Luton is a popular and exciting town with plenty to do whether you're looking to enjoy a simple stroll, historical sites or live performances. Many of the activities in town are family-friendly as well, with some specifically catered to kids, including a farm packed with friendly animals and a massive zoo to explore with exotic creatures.

    The history of the area is quite impressive as well, with castle ruins and historical homes. Check out the 10 best things to do in Luton.

    1

    Stockwood Park

    Explore a 100-hectare urban park

    • Couples
    • Families
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    • Adventure

    Stockwood Park is a massive urban park that caters to a wide variety of interests with facilities for sports, walking paths and vibrant gardens. The formal gardens are especially alluring with their wide variety of flora arranged in impressive geometric shapes.

    If you're looking for something a bit more active, you can check out the rugby club on-site, or you can also enjoy the park's extensive golfing facilities. You'll find this park in South Luton less than a mile from the city centre.

    Location: London Rd, Luton LU1 4LX, United Kingdom

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +44 (0)1582 510333

    Map
    2

    ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

    See exotic animals

    • Families
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    ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is a massive zoo and safari park that features exciting exhibits of land animals as well as several aquatic creatures. The number of animals on display here is impressive, as you'll find creatures from every continent.

    Given the zoo's dedication to conservation, you can be sure that the animals are well taken care of, with friendly keepers and spacious enclosures featuring everything they need. Some of the animals here include cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, lemurs, dolphins and farm animals in the free-roaming area. You'll find the zoo a few miles west of the city centre.

    Location: Whipsnade, Dunstable LU6 2LF, United Kingdom

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)3442 251826

    Map
    3

    Wardown Park

    Take a stroll by the water

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    Wardown Park is a lovely green space situated next to the River Lea with picturesque formal garden trails and paths good for walking and biking. While all of the walking paths offer scenic views, arguably the best spot in the park is the suspension bridge that crosses over the boating lake.

    From the bridge, you can gaze out into the water and see the River Lea stretching out into the distance. Walking near the perimeter of this park is fascinating thanks to the daisy-chain wall marking its boundaries. You'll find the park just a short walk to the north of the city centre.

    Location: New Bedford Rd, Luton LU2 7HA, United Kingdom

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +44 (0)1582 510333

    Map
    4

    Mossman Collection

    Explore horse-drawn vehicles

    • History

    The Mossman Collection is a museum that houses a massive collection of horse-drawn vehicles that you can explore, with some dating back to the 18th century. This museum features the largest collection of horse-drawn carriages in the UK, so you'll find a massive variety to explore in this single location.

    You'll find examples of horse-drawn carriages dating as far back as the Roman period, while the artefacts featured are just a few centuries old at most. You'll find this museum within Stockwood Park on the south side of town.

    Location: Bedfordshire, Stockwood Park, Luton LU1 4BH, United Kingdom

    Open: Thursday–Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm (closed Monday–Wednesday)

    Map

    photo by Wille 1750 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    5

    St. Mary's Church

    See a centuries-old church

    • History
    • Budget

    St Mary's Church is one of the largest churches of its kind in the county, and visiting it offers valuable insight into the intricate detailing and styling of medieval architecture. While the spot was used as a place of worship for well over 1,000 years, the current church dates back to the 12th century, with some aspects of it being added later.

    One of the more unique aspects of the church you'll notice during your visit is the checkerboard pattern on the exterior that stretches from the ground to the top of the tallest tower. You'll find it a short walk to the west of the Mall Luton.

    Location: Church Office, Church St, Luton LU1 3JF, United Kingdom

    Phone: +44 (0)1582 721867

    Map

    photo by Dr Neil Clifton (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    6

    Barton Hills National Nature Reserve

    Enjoy a lovely nature walk

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    The Barton Hills National Nature Reserve is home to scenic walking paths surrounded by lush nature and unique plants you'll seldom find elsewhere. Among these plants are the rare pasque flower along with the greater pignut and fleawort. More common flora is present as well, such as wild thyme and marjoram.

    Visit during the summer, and you'll spot fields of vibrant orchids. Butterflies are common here as well, and they've been known to land on the odd hand or shoulder here and there. You can get to this scenic location by travelling just a few miles north of the city centre on the A6.

    Location: Barton-le-Clay, Bedford MK45 4LA, United Kingdom

    Open: 24/7

    Map
    7

    Shaw's Corner

    Visit George Bernard Shaw's Home

    • History

    Shaw's Corner is the former home of famed poet George Bernard Shaw that has since been turned into a museum housing numerous artefacts and works from his life. You can explore the structure he lived in as well as the quaint outdoor hut he often used for writing.

    While examining the writings and artefacts in the house, you can gain valuable insight into the man, including what influenced his writing and his strong and outspoken pacifist and socialist beliefs. You'll find this house about 20 minutes southeast of the city centre of Luton by car.

    Location: Bibbs Hall Ln, Welwyn AL6 9BX, United Kingdom

    Phone: +44 (0)1438 820307

    Map

    photo by PaulSkin (CC BY 2.0) modified

    8

    Luton Library Theatre

    See a live performance

    • Nightlife

    The Luton Library Theatre is a relatively small and traditional entertainment venue that hosts live shows by both amateur and professional performance artists. When you stop by for a show, you'll find yourself in one of 256 seats, all of which offer an adequate view of the stage.

    The programming is fairly varied with dramas, comedies, musicals and concert performances being held. Occasionally, the venue will showcase films as well. You'll find this theatre in the city centre next to The Mall Luton.

    Location: Luton Central Library, St George’s Square, Luton LU1 2NG, United Kingdom

    Phone: +44 (0)1582 878100

    Map
    9

    Someries Castle

    Explore an ancient castle

    • History

    Someries Castle is a long-abandoned castle that dates to the 15th century with fascinating ruins sporting intricate brickwork that you're free to explore. Strictly speaking, the original building was more of a fortified manor house than a castle, but the ruins are still hauntingly imposing nonetheless.

    The local ghost stories only add to the atmosphere, as the spirit of Sir John Wenlock is said to haunt the grounds. You can visit this castle by heading to the east side of town a few miles from the city centre.

    Location: Someries, 81 Someries Cottages, Someries, Luton LU2 9PL, United Kingdom

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)3003 005511

    Map

    photo by Forscher scs (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    10

    Woodside Animal Farm

    Meet friendly farm animals

    • Families

    Woodside Animal Farm is a destination where kids and adults alike can get up close and personal with friendly farm animals to pet and feed them. You'll find quite a few animals on the farm including the expected pigs, goats, horses, bunnies and llamas.

    Oddities like bearded dragons and snakes can be found here, all of which are either friendly or enclosed away from people. The farm also features additional activities for kids including a sand pit, playground and jumping pillows. You'll find the farm on the southwestern side of town in Lower Woodside.

    Location: Mancroft Rd, Slip End, Luton LU1 4DG, United Kingdom

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1582 841044

    Map

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