Visiting Dunstable Downs and Whipsnade Estate: What you need to know

Dunstable Downs landscape in the sunshine

To help keep visitors, staff, volunteers and local communities safe, we've made some changes, so your visit will be a bit different to what you're used to. Please take a few minutes to plan your visit and find out what the changes are here.

We are following Government guidance to ensure social distancing and keep staff, volunteers, and visitors safe. If our car park becomes full, the gates will be closed and we'll ask you to return when it's quieter. Please respect our local communities and do not park in front of gates, on verges, local roads or yellow lines. 

Car parking and when you arrive

Wherever possible we recommend walking or cycling to Dunstable Downs and avoiding peak times. 

If you're local and want to visit by car, the main car park is open daily from 9.30am to 5pm. National Trust members and blue badge holders can park for free non-National Trust members pay £3.50 pay by phone/app/cash. 

Please note that there is limited hard standing parking, so in bad weather this is the only car parking available, it can become full and we may turn you away.

Staying safe

Social distancing measures are in operation in the courtyard, café area and toilets.
To keep everyone safe, please follow social distancing and government guidance when you visit. Look out for signs while you’re here that will explain any changes and how you can access different parts of the site safely.

If you’re showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you’ve been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please don’t visit.

Kite flying is a popular activity at Dunstable downs, but please note that there are powerlines on one side of the estate and keep a look out for the signs telling you where it is unsafe to fly kites. We advise using regular or stunt kites, and we don't allow large power kites, kite boarding or motorised cars/scotters and drones to ensure visitor safety. 

Removal of electricity pylons

Work is currently taking place on Dunstable Downs to remove the electricity pylons across the landscape. This work will enable visitors to enjoy uninterrupted view across the downs and create a safer place for the many who enjoy flying a kite on the Downs.

We are working closely with UK Power Networks to limit the disruption to your visit. At time to time during the work we may need to close some walking routes so please follow signs on site and follow alternative routes suggested. The work should be completed by December 2021.

Facilities

The View Cafe is now open with indoor and outdoor seating serving a delicious selection of hot and cold drinks, snacks and meals for all the family. Our serving hatch in the courtyard area is also open daily with our seasonal take away menu. Both the The View Cafe and serving hatch are open from 10am and 5pm daily. 

Toilets are open from 9:30am to 4:30pm.

The shop is open daily from 10am to 5pm selling pocket money toys and kites, gardenming essentials and great gift ideas.

Barbecues

Please note that barbecues are not allowed on anywhere on the Downs. They are significant fire risk and can be hazardous to wildlife. You're welcome to bring a picnic but please remember to leave no trace and take your litter home with you.


Accessibility


There is accessible car parking in the car park closest to the Chilterns Gateway Centre.
An accessible toilet is available in the main toilet block is this at the car park
Please see our accessibility statement for the most up to date information.


Dogs


Dunstable Downs is a great place for dogs and their owners.  We ask that dogs are kept on a lead between March to July to protect ground nesting birds. Please bag your dog’s poo and carry it until you find a bin, or take it home with you. Find out more about visiting Dunstable Downs with your dog here .