Stepping Out: From horses to fruit farms, a change will do you good...

Dunstable Downs
Dunstable Downs

The holidays are disappearing fast with only two weeks left to go.

If you fancy a change of scene here are a few suggestions.

Dunstable Downs is 17 miles from Aylesbury.

This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has numerous walks, is great for kite flying and for watching para-gliders and gliders.

Afterwards enjoy the incredible views from the Chiltern Gateway Centre with a drink or bite to eat.

Entry is free and parking costs £2.50. For more information go to
Horse fans will love The Horse Trust in Speen. Established in 1886 by Ann Lindo, a Victorian lady, the trust cares for retired military working horses and provides sanctuary for neglected ponies and donkeys.

No carrots allowed but you can stroke the horses and for £1 groom a pony. It’s a peaceful place to spend an hour or two.

Maybe finish your visit with a cream tea or ice cream at the lovely Black Beauty tea room. Open from 2-4pm, Thursday to Sunday. Entry costs £5 per vehicle. Go to

If you want to show your children that raspberries don’t always come in plastic tubs, try a pick your own farm. Peterley Manor Farm in Prestwood has lots of seasonal fruit and vegetables to harvest and also sells local produce in their farm shop.

For a different eating experience visit The Wild Strawberry Café. This bright and airy Mongolian Yurt serves delicious homemade brunch, lunch and afternoon tea using local ingredients. There are also hay bales outside for children to play on.

Open Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday morning.

Leighton Buzzard Splash and Play Park in Parsons Close recreation ground has 13 different water features including The Water Cage and The Mushroom Maze.

It’s free, suitable for all ages and is open daily from 10-5.30pm.

Parking is available at West Street multi storey or Duncombe Drive car park. Pack the sunscreen and a picnic blanket for a relaxed day out.