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Warden Abbey Vineyard

Type:Vineyard

Warden Abbey Vineyard, Bedford Road, Old Warden, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 9LS

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Warden Abbey Vineyard

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About

Nestled between the picturesque villages of Old Warden and Cardington, vines were first planted on this beautiful Bedfordshire field in medieval times by monks at the Cistercian Abbey of Warden.  Replanted in 1986, the four acre vineyard is now run by Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity as a community project and social enterprise.

The vineyard relies totally on its volunteers, who are involved in all aspects of its running, care, and wider development. The project works with other local charities and schools to provide a unique setting for learning and skills projects, including help for people into employment or voluntary work, social and therapeutic horticulture, wildlife and heritage projects. Our wines have won awards at national and international level, and have even been served at royal occasions.

We aim to produce award-winning quality still white wines each year, supplemented by a sparkling blend when conditions favour this. We want to celebrate Bedfordshire through the vineyard’s wines, and our blends take their names from people or places associated with the county.

There are four white grape varieties – Bacchus, Reichensteiner, Regner, and Muller Thurgau – planted on 5 acres of south-facing slopes.  The average yield has been 4-6,000 bottles, but has varied from 0 to around 24,000!

We love showing people what we do here! As a small, working vineyard, we sadly don’t have the capacity to be generally open to visitors, so the Friends of Warden Abbey Vineyard are now running tours between May and October (advance bookings only) so you can see how the vines progress through the seasons. 

Our big day of the year, and main fund-raiser, is our September Open Day, with wine sales, tours, local stalls, BBQ, refreshments.  Look out for our other wine-tasting and fund-raising events too!

Our Tours-

VINEYARD TOURS

You will be met by the vineyard manager or one of our experienced volunteers.
The tour takes about 1.5 – 2 hours and includes:  a walk and talk around the vineyard discussing the history of the vineyard from its medieval origins to modern times, the varieties of vines and their care, the challenges of growing vines in our climate, and the modern English wine industry, as well as our community vineyard project and the special role played by our volunteers. Then round off your visit with a tasting of a couple of our wines and learn how the wine is made.

“WALKING IN THE MONKS’ FOOTSTEPS” TOURS

Join this walk and talk around Bedfordshire’s historic vineyard and discover Warden Abbey’s hidden medieval precinct from a fresh perspective.  The walk will be led by Margaret Roberts who is writing a book on the history of the abbey.  As well as telling the story of the abbey and its vineyard, she’ll interpret the landscape features surrounding the vineyard and what they reveal about the life of the abbey’s occupants. Please note there is no access to the Warden Abbey building which is run by the Landmark Trust.  The tour will close with a tasting of a couple of our wines.

OTHER INFORMATION FOR YOUR VISIT

Our wines will be available to buy at the end of your tour. We take cash, cheques and card payments.

Please note there is no winery on the site.

The vineyard is on a gentle slope and the ground is uneven.  The walk may not be suitable for people with limited mobility.

Please bring suitable footwear and outdoor clothing as the weather may be unpredictable.

We have plenty of parking for cars and minibuses, but the site is not suitable for coaches.

The vineyard is strictly not open to the public except for pre-booked tours.

Tours will go ahead except in the most adverse weather conditions.

 

Facilities

Booking & Payment Details

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)

Groups

  • Facilities for educational visits
  • Facilities for groups
  • Guided tours for groups

Parking

  • Free Parking

Property Facilities

  • Guided tours for individuals
  • Guided tours mandatory

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Using Google Maps & SatNavs

The entrance to the vineyard is now shown as a pin on Google Maps – follow this link:  Link to location on Google Maps. You can then get directions via Google Maps from your location. This can also be used in sat navs. Or use coordinates 52°04’58.9″N 0°21’47.0″W

From Old Warden, the East and A1 :

Exit the A1 at the Biggleswade North roundabout, turning onto the B658/Hill Lane. At the next roundabout, go straight ahead towards Old Warden (follow brown tourist signs for Shuttleworth and Old Warden Park).  Continue straight on through Old Warden village. After passing through the village, at the bend at the top of the hill, turn right at the junction, signposted for Cardington and Bedford.  After about half a mile, the entrance to the vineyard is found on the left hand side of the road. 

From Cardington

From the Bedford Bypass A421/ A603, you enter Cardington and arrive at the T-junction at the green (with the Kings Arms pub on your left).  Turn right onto Southill Road. After around 3 miles, you will pass a small road forking to the right.  Continue on the main road and the entrance to the vineyard is on your right, about quarter of a mile beyond the fork. 

There is a double metal gate opening into the field.  When visitors are expected, a white wooden sign with a picture of a bunch of grapes on is put on the road verge opposite the gate into the field.  There are no road signs and the vineyard cannot be seen from the road.

Once in the field, follow the track round to the left. Please note this can get muddy in wet weather.

Opening Times

Season (1 May 2018 - 31 Oct 2018)

* Advance bookings only

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