Ampthill Park is the perfect destination for locals and visitors alike. This magnificent park is located in Bedfordshire and was first opened to the public after WWII. This 18th-Century park has stunning landscaped grounds that have something to offer people of all ages. With the beautifully sculpted gardens, long walks and children’s play areas, you won’t have time to get bored.
The Story Behind Ampthill Park
In the 14th-Century, Ampthill Park was a hunting park. It was purchased by Sir John Cornwall (who married the Duchess of Exeter) in the 15th Century. He chose to build Ampthill Castle, a fortified house in the grounds. When Sir John Cornwall died, the park became royal property. Henry VIII used it to house Catherine of Aragon during their divorce. By the 16th—Century, the castle was in ruins. The house was then passed around a number of different people. The present Park House was built in the 17th-Century in place of the Great Lodge and was then re-modelled again in 1769. The park was then landscaped in 1771 by Lancelot Brown. During WWII, Ampthill Park was used as a camp to train soldiers. When the war ended, it was used to house prisoners of war. It wasn’t until after WWII that the park was officially opened to the public.
While You’re There
Ampthill Park is located just 10km from Bedford. If you enjoy exercise, walking your dog, letting the children run free and looking at the beautiful scenery, then this is the perfect place for you. Situated at the top of the hill are two crosses: one was built in memory of Catherine of Aragon and the other was built for the 707 soldiers who trained at the Ampthill Camp and died in the Great War. This park also served as a prisoner of war camp.
With approximately 160 acres of parkland for you to explore, you won’t get bored. There’s also a Park Hub, café and toilets, children’s play area and tennis courts located within the grounds. The tennis courts are free to use. It is also home for the Ampthill Town Cricket Club, Ampthill Angling Club, and Ampthill Town Football Club.
After you’ve spent time walking around the park and admiring the amazing views, there’s also a café located on-site where you can put your feet up and relax. You might even want to read a little bit more about the history of Ampthill Park.
Worried About Walking?
If you’re disabled and are worried that you’re going to miss out on all the park has to offer, then don’t. You can hire an off-road mobility scooter from The Friends of Ampthill Great Park, which will allow you to navigate the park with ease.
Get a Taste of the Park for Yourself
Ampthill Park is much more than a basic park; it’s a historical site of national importance. Henry VIII hunted within these grounds. The parklands we all enjoy today were originally created by Lancelot Brown. Ampthill Park also has a wide variety of wildlife for you to enjoy. Why not plan a visit today?