Tourist Information in Bedfordshire
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Dunstable Town Information

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The Romans named this place Durocobrivis. It lies at the junction of two ancient roads, the Roman Watling Street and the prehistoric Icknfield Way.

Henry I gave the area to an Augustinian priory which survives, in part, as the parish church of St Peter. It was here that Archbishop Cranmer announced the divorce of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon in 1533.

At one time Dunstable was famous for the making of straw bonnets but in the 20th century this industry was overtaken by the production of Vauxhall motorcars.

Dunstable Priory - Photo © MYM
Dunstable Priory - Photo: MYM CCL

Slingsby T-31 at Dunstable Downs gliding club - Photo © Martin Addison
Slingsby T-31 at Dunstable Downs gliding club
Photo: Martin Addison CCL

Dunstable Downs lie at the eastern end of the Chiltern Hills and not only afford panoramic views but are popular with enthusiasts of both gliding and hang-gliding while the Downs themselves are home to rare wildlife including the Bee Orchid.

Nearby is the 600-acre Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, owned by the Zoological Society of London.

The Oscar-winning Hollywood actor Gary Cooper lived in Dunstable as a child and for a time was a pupil at Dunstable School. At the age of 13 he was injured in a road accident and went to live on his father’s American cattle ranch.