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Swiss Garden, Old Warden Park

Location for Weddings and Social Events

Swiss Garden, Old Warden Park, Old Warden, near Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 9ER

  • Max guests for group photographs
  • 100
  • Civil weddings catered for
  • Yes
  • Events photographed by Paul Martin
  • Wedding
  • Last event photographed by Paul Martin
  • 02/10/04

Swiss Garden, Old Warden Park is situated near Old Warden. Access is via Shuttleworth Collection gates. Please follow road signs from A1 or A600.
A map is available here and there is a website for this location.

Paul Martin has given Swiss Garden, Old Warden Park a rating of 3 out of 5 for indoor photography and a rating of 5 out of 5 for outdoor photography.
Please note that these ratings only relate to the suitability for photography, and do not in any way relate to other facilities and services that may be provided by the Swiss Garden, Old Warden Park.

Comments from Paul Martin:
A visit to The Swiss Garden takes you back to the early 19th century, when an interest in ornamental gardening and picturesque architecture first came together.

The Swiss Garden, Old Warden Park, Bedfordshire, created in the 1820s by Lord Ongley, is a late Regency garden and an outstanding example of the Swiss picturesque. The Swiss Cottage provides the main element for this unusual and atmospheric garden. It provides the principal aspect for a number of contrived vistas which lead the eye towards this attractive thatched structure. The unusually smooth hill on which it stands is suggestive of the work of the architect John Buonarotti Papworth (1775-1847) who lived nearby. He recommended the use of unpeeled bark for the rustic buildings in the Swiss manner and may have designed this cottage with its pillar and thatch and interior decoration of bark and fir-cones. The Shuttleworth family introduced a number of Victorian ‘improvements’ after buying Old Warden Park in the 1870s, most notably the extensive use of Pulhamite and the creation of a raised terrace on the garden’s Western flank.

As a wedding venue, the Swiss Garden in Old Warden Park is a hidden treasure. I enjoyed my first and only opportunity to photograph a wedding at this unique garden in the autumn. As a result of having done a recci of the venue a week before, I was able to capitalise on a combination of good weather coupled with amazing autumnal colours to produce some memorable photographs, showing the Swiss Garden in all it’s glory.

The main highlights for me were: the civil ceremony which took place in the Swiss cottage(some guests seated inside, others outside peering through the windows), followed by spontaneous photographs taken during the drinks receptions on the lawns nearby, with peacocks tamely wondering around. After spending some 20 minutes doing various family group wedding photographs, I took the bride and groom on a 20 minute whistlestop tour around the estate, capturing photographs by statues, benches, in the grotto, on small bridges, the gazebo’s and the small lake.

The end product was a very satisfying set of photographs capturing the spirit, atmosphere and happiness of this wedding. The fun and excitement carried on in equal measure at the reception which took place near Flitwick. Needless to say, I recommend the Swiss Garden, Old Warden Estate as a fantastic wedding venue for people who appreciate, gardens, nature and the outdoor life!