We’d seen adverts for Wardown House Museum and Gallery when we visited the excellent Stockwood Discovery Park. Both museums, run by Luton Culture, seem to have benefited from significant investment in the past few years, and have clearly worked hard to provide a rich and varied visitor experience for all ages.
Wardown House, just north of the town centre, is a Victorian house set in its own gardens, at the edge of the public park of the same name. The museum is free to enter, and we arrived late morning after a short drive up the M1.
Large rooms with high ceilings tell the story of the house, with different parts of the building given over to local and military history, textiles and cultural displays.
Our little one enjoyed playing with the interactive exhibits, and though the weather was fine on the day we visited, we thought that it would make a great rainy day destination (the house is large).
At lunchtime we went down to the lovely restored dining room and had jacket potatoes. The food was tasty, reasonably priced and the service was good – one area perhaps where Wardown has an edge over Stockwood.
In the afternoon we walked down into the public park by the lake. There’s quite a large playground that our little one enjoyed, though the equipment is in need of a little TLC. After that we walked back up to the car park at the house (there’s ample parking right by the entrance).
As it was our first visit we weren’t able to compare the museum with how it was pre-renovation. It did, however, make us think about Watford Museum, and what might be achieved with its planned Heritage Lottery funding!