Must Sees

The World-Renowned Collections

During your visit to Woburn Abbey, there are a number of items within the collection that are not to be missed. 

Image for Must Sees The Armada Portrait

1. The Armada Portrait in the Long Gallery

The portrait of Elizabeth I is attributed to George Gower and dates from 1588. A legendary symbolic painting, it commemorates the victorious sea battle against the Spanish Armada and portrays the Tudor Queen as Empress of the world and commander of the seas.

2. The Crypt Porcelain Display 

Amongst the highlights on display is a celebrated selection of porcelain from the Sèvres dinner service presented to the wife of the 4th Duke by King Louis XV, in appreciation of his role in negotiating the Treaty of Paris in 1763. It is the only Sèvres service to be gifted to an English aristocrat by the King of France. 

3. 24 Views of Venice by Canaletto (1697 - 1768)

The future 4th Duke of Bedford visited Venice while on his Grand Tour in 1731. These paintings were subsequently commissioned and remind us of the fascination of this beautiful city for the traveller. One of the family’s favourites is 'The Entrance to the Arsenal', where the great fleets of the Republic were built. 

4. The Grotto

The Grotto (built probably between the later 1620s and 1641) was designed as an undersea cavern which included piped water cascading into a basin.  The stone is carved to resemble seaweed and stalactites, with dolphins formed from mother-of-pearl and the ceiling inlaid with ormer shells. This room is a unique surviving example of a 17th-century Grotto.

Image for Must Sees The Holland Library

5. The Silver and Gold Vaults

A selection of some of the family silver and gold includes the 4th Duke’s wedding present to his second wife Gertrude, commissioned from Paul de Lamerie, one of the finest Huguenot silversmiths.

6. The Holland Library and The Book Room

The Library was designed by Henry Holland in the neo-classical style. There is an extensive collection of botanical and ornithological books, some of which are displayed in the Book Room including the impressive lifesize illustrations in the facsimile copy of 'Birds of America' by John James Audubon. 

Please note, the Holland Library is only open to the public Tuesday-Thursday.

 

Image for Must Sees Oakley House Doll's House

7. The Oakley Doll's House

New for 2016, visitors to Woburn Abbey can now peek behind the curtains of a wonderful, historic doll’s house. Beautifully furnished and skilfully made by members of the Russell family at the beginning of the 20th century.

It is a replica in miniature of Oakley House which is situated just outside Bedford and was owned by the 4th Duke of Bedford.

Find out more about the Doll's House

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Events & Exhibitions

Image for New Year's Eve at Woburn

New Year's Eve at Woburn

New Year’s Eve is a time for celebration and at The Sculpture Gallery we believe in welcoming the coming year with style and sophistication. Join us this New Year’s Eve at The Sculpture Gallery for an exclusive evening with our five piece band Blue Rinse and see in 2018 with style.
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The Woburn Estate Wedding Fair

Visit a wide variety of pop up wedding shops in the period Antique Quarter of Woburn Abbey's Sculpture Gallery.
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Housekeeper's Know-how

Ever wondered what it takes to preserve and care for a great stately home and its treasures? Join us as we begin our annual ‘deep-clean’ to find out more.
Image for 'Grow your own' masterclass with                                                            Pippa Greenwood

'Grow your own' masterclass with Pippa Greenwood

Learn how to 'Grow Your Own' from this well-known gardening expert.
Image for Spring and Easter Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

Spring and Easter Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

A masterclass in spring flower-arranging with floral expert, Jonathan Moseley.
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Spring Pruning Study Day

This session is designed to give you a wide range of pruning skills - you will get hands on with plant material in order to gain confidence in your own garden maintenance.
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Carriage Tours - April

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An exciting experience back by popular demand, enjoy a tour in a private carriage around the grounds and gardens
Image for Twilight Parkland Tour - April

Twilight Parkland Tour - April

Experience the grounds of Woburn Abbey in a whole new light on this exclusive out-of-hours tour of the parkland and gardens.
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Carriage Tours - May

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An exciting experience back by popular demand, enjoy a tour in a private carriage around the grounds and gardens
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Treasures of the Library & Afternoon Tea

Enjoy a private view of some of the treasures housed within Woburn Abbey’s extensive library collection.
Image for Jonathan Moseley - Create a Cutting Garden Patch

Jonathan Moseley - Create a Cutting Garden Patch

Learn from the expert and create a colourful cutting patch at home.
Image for Twilight Parkland Tour - May

Twilight Parkland Tour - May

Experience the grounds of Woburn Abbey in a whole new light on this exclusive out-of-hours tour of the parkland and gardens.
Image for Carriage Tours  - June

Carriage Tours - June

to
An exciting experience back by popular demand, enjoy a tour in a private carriage around the grounds and gardens
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Garden Show - VIP Packages

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We invite you to enjoy a very special day out at the Woburn Abbey Garden Show with our exclusive VIP packages.
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Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2018

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After the huge success of the 2017 Garden Show this June we are pleased to announce that tickets can now be purchased for the 9th Woburn Abbey Garden Show taking place on 23rd and 24th June 2018. Set against the stunning backdrop of Woburn Abbey, ‘The Gardener’s Garden Show’ offers visitors one of the best location of any show in the UK, taking place within the 42 acres of Abbey Gardens.
Image for Twilight Parkland Tour - July

Twilight Parkland Tour - July

Experience the grounds of Woburn Abbey in a whole new light on this exclusive out-of-hours tour of the parkland and gardens.
Image for Carriage Tours - July

Carriage Tours - July

to
An exciting experience back by popular demand, enjoy a tour in a private carriage around the grounds and gardens
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Bee Walk

Discover the importance of attracting bees to your garden and, more importantly, how to attract them.
Image for Brunch with Queen Victoria - July

Brunch with Queen Victoria - July

Follow in the footsteps of the Queen and her 1841 visit to Woburn Abbey. Enjoy a delicious lunch in the Duchess' Tearoom followed by an in-depth talk with time to explore the Abbey at your leisure.
Image for Carriage Tours - August

Carriage Tours - August

to
An exciting experience back by popular demand, enjoy a tour in a private carriage around the grounds and gardens
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Bat Walks

Take an exclusive tour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens at night and learn about the nocturnal activities of the bats living in the gardens.
Image for Bat Walks

Bat Walks

Take an exclusive tour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens at night and learn about the nocturnal activities of the bats living in the gardens.
Image for Brunch with Queen Victoria - October

Brunch with Queen Victoria - October

Follow in the footsteps of the Queen and her 1841 visit to Woburn Abbey. Enjoy a delicious lunch in the Duchess' Tearoom followed by an in-depth talk with time to explore the Abbey at your leisure.
Image for Housekeeper's Know-how

Housekeeper's Know-how

Ever wondered what it takes to preserve and care for a great stately home and its treasures? Join us as we begin our annual ‘deep-clean’ to find out more.
Image for Christmas Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

Christmas Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

A masterclass in Christmas flower-arranging with floral expert, Jonathan Moseley.