One of our favourite local places to visit is Wrest Park in Silsoe, which is between Luton and Bedford on the A6.
It is an English Heritage property which comprises a mansion, large gardens, a play area, cafe and shop.
Everything is included with your entry price and I'd recommend you allow at least 2 hours for a visit to fully explore the grounds.
The Mansion has rooms on the ground floor open to view and a few interactive things for children to look at but the main attraction for our boys is the gardens!
There are formal gardens close to the house and a tropical greenhouse to the side of it. Then as you go further away from the house there are various statues, and buildings dotted throughout the landscape, most noticeably the Pavilion at the end of the lake.
There are always fish in the lake, ducks and at least one pair of swans. There are so many different areas of the gardens to explore and they are really varied, from ruined follies and orangeries to a Chinese bridge !
The staff at Wrest Park are very welcoming to children, and if you visit on a weekend or school holiday they often have children's trails and activities on.
We've done archeology workshops, been to a St Georges day festival complete with George battling a dragon and "Wrest At War" with vehicles and re-enactments and all of them have been great. For more information on their various events I'd recommend checking English Heritages website.
There is a wooden children's play area as you enter the grounds, which has a climbing frame in the shape of the Pavilion, a zip wire, swings and various other things for older children and an area for younger visitors too.