Part of the scenic Chiltern Hills, Dunstable Downs is now managed by the National Trust. Its a wonderful place to walk and experience the beauty of nature close up. You can also see ancient burial mounds, old Iron Age hill forts and pop into the visitors centre for more information on the area. There is a gift shop with plenty of local produce and a restaurant if all that exercise has made you hungry.
For a day out with a literary flavour, drive over to Shaws Corner to see where George Bernard Shaw lived and worked from 1906 to 1950. The Irish playwright gathered a collection of treasures during his lifetime, including a bust of himself by Rodin and his Nobel Prize, both of which can be seen in the spacious house. Theres also a circular walk which takes in the nearby village of Wheathampstead.
Woodside Animal Farm and Leisure Park
Woodside Animal Farm and Leisure Park gives visitors young and old the chance to see a range of animals close up. There are exotic breeds like the Sulcata Tortoise, along with llamas, owls and more familiar favourites like donkeys. You can pet the smaller residents during a Cuddly Encounter, ride on the farm tractor and let the children burn off energy in the soft play centre. The cafe has a range of drinks and refreshments and theres a gift shop where you can buy a memento of your day.