A thriving, lively town in the heart of the Bedfordshire countryside, Luton is one of those places with mesmerising heritage at every turn. The earliest settlements in the area can be traced back over 250,000 years, but the city itself was founded in the sixth century. Historically a hat-industry and car-manufacturing hub, modern Luton enjoys an award-winning museum and art gallery, golf courses and countryside walks and fantastic shopping with independent boutiques and a busy indoor market, all served by the hugely popular London Luton Airport.
Luton's fascinating history is best explored with a visit to St. Mary's Parish Church, an 850-year-old building located in the heart of 21st-century town. Follow this with the town's museums, including Wardown Park Museum where you'll find a stunning collection of hats and lace to rival any London hatter’s.
Anyone into crafts should head to Stockwood Discovery Centre – one of the town's key attractions, it's dedicated to the arts, crafts and rural trades of Bedfordshire, and its delectable period gardens portray the story of England's nine-century-old horticultural history. The Ian Hamilton Finlay sculpture garden and the Mossman Collection of horse-drawn vehicles are also worth a peek.
Although Luton Hoo estate is now a luxury hotel, it's worth popping in for a wander and an afternoon tea. Built in 1767, Luton Hoo welcomed the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for their honeymoon in 1947, and they regularly returned to celebrate their wedding anniversaries. It's unlikely, though, that the royal couple shopped as avidly as most in Luton's two shopping centres.
The Mall Arndale in the town centre caters to all mainstream shoppers with all the major brands represented in various stores. Bury Park, a short walk away, offers something entirely different - an Asian experience with traditional clothes, jewellery and foods sold along the bustling street.
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The main train station in Luton is Luton railway station. Check out live arrivals and station facilities for Luton railway station.
The primary operator of trains to Luton is Thameslink. You can also catch East Midlands Railway services to Luton.
It's easy to bag cheap train tickets to Luton. We'd recommend using a Railcard, buying your ticket in advance or travelling during Off-Peak hours if you can. Read our cheap train tickets guide to find out more.
There are frequent daily services to Luton, although there may be fewer services on weekends and bank holidays. Check our live train times for up-to-date information on trains to Luton.