There's one very good reason why Luton is known to travelers the world over, and that's its airport. Of course, the town is more than just a place you go through to get somewhere else. If you happen to be stopping over there's a fair few things to keep you occupied, whether it's the surprisingly vast array of shops in the center, the sweeping parkland, or the opportunity to explore some picture-postcard English countryside on its outskirts. Then there's the annual Luton Carnival, one of the biggest one-day events of its kind in the whole of Europe, which sees the town come alive in a thrilling kaleidoscope of colors.
Things to see
If you're spending an afternoon in Luton and the weather's good, head over to Wardown Park. Situated on the River Lea, with a lovely little suspension bridge, a lake dotted with ducks and swans, and the century-old "Daisy Chain" wall (so-called because of its distinctively ornate brickwork), it also features the Wardown Park Museum: a Victorian house filled with displays including Saxon jewellery and traditional textiles from the 1600s. Another Luton attraction is the Stockwood Discovery Centre, a haven for garden lovers with its lavishly manicured flower beds, pathways, and hedges, not to mention the largest collection of antique horse-drawn carriages in Britain. Have time to see the wider area? Then check out Sharpenhoe Clappers, a striking woody slope once the site of an Iron Age fort, which is lovely to explore on foot. Keep an eye out for the ghost that's said to haunt the area too.
Hotels in Luton
As you'd expect from one of the UK's major transport hubs, there's no shortage of hotels in Luton for travelers to choose from. The major names are in attendance, and if you want to stay in style, some Luton hotels feature on-site fitness centers, indoor swimming pools, and free WiFi in the guestrooms. You don't need to splash the cash to bed down in comfort either, as there's many centrally located hotels which offer good-sized guestrooms and mod-cons at very reasonable rates.
Where to stay
There are two popular alternatives when it comes to staying in the area. If you're traveling out from the airport, you may want to choose one of several Luton airport hotels that are literally within walking distance of check-in. This is incredibly convenient, although it's also worth considering that the town center is only around 10 minutes from the airport by car, and staying here will also give you easy access to Wardown Park as well as The Mall Luton: an expansive shopping center featuring familiar high-street names and plenty of independent boutiques.
How to get to
London Luton Airport offers flights to and from many European destinations, as well other cities in the UK. There is a frequent shuttle bus that runs between the airport and Luton Parkway Station, from which you can hop on a train straight to London itself, making Luton Airport a very convenient gateway to the capital city. Trains also run from Luton Station in the town center – from here you can easily get to London, Bedford, Kettering, Leicester, and Sheffield, among other UK cities.