Dunstable Downs

Dunstable Downs is a National Trust property on the Bedfordshire/Buckinghamshire border near Dunstable. It has some stunning views across the Aylesbury Vale and Bedfordshire. A review of Dunstable Downs wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the kites. There is lots of kite flying up here as it is almost always breezy. Some of the people who go here have amazing kites so even if you aren’t flying yourself it is lovely to watch theirs.

At the foot of the Downs there is a gliding club and, if the weather is right, you can watch the planes and gliders take off and land which is pretty cool.

There are lots of walks you can do from here, the most obvious one being across the downs and up the hill. You’ll find numerous circular walks as well, including across to Whipsnade Tree Cathedral. Some are easier than others, and some of the paths are quite close to some steep drops so keep an eye on smaller children.

I’ve been here many times and it wasn’t until recently that I found out there is also a woodland play area here! The playground at Dunstable Downs is quite hidden. Follow the path immediately as you come out from the car park (it looks like a bit of a bit track) and leads towards a Chute Wood. There is a gated entrance at the end which leads through the woods to a playground area. Because it’s away from the main area it wasn’t that busy and it’s quite a large playground so the kids had a fantastic time.

The woodland playground at Dunstable Downs | Free Time with the Kids
The woodland playground
The woodland playground at Dunstable Downs | Free Time with the Kids

The visitor centre is relatively new and includes a shop, cafe and the toilets. It is also where most of the trails start and finish. There is a large picnic area near the main green space. The main paths are pushchair friendly, but due to the nature of the downs there are places that are more difficult to get through. Look out for rabbit holes! Some of the paths are quite hilly in places, it’s not the easiest walk but it is worth it.

Admission Cost


Parking \ How to get there

Parking –  Plenty on site. It is chargeable, but free for NT Members.

Address – Whipsnade Road, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 2GY


Within the main visitor centre, including baby change.


Cafe on site but picnics are also welcome. The cafe is very dog friendly, including with areas inside where you can sit with your dog.

Our Dunstable Downs Review

Rating – 4 / 5. It’s a beautiful spot and a perfect place to blow away the cobwebs! Visit their website for more details. (Affiliate link)

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Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with our three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch or get in touch via Facebook

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