About 6,000 miles from Linmere, you’ll find a large map of the Southeast of England looming large in the Palm Springs Air Museum. In the centre you’ll see Bedfordshire peppered with airfields from World War 2, accompanied by a few veteran volunteers more than willing to share their stories about their time in the home counties. Tell them this is where you live, and they’ll hardly believe it.
The 3 counties of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire are steeped in history. And rightly so. From London’s doorstep to linking East Anglia, these three counties hold immense importance in both location and history, much of which dates back over thousands of years.
Across the world, May is the month to celebrate our heritage with International Museum’s Day. With a healthy choice of our own museums around Linmere, we’ve shortlisted 4 of the best to enjoy our local heritage. You’ll be hard pressed to find any of them returning the favour with a map of Palm Springs, as not a great deal has happened there!
01 Bletchley Park, Bletchley
Let’s start with a big one, and its place in our local heritage is profound. Bletchley Park was home to the Station X Codebreakers in World War 2, numbering up to 10,000. Linguists, mathematicians, chess players and code breakers were recruited to help the allied cause and decipher secret Nazi exchanges. One codebreaker, Alan Turing, with the use of his ground-breaking computer Christopher, cracked the German’s Enigma Machine and shortened the war by years and saved millions of lives.
Bletchley Park Museum tells this amazing story, precisely where it all happened. With many of the original machines, equipment, records, and memorabilia from its top-secret past. The museum stands as a monument to saving so many lives and changing the course of history. Some regard it as the birthplace of modern computing. And look where that got us?
Visiting the museum requires pre-booking through their website, with adult tickets at £25, with concessions on children up 17years and group family tickets available. Tickets need to be booked online here.
The Mansion, Bletchley Park, Sherwood Dr, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK3 6EB
The journey is a simple trip up the A5 – 14 miles / 25 minutes’ drive from Linmere.
02 The Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden, Biggleswade
Located in the grounds of the Mansion at Old Warden Park, the Shuttleworth Collection is a must for fans of vintage planes, cars, and motorcycles. Spanning 100 years of military and engineering history, the collection offers some rare and beautifully restored exhibits.
Beyond the Collection are the Swiss Garden and Lakeside Parkland, offering a wood sculpture trail and fantastic views of rolling Bedfordshire countryside.
The real magic of Shuttleworth comes alive through its infamous Summer Evening Air Shows, the first of which is held on Saturday 20th May 2023. With flying displays starting around 5pm until sundown, they really are a unique and very English summer evening’s experience.
Booking online, outside of flying events, gives you a 30-day pass – offering you multiple visits for 30 days, following the date of your first visit. With adult tickets at £15.50, and children under 15 free, that is outstanding value. Book your tickets on the link here.
The Shuttleworth Collection, Alder Dr, Biggleswade SG18 9DT
Old Warden sits to the Southeast of Bedford, 17 miles / 30 minutes’ drive from Linmere.
03 Stockwood Discovery Centre, Luton
This is a wonderful garden oasis, with carriage museum and interactive exhibition, just next to M1 Jct 10. What’s more… it’s free! A beautiful walled garden with indoor discovery centre offers a worthy afternoon out, whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast or simply looking to find out more about our heritage local to Linmere.
The discovery centre houses fascinating displays on local history, archaeology, geology, and notable family stories from Luton’s heritage. One highlight is the Mossman Collection, the largest exhibition of horse-drawn carriages in Europe, donated by the family George Mossman from Luton.
There’s plenty of interactive displays to keep children engaged, as they learn about our local nature, through hands-on activities and craft workshops, where they can create their own masterpieces.
Stockwood Park Golf Club, London Rd, Luton LU1 4LX
Located less than a mile from M1 Jct 10, just 7 miles / 14 mins’ drive from Linmere
04 Verulamium Museum, St Albans
There’s history and there’s ancient, era-shifting history. The Roman remains housed at the Verulamium Museum are some of the country’s finest relics from a past that changed Britain forever. Located on the very site of the Roman City of Verulamium, established 2,000 years ago, following the defeat of the British army during the Iron Age.
The museum offers extremely well-preserved relics from the period, telling the story of the city and its inhabitants. Amongst the original mosaics, sited exactly where they were found, are Roman pottery, furniture, coins, jewellery, and reconstructed rooms depicting life in the Roman Villas all those years ago. This is joined by a collection of Roman weapons and armour, retrieved from the nearby cemetery, notable for its remains of formidable centurions.
The museum is open Monday to Saturday, opening times vary. Tickets can be bought online, adults at £8, children under 16 £4 and under 5’s are free. Book your tickets on the link here.
Located off St Michael’s Street, St Albans, AL3 4SW
15 miles / 22 mins’ drive from Linmere
Linmere is designed to be a place for communities that embraces the natural environment, and where all generations can enjoy a great quality of life. This exciting new collection of leafy and walkable neighbourhoods, situated north of Houghton Regis Bedfordshire, located close to M1 Junction 11a. Nestled into verdant surroundings, its first homes completed and inhabited in 2021. The Land Trust will maintain and preserve these spaces on behalf of Houghton Regis Management Company.