hotbeds of history

Venue: Woburn Abbey and Bletchley Park
Date: 17 Jun 2017

Get a feel for what Woburn Abbey and Bletchley Park can offer groups on June’s Reader Club trip.

June's Reader Club trip will give visitors the chance to explore both manor houses and their gardens.

This trip has now closed.

This familiarisation trip is free and includes…

• Two guided tours at Woburn Abbey

• Lunch in the Duchess’ Tea Room

• A guided tour of Bletchley Park

• A Q&A session with refreshments

Pictured: Chinese Dairy in autumn at Woburn Abbey.

The day-long trip begins at Woburn Abbey, the family home of the Duke and Duchess of Bedford.

The visit starts with a guided tour through the 28 acres of award-winning, eye-catching and historical gardens. The sixth Duke of Bedford commissioned the famous landscape gardener Humphry Repton to produce designs for improving the gardens and park. Now, over 200 years later, Repton’s designs can still be enjoyed, many of which have been restored according to the original plans.

After exploring the gardens, readers will get the chance to step inside the Abbey and immerse themselves in 400 years of family stories and British history. A guided tour will take visitors through the historic state rooms. There will also be the opportunity to explore the one-of-a-kind indoor grotto and the vaults with their displays of gold, silver and porcelain.

One of the finest private art collections in the world is displayed at Woburn Abbey, including works by Canaletto, Gainsborough and Reynolds, and readers will also learn more about this during the tour.

After lunch at the Duchess’ Tea Room, the trip will continue on to Bletchley Park, which was once the top secret home of the World War Two Codebreakers.

Readers will take a tip-of-the-iceberg guided tour of Bletchley Park that will touch on the areas and subjects that can be explored in more detail on a group trip. Visitors will hear snippets of the stories of achievement of the men and women who worked at the park during the war. 

After the tour there will be free time to explore some of Bletchley Park’s other highlights, such as the restored Codebreaking huts and the new visitor centre with its exhibitions and hands on displays. 

The trip will end with a Q&A session, which readers can enjoy with a hot cup of coffee and biscuits. 

Pictured: Inside one of the huts at Bletchley Park.


Saturday 17th June 

10:30am   Arrive at Woburn Abbey 

11:00am   Garden Tour 

11:45am   Guided tour of the Abbey 

12:30pm Lunch 

1:30pm Depart Woburn Abbey

2:15pm Guided Tour of Bletchley Park

3:15pm Free Time to explore the Codebreaking Huts and Blocks

3:45pm Q&A session with tea, coffee and biscuits 

4:30pm Depart

Itinerary is subject to change and timings are approximate. 

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