Toddington shown within Bedfordshire
|OS grid reference|
|Unitary authority||Central Bedfordshire|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Bedfordshire and Luton|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
|UK Parliament||Mid Bedfordshire|
Toddington is a large village and civil parish in the county of Bedfordshire, England which is situated 5 miles NNW of Luton, 4 miles (6 km) north of Dunstable, 6 miles (10 km) south west of Woburn and 35 miles NNW of London on the A5120 and B579. It is 0.5 miles from Junction 12 of the M1 motorway and lends its name to the nearby motorway service station. The hamlet of Fancott also forms part of the Toddington civil parish.
It is situated near the motorway and many larger towns, however is built around a large village green, on which sits the parish church and four of the village's six public houses. The Dunstable Northern Bypass taking heavy traffic bound for Dunstable from the M1 away from the village was delayed but a restart was announced in September 2011. A large-scale housebuilding programme has been proposed by the government for the environs of Luton, Dunstable and Milton Keynes, and proposals to build a 20,000 seater football stadium was withdrawn in 2007.
Toddington has experienced a rise in house prices due to its reputation as a quiet English village and the easy commute into London. The Icknield Way Path passes through the village.
For local government purposes it is in the Central Bedfordshire unitary authority, and is in the Mid-Bedfordshire parliamentary constituency, represented since 5 May 2005 by the Conservative MP Nadine Dorries.
There are five churches, Church of England (St George), Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, and a Christian Fellowship.
Toddington reputedly had the most pubs per head of population of any village in the United Kingdom, although recently one has closed indefinitely and another turned into a restaurant. The remaining pubs are: the Oddfellows Arms; the Angel; the Griffin; the Bell (upper floors were badly damaged by fire on 21 January 2010 but the pub opened again soon after) and the Fancott Arms which lies about a mile outside the village centre. The former pubs are the Nag's Head (which was demolished to make way for housing), the Sow and Pigs (closed in 2011 and converted into a dentists), the Red Lion (which turned into Ritzy Bar in 2011 but closed in 2014) and the Bedford Arms (closed in February 2012). The old town hall building was turned into a micropub, the Cuckoo which opened in 2014.
Toddington also has its own theatre - Tads Theatre, situated on Conger Lane. The theatre is owned and run by the charity group Tads Theatre, formerly known as the Toddington Amateur Dramatics Society. The group puts on between 4 and 6 in house productions a year, including an annual family pantomime.
Another well known entertainment feature of Toddington is the brass band. The Toddington Town Band (or TTB as it is known colloquially) performs regularly at village events. The Toddington Town Band has existed in one form or another since 1856.
The nearest mainline railway station is Harlington, which is located in the nearby village of Harlington and is served by Thameslink. From Harlington, you can travel north to Flitwick and Bedford, or south to Luton, Luton Airport Parkway, St Albans, St Pancras International, Gatwick Airport and Brighton. The Fancott Arms hosts the ridable miniature railway at Fancott.
Dropshort Marsh and Fancott Woods and Meadows, both close to the village, are managed as nature reserves by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, and are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
Toddington is blessed with an excellent rights of way network so there are many walks around the village. A range of suggested walks are available on the website Lets Go, then search for Toddington. The Icknield Way Path passes through the village on its 110 mile journey from Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire to Knettishall Heath in Suffolk. The Icknield Way Trail, a multi-user route for walkers, horse riders and off-road cyclists also passes through the village.
The village is served by two schools, Toddington St George Church of England School and Parkfields Middle School which provide education for children aged between 4 and 13 years of age. After year 8, children transfer to Harlington Upper School located in the nearby village of Harlington.
Toddington Castle was a timber motte-and-bailey castle built before the 13th century in Toddington. Today only earthworks remain of the castle, known as Conger Hill. Chalgrave Castle was built to the south of the village during the 11th century, however no visible remains of the structure exist today.
- Highways Agency, A5-M1 Link (Dunstable Northern Bypass).
- The Griffin
- The Fancott
- "Dropshort Marsh". Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- "Fancott Woods and Meadows". Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- "Dropshort Marsh citation" (PDF). Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- "Map of Dropshort Marsh". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- "Fancott Woods and Meadows citation" (PDF). Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
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