Did you know that Luton has historically been famous for hat making?
In the 18th century, the English hatting industry was based in Luton. This made the town a business hub, welcoming thousands of travellers each year. Situated just 50 miles northwest of London, in the picturesque town of Bedfordshire, Luton is well positioned for business and leisure travellers alike.
In fact, the London Luton Airport Newsroom reported that in 2016, over 14.6 million passengers passed through the airport, making it the fastest growing airport in the world.
Apart from business travel, it is the historical centres of Luton that attract a lot of tourists, say experts at Holiday Inn Luton South, a leading hotel offering comfortable accommodation near Luton Airport.
4 Famous Museums of Luton
If you are planning on visiting Luton, apart from choosing the right accommodation, here are four museums that you should visit to get the real flavour of the town’s rich history.
Also known as Luton Museum and Art Gallery, this museum was built in the 1800s. It boasts a collection of over 600 women’s hats. It also exhibits Victorian costumes, fine art, as well as medieval guild books. You can also catch a glimpse of yourself in an Iron Age mirror here.
The museum also houses the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment Gallery and the popular Luton Life Gallery, focusing on the surrounding hamlets, and their hat making and lace industries.
The famous Wenlock Jug, dating back to 14th century and made of bronze was first displayed in this museum and later sold to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for £750,000.
Did you know this museum displays Europe’s largest collection of horse-drawn carriages? It is home to an award-winning display of Mossman Collection of carriages, with Luton’s last tram being one of them. The vehicles on display date back to the 18th century.
If you are a nature lover, you will thoroughly appreciate the gardens here. Stockwood Discovery Centre is also one of the few places in the UK where the works of Ian Hamilton Finlay, an acclaimed artist, can be seen on permanent display. Finley’s Improvement Garden, with its sculptures and landscapes are worth visiting.
Along with a perspective on the evolution of gardening, you also get to visit an incredible Sensory Garden, a colourful World Garden and a Medicinal Garden. The museum is regularly holds fairs through the year. If you want to be a part of the ‘Steam Fair,’ make sure you visit Stockwood Discovery Centre in May 2019.
Have you heard of a water powered flour mill from the 18th century that is still working? Yes, the Green Mill Green Mill has just this, located in Southeast Luton.
It is a majestic sight to see the massive wooden machinery working and making flour in a ‘green way’, using the force of water to turn its wheel. The museum also displays various pieces of art and artefacts from the local past.
You can witness the historic milling practice every Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday afternoon. It will be just a 30-minute drive from your accommodation in Luton.
An area covering 1.7 sq km, Shuttleworth is a huge collection of old aircraft and automotive. You can find one of the oldest cars, the Panhard et Levassor, built in 1898, on display too.
There are around 12 air shows in a year held here. It is also an eminent location for the film industry. So, if you want to enjoy the history of flight and automobiles, along with sound, camera and action, you should head to the Old Warden Aerodrome.
Bedfordshire and Luton have a lot to offer. So, don’t miss out on their rich heritage the next time you are there.