Garden Awards and Accolades

Excellence is one of our five core values at Woburn Abbey Gardens. We strive to develop the gardens to the highest possible standard, and in recent years have received a number of accolades and awards that reflect this commitment. In 2011 we achieved our ambition of becoming an RHS Partner Garden; in 2012 we won the Hudson's Heritage Award for New Commission; and in 2013 we received the Georgian Group Architectural Award for Restoration of a Georgian Garden or Landscape.


Image for Award Winning Gardens RHS members get free entry to Partner Gardens

RHS Partner Garden

In 2011, Woburn Abbey Gardens was awarded RHS Partner Garden Status - a target that we had set ourself in our five year plan, but managed to achieve 3 years early. Partner Gardens are not owned by the RHS, but recognised by them for the inspiration that they offer to keen gardeners through their high standards of design and planting. 

More information on RHS Partner Gardens, including details of the free entry scheme for RHS members, can be found on the RHS website


Image for Award Winning Gardens Andrew Grout and Martin Towsey with the Award

Hudson's Heritage Award for New Commission

The striking Chinese-style pavilion was originally designed by the landscape gardener, Humphry Repton, in the early 1800s. However, it took until the 21st Century for it to be constructed on top of the attractive rockery in the gardens.

In 1802, the 6th Duke commissioned Repton to design enhancements for the gardens and deer park.  Together, the rockery and pavilion were part of Repton’s plan for formal ‘Pleasure Grounds’, illustrated in his Red Book (1805) of designs and ideas. Woburn Abbey has the greatest number of realised plans by Repton in the UK, but until 2011 the rockery had stood uncompleted.

In 2009, the Gardens team began restoring the rockery, which had suffered badly from weather over the years and was overgrown with trees.  In 2011, F Martin Ltd were commissioned to build the pavilion. Together with the Abbey Gardens team they constructed it on top of the rockery.  It took four weeks to build and a week to construct on site. 

The entire project was successfully completed and officially opened by Her Grace, The Duchess of Bedford at the Woburn Abbey Garden Show in 2012. Later that year the project was nominated for, and subsequently won, the 'New Commission' category of the '2012 Hudson’s Heritage Awards'.


Image for Award Winning Gardens The Cone House was completed in 2013 as part of the restoration project

The Georgian Group Architectural Awards

In October 2013, Woburn Abbey Gardens proudly received another highly sought after award. Our project to restore the 19th Century Humphry Repton landscape won the 'Best Restoration of a Georgian Garden' category at the 'Georgian Group Architectural Awards'.

These awards recognise exemplary conservation and restoration projects across the UK, and the 2013 awards received over 70 impressive entries. The Georgian Group aim to reward organisations and individuals who show vision and commitment to restoring buildings and landscapes from the Georgian period. The award was presented to Martin Towsey, Estates Gardens Manager, and Her Grace, The Duchess of Bedford, by The Marquess of Salisbury at the award ceremony held at Christie’s in London on the 29th October.

Martin Towsey, Estates Gardens Manager, was extremely pleased: “It is a great honour for the Gardens and the gardeners to receive such an accolade. Heritage and excellence are two of our core values, so winning this award recognises the vision and effort that the team has put into the gardens.”

Events & Exhibitions

Image for Carriage Tours  - June

Carriage Tours - June

An exciting experience back by popular demand, enjoy a tour in a private carriage around the grounds and gardens
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Flower Painting Study Day

Join us for a day of flower painting as we turn one of the rooms in the Historic North Court of Woburn Abbey into an art studio for the day.
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Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2018

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Now in its 9th year, the ‘Gardeners’ Garden Show’ has become an important diary date for gardening enthusiasts. Set in 42-acres of the Abbey’s beautifully landscaped gardens, the show offers unparalleled access to award-winning exhibitors and nurseries that have been handpicked by Woburn. The displays are complemented by an array of live entertainment, artisan foods, shopping, demonstrations, informative talks and gardening advice, tips and tours.
Image for VIP Garden Show package Saturday 23rd June

VIP Garden Show package Saturday 23rd June

We invite you to enjoy a very special day out at the Woburn Abbey Garden Show with our exclusive Art and Horticulture package.
Image for VIP Garden Show package Sunday 24th June

VIP Garden Show package Sunday 24th June

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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Rose Study Day

Studying and appreciation of roses with David Austin’s Rosarian Michael Marriott
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 Twilight Parkland Tour

Twilight Parkland Tour

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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Buterfly and Bugs Walk

Discover the beautiful butterflies to be found in the Abbey Gardens and find out how you can attract more species to your own garden, during this guided walk.
Image for VIP Picnic Carriage Tour in Woburn Abbey Deer Park

VIP Picnic Carriage Tour in Woburn Abbey Deer Park

Experience a picnic like no other - in The Bedford Estate’s private traditional wagonette drawn by a team of four magnificent horses.
Image for Twilight Parkland Tour - August

Twilight Parkland Tour - August

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 - 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 Walk

Bat Walk

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 Walk

Bat Walk

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 Walk

Bat Walk

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 Adam Frost: Intro into Garden Design

Adam Frost: Intro into Garden Design

Have you ever wondered how to approach designing your own garden, what you need to know to be a garden designer or the skills involved?
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Christmas Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

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