Humphry Repton Study Day

Come and immerse yourself in the life and work of the last great landscape designer of the 18th century.
Join our Humphry Repton Study Day and celebrate Repton’s bicentennial in our garden - his most complete landscape in the world.

When the 6th Duke of Bedford inherited Woburn in 1802, he commissioned the famous landscape gardener, Humphry Repton (1752-1818), to create designs to enhance the gardens and parkland. His ideas were written and illustrated in his ‘Red Book’ of 1805. With the Duke being Repton’s most important client, at a time of declining commissions, the Woburn Red Book is one of his largest works. Visit Woburn Abbey to see The Red Book, (not normally on display). It contains Repton’s most ambitious and detailed designs covering the approaches to the Abbey, the lakes and plantings in the surrounding parkland and the formal Pleasure Grounds.

Learn about Repton the man and his work from the study day’s presenter Keir Davison, landscape historian, writer, and author of Woburn Abbey, The Park and Gardens.

Visit The Abbey where the priceless Woburn Abbey ‘Red Book’ will be on display.

Go on a private tour of the Gardens with Award-winning Custodian Martin Towsey, Estates Gardens Manager.

Appreciate and see for real Repton’s designs in the deer park from our covered tractor-trailer, and finally join in our celebratory champagne toast to the great man himself, on Repton’s actual birthday. 

As Repton wrote himself in 1816: “The Improvements I have had the honour to suggest have nowhere been so fully realised as at Woburn Abbey.”

On this study day, take an in-depth look at Humphry Repton’s career, what made him such a remarkable and visionary landscape gardener, his techniques and processes and the creations he conceived. Woburn’s Red Book and Woburn Abbey’s archived journals and account books from 1805 to 1810 will give firsthand accounts of Repton’s methods and ingenuity. An exploratory guided walk through the gardens and tractor-trailer tour of the deer park will reveal how Repton’s designs were implemented, how they have fared throughout the centuries and the restoration and recreation projects happening today.

Study Day Itinerary

  • Tea and coffee on arrival at 10.00am, starts at 10.30am
  • Morning lecture: Landscapes of the Imagination; the art and gardens of Humphry Repton (1752 - 1818)
  • Morning lecture: Repton at Woburn – his most realised garden in the World
  • Viewing of The Red Book - this large leather bound tome of Repton’s original watercolours shows his imaginative designs for Woburn
  • 2-course lunch at The Woburn Hotel 
  • Guided walk through Woburn Abbey Gardens with Keir Davidson and Estate Gardens Manager, Martin Towsey, followed by a tractor-trailer ride through the deer park looking at Repton’s wider landscape
  • Keir Davidson book signing of Woburn Abbey The Park & Gardens 
  • Champagne reception; held on 21st April, Repton’s birthday; to celebrate the great landscaper’s life and work
  • Departure 6.30pm


A 2-course lunch is provided at The Woburn Hotel, so please email any special dietary requirements you may have to:

 £85.00 per person including 2-course lunch and champagne reception. To book your ticket, please use the button below.