I used to be indecisive…

…but now I'm not so sure

a walk in Woburn Abbey Gardens and a drive through the Deer Park


Woburn Abbey is the home of the Earls and Dukes of Bedford.  The Deer Park covers an area of 3,000 acres and, with its 9 species of deer, is one the largest private conservation parks in Europe.  After paying a modest entrance fee (which covers the deer park, picnic areas and gardens) you can take a leisurely drive round (as many times as you like) before enjoying the gardens and the tea room.

I only managed to get a few quick photos in the deer park because a tourist coach was hot upon my heels and didn’t seem to want to stop and admire the deer for as long as I did!

Woburn Deer Park 1

Woburn Deer Park 2

We parked the car, and the walk round the gardens began with a look at the back of the Abbey –

Woburn Abbey

with this beautiful tree in the courtyard behind me.

Cedar of Lebanon Woburn

The gardens, commmisioned in 1805 by the 6th Duke, were designed by the famous landscape gardener Humphrey Repton.

Woburn Abbey gardens

Woburn Abbey gardens lily pond

purple flower walk 2

purple flowers close up

Woburn rockery and pavilion

White bridge in distance

white bridge

The Chinese Dairy was designed by Henry Holland in 1787, and built in 1794, for the 5th Duke.

Chinese Dairy

This horse’s head sculpture is by Philip Blacker, who used to be a steeplechase jockey before retiring to become a full time sculptor.

Horse's Head by Philip Blacker

I couldn’t see any information about these energetic figures, so will have to do a bit of research.

dancing men sculptures

We only managed to see a relatively small part of the gardens, but it’s somewhere I would definitely visit again.




25 thoughts on “a walk in Woburn Abbey Gardens and a drive through the Deer Park

  1. Wonderful! This walk went down beautifully with a cup of coffee and a croissant 🙂 (trying hard to keep the crumbs out of the laptop, though the deer might like them!) I’ve never heard of a Chinese Dairy so I’ll have to Google that. What an amazing key to knowledge we share here, Elaine. Thank you so much for participating 🙂

    • I didn’t go into the Chinese Dairy, but I believe it is only named thus because it is in the Chinoiserie style, which was very popular at the time. There doesn’t seem to be any connection to what we would consider a ‘dairy’ with milk, butter etc, and it seems it was only built to house the Duke’s collection of oriental porcelain. Why he chose to call it a Dairy I can’t figure out. 🙂

  2. What a pretty place and it looks like you had a nice day for a visit too. I love the alliums. I’ve tried growing them here but not with much success.

  3. It’s so long since I was there, Elaine. It was a regular Sunday haunt for our family when I was a child. I love those sculptures. They must be quite recent additions, well in the last 50 years or so. 😀

  4. Ah, beautiful!
    Isn’t there a safari park there as well? I’m sure that’s the one I went to with my dad and step mum as a child.

  5. Never been there, so it has been nice to walk with you through the gardens. Purple has been very fashionable over the last few years and alliums, which are getting bigger! I think there is similar Chinoiserie buildings in Trentham Garden or maybe Biddulph Grange, I must try and get to both of them this summer and then I can let you know!
    Jude xx

  6. Lovely photos. Sure makes me wish I was living in Surrey again. We used to visit a couple of the many gardens in that part of the country every week-end!

  7. Ah, this looks lovely. I visited as a child but had forgotten how beautiful it is. Nothing like a stately home for a Sunday afternoon out 🙂

  8. Looks like a place I would love to see! Beautiful photos.

  9. It is very pretty – well worth a visit.

  10. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Sheepwash and the Moors | restlessjo

  11. Found you on Jo’s page, Elaine. What a great intro to somewhere I have never been and now want to go to. The deer, the herbaceous borders of iris and alliums, and those marvellous acrobatic figures…Lovely.

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