Back when I was a student, I lived just 5 minutes from Stockwood Park and only ever visited the once.
Myself and the girls took a walk up to Farley Hill in search of a chip shop and happened to pass through the park on our quest. We’ll do anything for a decent chip and a bit of curry sauce. Nine years later and nothing’s really changed!
But other than passing through, I had never really explored the park and what it had to offer. That was until my sister decided to visit me one Sunday August afternoon.
My sister hadn’t visited Luton since bidding me farewell at my new student house back in 2009, back when she was a High School Musical obsessed 8-year-old. Though since turning 18, my Mum has entrusted that she can take the journey from Essex to Luton and make it in just about in one piece.
To mark the occasion, I decided that we’d take a trip over to Stockwood Discovery Centre and check out the gardens and their new cafe for a spot of lunch.
Here’s what we got up to…
I’d love to say that getting here was easy but we’d already circled the gardens twice before actually finding the place. It’s more like a bloody secret garden than anything else. Not one single sign-post on the park maps! I mean what an earth!?
The actually find the gardens, you’ll need to make your way through the discovery centre entrance and keeping heading through, and you’ll eventually get there!
Entrance is free so everyone can enjoy the gardens and museum as little or as often as they like.
The gardens were absolutely stunning and full of colourful flowers and landscaped plants/trees. It really is like a miniature Kew Gardens in Luton.
The garden is split up into themed gardens based on a different era to show varying styles of gardens through the ages.
We particularly liked the Victorian Garden which had a huge iron-framed arch, perfect for a photo opportunity. I mean every spot is a photo opportunity and it really is a photographers dream around every corner.
With food always being my up-most priority, we decided to make a pit-stop at the garden cafe for a bite to eat. According to Google the cafe is new and improved but having not been before, I can’t shed any light on the improvements I’m afraid.
I was generally impressed with the price of meals to be honest. Usually when you go to tourist type cafes, you’re given pathetically small portions for pathetically large prices. Thankfully, it’s pretty reasonable here.
I opted for the halloumi burger with red pepper humus and chips which was served on a slate. And no that’s not a typo, it was quite literally a piece of slate. I don’t know what I was thinking having red pepper anything, I can’t stand it. I probably should have gone without it. Nonetheless halloumi is always a winner in my books.
You can either sit outside in the sun or inside where there’s also small booths to sit in.
We easily spent a couple of hours walking around the gardens, looking at the flowers, wildlife and taking (way too many) photos. The best thing was it wasn’t very busy so you could roam at your own pace.
Overall, I would certainly come back to Stockwood Gardens. It looks spectacular in the Summer but I wonder what it would look like in the Winter with the snow covering the hedges.
An excuse to return maybe?
How to get to Stockwood Gardens…
You can access the park easiest via London Road south of the town centre.
If you’re travelling by public transport, jump on the 100 bus (Luton to Stevenage) which you can catch at Luton Station Interchange. It’s best to plan ahead as these buses aren’t very often. You could be waiting 30 mins – 1 hour on weekends so check the times before you travel.
Have you been to Stockwoood Gardens before, let me know below…