A guide to visiting the Shuttleworth Collection

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Whether you're a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or just seeking a fun day out with the family, the Shuttleworth Collection & Gardens has an array of exciting experiences to suit every visitor

The Shuttleworth Collection & Gardens, located in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, is an exceptional historic attraction that offers visitors an exciting blend of aviation history, impressive architecture and beautiful gardens.

Here we take a whistle stop tour of Shuttleworth, highlighting all the things you won’t want to miss when visiting this impressive collection…

Shuttleworth Military Airshow 

shuttleworth military airshow

Shuttleworth's much-loved Military Air Show returns on Sunday 2nd July, showcasing outstanding and iconic military aircraft which have shaped the course of aviation history. With a bit of luck, clear blue skies will be filled with some of the oldest working planes in the world, zooming around with wing walkers and warbirds. Back on solid ground there’s a vintage and veteran vehicle parade, as well as vintage bus rides to Shuttleworth House, where you can saunter through landscaped gardens and the little ones can enjoy the children’s area with its aviation-themed activities. 

Boundless members and their guests can enjoy fast-track entry, a members-only car park and dedicated area to watch the display. The Boundless team will also top up your phone battery and look after your bags, coats, chairs and picnics while you explore the museum and other attractions.

Boundless is thrilled to announce seven free member events at top UK attractions including the Shuttleworth Collection & Gardens.  From theme parks to airshows, members get a free ticket and up to three guest tickets at only £10 each. 

This event has been very popular and is now sold out. Please check back in case tickets become available.

Boundless is a membership club for working and retired public-sector and civil-service employees, delivering amazing experiences and unforgettable days out for all the family. Find out more about Boundless membership. 

Aviation history

shuttleworth aviation history

The centrepiece of the attraction is a fascinating collection of vintage aircraft from the early days of aviation, including biplanes, vintage aircraft, and many military planes. Richard Shuttleworth, an aviation enthusiast who started collecting planes in the 1920s, is the mastermind behind this lifelong passion project. Through interactive exhibits, guided tours, and displays, visitors can learn about the history of aviation. Throughout the year, there are flying displays, offering the opportunity to witness some of these historic planes taking to the skies.

Visitors can also explore a variety of vintage biplanes, including the Bristol Boxkite, which dates back to 1910 and was one of the first successful British aircraft. The Collection also has a rare Sopwith Camel, a legendary fighter plane that saw action during World War I. The Camel was one of the most successful fighter planes of its era and played a significant role in the Allied victory.

The Shuttleworth Collection also features a range of civilian aircraft from the 1920s and 1930s, including the Miles Magister, a popular training plane used by the Royal Air Force, the de Havilland DH.60 Gipsy Moth, an iconic plane that was used for everything from aerobatics to long-distance flights. This plane was even flown by Amy Johnson, a pioneering female aviator who set numerous records in the 1930s.

Lakeside Parkland 

shuttleworth lakeside parkland

Apart from aviation history, the gardens themselves are a magnificent attraction at Shuttleworth. Covering over 70 acres of stunning parkland, the landscaped scenery, captivating sculpture garden, water features and woodland make for a perfect spot for a peaceful and relaxing walk after the excitement of the collection itself. 

The Swiss Garden

shuttleworth swiss garden

The Swiss Gardens are designed with precision, feature beautiful flower beds, manicured lawns, and intricate hedges. Visitors can easily spend hours exploring this hidden gem populated by water features, rustic bridges, alpine plants and a rock garden (not open during events and air shows).

Shuttleworth House

shuttleworth house

The house itself is also worth a visit with a rich history dating back to the 1870s when it was owned by the Shuttleworth family. The mansion's architecture showcases a stunning blend of 19th-century style and modern design elements, with spacious rooms, high ceilings, and intricate woodwork. The estate was used as a training ground for the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Air Force during World War I. Today, visitors can explore the house's history and marvel at its impressive interior, including antique furniture, artwork, and tapestries. Shuttleworth House is a perfect destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, and art, offering a glimpse into a bygone era of grandeur and sophistication. 
(House and garden images for illustrative purposes only.)

Do more with Boundless

Working or retired from the public sector or civil service? Get free entry to top attractions, discounts on restaurants and savings on high-street brands. Plus, dozens of other deals on holidays, experiences and more! Learn about Boundless membership. 

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