Immortalised by Cats Uk's song Luton Airport in the seventies, Luton is a vibrant town located an hour from London, near to the beautiful Dunstable Downs. Although it began life as an industrial town, Luton now receives much tourist traffic due to its international airport.

Sometimes overlooked on the typical English tourist itinerary, those who extend their stay rather than just passing through will find this buzzing multicultural town a rewarding destination in its own right.


Those interested in the fascinating history of this historic region need look no further than the brilliant, interactive Stockwood Park Museum and Gardens, located to the south of the town centre (admission is free and includes a guided tour). The extensive collection, amassed by a local collector, is dedicated to traditional Bedfordshire crafts, rural life and history. This focus enables it to remain a fun, accessible experience without becoming intimidating. Great for a family day out, the site also features a sculpture garden and tea room.

Close by and easy to reach on the M1, Woodside Animal Farm, Leisure Park and Mini Zoo is another fantastic treat for the kids, with a large collection of animals, activities and play areas (entry: adults £6.95, children £5.95). One of the biggest farms of its kind, Woodside encourages a hands-on approach to animal care and feeding that kids will love. Toddlers looked after too with a play area for under-3s, whilst in- and out-door areas make it a great option in all weathers.

Those lucky enough to find themselves in Luton for the May bank holiday weekend will experience Luton International Carnival – a fantastic free street party celebrating the town’s cultural diversity. 100,000 partygoers flocked to the town centre to enjoy this year’s (2006) event, which featured exotic food, music, dance and innovate costume design.


The Arndale-Luton Mall is a shopper’s paradise. Unusually for such a big shopping centre, there is no long drive required – the mall is located right in the middle of town. A huge variety of stores are present under one roof for ease and convenience. Facilities include a Children’s Centre and plenty of cafés to keep up the energy levels for browsing! Luton’s original market has been relocated to the ground floor of the mall and retains its distinctive charm.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Luton has an extensive collection of pubs to suit all tastes, ranging from budget dining options to sophisticated bars – international jazz club institution Club Blue Note has opened a branch on Wigmore Lane. Those looking for traditional food and ale should consider venturing to the neighbouring villages for some uniquely quaint finds, such as the charming Frog and Rhubarb in nearby Slip End.

The range of dining options is as diverse as would be expected from such a multicultural town. Although dominated by the big name chain restaurants, the gourmet lover does not have to look far for delicious and more unusual independent eateries, such as The Temple on Dunstable Road, serving a good range of reasonably priced Afro-Caribbean dishes. Indian, Italian, Thai and Chinese cuisines are also well-represented.

Those looking to party into the small hours with Luton’s club scene will be thrilled by the array of nightclubs, mostly located in the centre of town off Dunstable Road.

Tourist Information

Luton Visitor Information CentreLuton Central LibrarySt George's SquareLutonBedsLU1 2NG Tel: 01582 401579


Luton Airport serves domestic flights as well as many European destinations.

Trains run regularly from Luton Station to London Kings Cross Thameslink and St Pauls, both about an hour away. The 757 bus travels to London Victoria in 75 minutes.

All car hire locations in United Kingdom