Exploring at Dunstable Downs

Earlier this year we visited Dunstable Downs for the first time. It was completely new on our radar, having discovered it via the National Trust website.

It’s not far from Whipsnade Zoo and so the drive takes around 45 minutes from Barnet. National Trust members can park for free, otherwise it costs ¬£3.

The view from up there is really beautiful. (Even on a gloomy day, as we experienced). To be perched on the edge of a hill, looking over so much scenery is fantastic. Any aviation enthusiasts in the family will love watching the gliders in flight around the Gliding Club that sits at the bottom of the valley. A dog-walker stopped to chat and pointed out some of the local landmarks to us too! The spot is also popular with kite-flyers (you should be able to buy one from the shop if required!)

Entertaining the Misters can sometimes require a lot of effort, but as you’ll see, this trip mainly revolved around picking dandelion clocks – and they were quite happy with that!


Dunstable Downs Dunstable Downs


Following the hedgerow lines you eventually come to Chute Wood, which contains a natural playground and is a great place to hunt for bugs or build a den. (We didn’t get there on this visit as the Misters were getting hungry, but hopefully we will see it next time!)

The View Cafe forms part of the visitor centre adjacent to the car park and offers sandwiches, snacks and a few hot meal options. For the children you can buy a ‘pick and mix’ lunch box. There are toilets with baby change facilities and plenty of seating outside too. However, on a nice day it would be an amazing place to bring a picnic (though strictly no barbecues).


Opening Times:

Downs: Dawn to Dusk

Chiltern Gateway Centre: 9:30-5:00

For further information please see the website


Have you been to Dunstable Downs, or are you planning a visit? Let me know in the comments!



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