Woburn Village

Woburn is a pretty residential village and tourist attraction, a few minutes drive from Woburn Abbey. Visitors can enjoy Woburn's Georgian centre and the Woburn Heritage Centre local history museum.

Image for Woburn Village Woburn Village

Various independent shops offer a unique shopping experience and are well-worth a visit.

Woburn also has a monthly Farmers' Market on the third Sunday of the month organised by the Village Traders.

There is free parking in the village.

 

The History of Woburn

First recorded as a hamlet in 969 and found in the Domesdaybook of 1086, Woburn Village has a fascinating history. The village may have been called "Woburne Chapell" in Medieval times, in order to distinguish it from the Abbey. 

Woburn has been burned down and rebuilt three times. A medieva chimney fire spread due to the prevalence of thatched roofs and closely built houses. Then, during the English Civil War, the Cavaliers burned down much of the village and in 1724 a third fire destroyed much of the town, which was re-built in the Georgian style that remains today.

Image for Woburn Village Historical Woburn Village

During the nineteenth century, Woburn was an important staging post on a nationwide coaching network. The town had 27 inns and the first 24 hour post office outside London. However, with Woburn Sands and not Woburn being selected for a railway station, Woburn's importance attached to its strategic location decreased. The population fell from 2,100 in 1851 to 700 about a century later.

The wife of the 11th Duke, later known as the Flying Duchess due to her pioneering flights to South Africa, India, and many other countries in the 1920s, was keen that the village should have a cottage hospital. Started in 1897 at 1 Leighton Street, a purpose-built hospital was later built in 1904 at the end of Leighton Street named Maryland, after the Duchess. The hospital became an education centre in 1948. It has now been converted into private apartments.

During WWII Woburn Abbey housed government and services departments and was also home to the Wrens who worked at Bletchley Park. Woburn was at the centre of much secret activity with Black Propaganda stations at Milton Bryan, Aspley Guise and at Maryland.

 

Events & Exhibitions

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VIP Carriage Tour and Alfresco Dining Experience

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Celebrate your special occasion with a Woburn Carriage Tour and your choice of brunch, lunch or Duchess Anna Maria Afternoon Tea in the Park.
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Humphry Repton: Art & Nature for the Duke of Bedford

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Open to the public between 5th April and 1st September 2019, this exhibition explores the fascinating relationship between Repton and one of his greatest clients.
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Summer Holiday Children's Activities

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There's plenty to keep younger visitors entertained at Woburn Abbey during the summer holidays, two trails, crafts and games!
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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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Carriage Tours

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An exciting experience back by popular demand, enjoy a tour in a private carriage around the grounds and gardens of Woburn Abbey.
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Two Centuries of Afternoon Tea at Woburn Abbey

Join us at the home of afternoon tea for this fascinating illustrated talk, with full afternoon tea included, which covers how tea drinking was first introduced into England, how it was popularised and how afternoon tea became a social institution. LIMITED AVAILABILITY
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Bat Walk

Take an exclusive evening tour and learn all about the species of bats living in Woburn Abbey Gardens. Then, using bat detectors, you will learn to listen and identify the echo location signals bats use to navigate and hunt.
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Woburn Abbey Honey Festival

Join us in a celebration of everything honey, set against the stunning backdrop of Woburn Abbey and Gardens.
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NSPCC Luxury Gift Fair Evening Champagne Shopping Event

This exclusive evening Champagne shopping event will be hosted by Her Grace, The Duchess of Bedford. Browse over 50 stalls of inspiring gift ideas whilst enjoying a glass of Champagne and canapés.
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NSPCC Luxury Gift Fair

The NSPCC Luxury Gift Fair is an annual event and a highlight of the Woburn calendar.
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Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2020

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Set against the stunning backdrop of Woburn Abbey and within 42 acres of Abbey Gardens, "The Gardener’s Garden Show" offers one of the best locations of any show in the UK.