We think Bedfordshire has it all. From the rolling countryside of the Chiltern Hills (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty don’t you know), to its collection of family days out, it’s a captivating destination for families, couples and friends.

Over in Dunstable, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is one of the county’s best-loved attractions, and as one of the UK’s biggest animal parks there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained. There’s more good news for animal lovers too, as Woburn Safari Park in Milton Keynes is a drive-through animal park that means visitors can get closer than ever to some of the world’s most fascinating species…well it’s not every day you get to come face to face with a lion is it.

For those days when you fancy ditching the car and stretching your legs, the whole county of Bedfordshire’s criss-crossed with a collection of walkways and cycle paths, so it’s easy to pick a route and spend a day in the Great Outdoors during your break. If you need a little inspiration, one of our favourites is the Grand Union Canal cycle route, as it takes its riders along the tow path beside the canal and feels a world away from modern life as it passes sleepy villages and locks.

Woburn Abbey is one of the region’s grandest days out, found on the border between Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire, this jaw-dropper of a 17th century home sits within a deer park and is packed with treasures that tell the tale of its history. Wrest Park in Silsoe is another family favourite, and with acre after acre of landscaped gardens it’s not only fascinating but also a lovely place to while away a sunny afternoon.

And then there are the events. The Bedford River Festival takes place on the banks of the River Ouse every other year, and Linslade celebrates life on the river and traditional crafts every summer with the Linslade Canal Festival.