The Woburn Estate – review

The Woburn Estate has it all! A beautiful destination for all the family, there is something for everyone to appreciate, admire and enjoy. Breathtaking countryside and deer roaming freely, this place is something of a fairytale. Steeped in history, heritage and astounding natural beauty – there’s a ton to see and do.

We decided to stay for one night to break up the summer holidays and with two young children in tow, to be honest we expected the unexpected. We began our Woburn adventure with a tour of the absolutely stunning Woburn Abbey, Gardens and Deer Park. The Abbey has been the home of the Earls and Dukes of Bedford for over 400 years and is currently the ancestral home of the 15th Duke of Bedford, Duchess and their children. This beautiful English Palladian home is set within 3,000 acres of deer park and it won’t fail to disappoint – the exterior is as intriguing as the interior and its 22 rooms it has on offer to explore. Upon arrival the girls were given a quiz and they had such fun solving the clues as well as finding artifacts, with a little bit of help from the friendly and knowledgeable staff members. It was fantastic to have them on hand to share snippets of historic facts and talk about the rooms in depth. The Oakley Doll’s House, which was a new addition in 2016, was definitely a hit with the girls! A favourite of mine was standing within Queen Victoria’s bedroom and taking a walk through her dressing room, the two miniature gowns were incredibly petite and not what I expected. It was a fascinating insight into where she lived during her stay at Woburn Abbey. After our tour we took some time out to enjoy a light lunch and refreshments in The Duchess’ Tea Room, the pasties and selection of delightful cakes were scrummy.

The second part of our adventure took us to the well renowned Woburn Safari Park. This place is a magnificent home to over 1,000 wild and endangered animals and crammed full of fun leisure attractions too! On our windy tour through the road safari we saw a vast array of animals but our best bits were seeing the beautiful bears, graceful giraffes and mischievous monkeys wandering, roving and resting in their own habitats. It was great fun and straightforward to navigate, and there was always an opportunity to view the animals as well as take close up photographs (through car windows of course!). The safari foot experience was hugely enjoyable too and we made the most of the leisure facilities. We also saw the birds of prey training demo and took part in feeding time with the monkeys and wallabies. It’s advisable to plan your itinerary before you set off to explore the park to avoid disappointment. Finally, for those wanting something extra special, VIP experiences are also available for intimate encounters with the animals including a safari off road adventure, giraffe encounter and for the brave among you, take part in the big cat breakfast, whereby visitors can see the lions in their night quarters and get close to them before being given a special feeding device to feed the cats through the front of their enclosure.

After our fun-packed afternoon, it was time to check into our abode for the night, The Woburn Hotel is part of the estate and is located in the heart of the picturesque village of Woburn, just a couple of minutes away from The Abbey and Safari Park itself. On first impressions, Woburn village seemed peaceful with a prosperous community. Within an hour from London, Birmingham, Oxford and Cambridge the hotel is certainly well placed for leisure seekers and businessmen and women alike looking for fine British hospitality.

The hotel has 48 rooms in total including the elegant Abbey rooms, Executive suites and appealing Classic bedrooms, catering for every taste and budget. For those seeking a little more privacy there are seven charming cottages to choose from, which have been individually designed.

Our spacious one bedroom cottage had a large living room downstairs complete with dining table and four chairs, desk area, fridge, tea and coffee making facilities and sofa bed. The interior felt warm and inviting, charming with a modern luxury feel. The furnishings throughout were chic, cozy and enveloped with refined country living. The Duchess of Bedford inspired fabrics featured delicately amongst the historic details and contemporary styling – top marks for chic comfy living! The White Company toiletries were complimentary and a lovely addition.

Before settling into Olivier’s, the hotel’s award winning 2 AA Rosette restaurant, we enjoyed a pre-dinner drink in The Tavistock Bar, which was snug and inviting with luxury beverages on tap.

The restaurant has an air of country chic to it, with both waiters and waitresses being incredibly attentive. The menu is seasonal and incorporates a fine mix of classic British and French dishes that will tantalize your taste buds for sure. We opted for the scallops for starters, followed by the venison and fresh veg from the Woburn Estate for mains.

The staff members throughout the entire estate are the ones that made this experience so memorable – it is clear they are an extension of the Russell family and they have a passion for what they do. Their warmth and enthusiasm shines wherever you are and it is lovely to be surrounded by a team that clearly enjoy being part of the estate. They simply couldn’t do enough to ensure we enjoyed every moment. Thank you to the entire team, we couldn’t think of a more enjoyable place to stay around the Milton Keynes area.

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