Over more than a dozen zones, Whipsnade has cheetahs, Indian rhinos, birds from around the world, a herd of nine Asian elephants, sea lions, African lions, African hunting dogs and a new butterfly house, containing the humungous Atlas moth.
On top of daily sea lion and bird demonstrations, the zoo also has a range of animal experiences, where for an extra fee you can get up close to rhinos and giraffes, “Zoo Explorers” is a one-day course for kids aged 5-7 with educational hands-on games and zookeeper activities.
Worthy of its own entry is this astounding collection of horsedrawn vehicles at the Life’s Journey Gallery in the Discovery Centre.
Stockwood House (1740) was pulled down in the 1960s, and its stables and walled gardens now host the Stockwood Discovery Centre, developed with finance from the Heritage Lottery Fund and which we’ll cover below.
The museum in the stables at Stockwood Park is fringed by a Medieval garden, Elizabethan formal knot garden and a Dig for Victory Garden, recreating the vegetable plots of the Second World War.
In the museum’s complex of old and new buildings there’s a Discovery Hall, a set of Victorian Greenhouses and the Discovery Galleries.
The old Bedfordshire trades of hat-making and lace-making are well-represented, with examples of lace dating back to the 1600s.
But if there’s one exhibit you have to see it’s the Wenlock Jug, one of only three Medieval bronze jugs surviving in England, dating to the 1400s.
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