BedfordBedford is the county town and the transport, social, cultural and administrative centre of the shire-county of Bedfordshire in the East of England.
By trainBedford station is served by East Midlands Trains, London Midland and First Capital Connect. Travel from London St. Pancras takes about 40 minutes by East Midlands Trains and just over an hour if you take the First Capital Connect train. First Capital Connect trains are slower as they are primarily commuter services. The East Midlands Trains services only stop at a couple of stations between Bedford & London.
There is also a minor railway line going west to Bletchley (near Milton Keynes). Bedford's second train station (Bedford St. John's) is only used by Bletchley trains, whereas all trains arriving in Bedford end up in the main Bedford station sooner or later.
East Midlands Trains go north to Nottingham and beyond.
By busBedford has a reasonably large located in the centre of town, however there are few long distance services. The bus station and Midland train station are about 800 m apart, so it's a maximum 10-min walk if you need to make a change here.
Bedford is on the X5 bus route between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge. Buses generally leave every half hour.
Bedford lies directly between the M1 and A1 motorways. Park and Ride facilities are available see, National Park and Ride Directory
The local bus services around Bedford are terrible, being both infrequent and expensive. Just about everything you'd want to see is within easy walking distance of the high street, however (at most 30 minutes if you're slow), so there's little need for anything more than your feet in good weather.
There's a reasonable but underused shuttle bus leaving the central train station, and the bus service to surrounding villages is excellent.
There are very few provisions for cyclists, though the town centre is pedestrianised. The one way system and endless traffic lights around the centre make for fun riding until you get to know the roads. Reasonably wide roads mean you don't get squeezed off too often.
Taxis are relatively expensive in Bedford & you may expect to queue for some time at town centre taxi ranks. It is usually faster & cheaper to call for a licenced minicab rather than waiting in line.
Embankment of the River Great Ouse
address: Mill Street, MK40 3EU
address: Castle Lane, MK40 3XDArt gallery and museum containing a good range of Anglo-Saxon and Roman artefacts, and 19th century art.
address: Park AvenueA large Victorian park to the North of the town centre.
Castle MoundThe remains of a castle built in 919 and destroyed in 1224, near the river embankment.
address: St Pauls Square, MK40 1SQAn interesting church with over 700 years history.
address: De Parys Avenue, MK40 2TX
Priory ParkA large area of open land of the Eastern edge of town, featuring a man-made lake and nature reserve.
phone: +44 1284 747500address: Willington, Church End, near Bedford, MK44 3PX16th-century stone dovecote.
- Hire a boat on the rowing lake near the river. (Summer only)
address: Goldington Road, MK40 3NFBedford has a well-known rugby union team. The grounds are on Goldington Road - if you're lucky you'll be able to catch a game during the rugby season (winter, basically). If you want to fit in, you should occasionally chant "Come on you blues". However do not join in with the "Bedford, Bedford" moo-style chant unless you are sitting in the stand, as they have paid for the privilege of singing this song.
- Walk east along the embankment from the main bridge, over the rainbow bridge, round past the boating lake, crossing the butterfly bridge and back along the embankment. A pleasant stroll either during day or night. Stop off at one of the restaurants or pubs on the embankment for refreshments.
Having been the region's market town, Bedford has a market every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday with various tradespeople and stalls. Bargains of all kinds can be found here, along with local produce. The market is split between Harpur Square and St. Paul's square.
Grand Indianphone: +44 1234 267949address: 39 Tavistock Street, MK40 2RBHas a particularly fine Chick Jalfrezi.
Saffronphone: +44 1234 325655address: 64 Tavistock St, MK40 2RGDoes a superb and cheap Sunday lunch buffet.
The Choudhuryphone: +44 1234 215556address: Foster Hill Road, MK40 2ENIndian cuisine.
Pizza Expressphone: +44 1234 271124address: 22 St. Peters St, MK40 2NNPizza restaurant.
Shanghai Beachphone: +44 1234 356000address: 61 Tavistock St, MK40 2RFA particularly fine Chinese restaurant offering a fixed price for anything off the menu but all freshly cooked food.
Pizzeria Santaniellophone: +44 1234 353742address: 9-11 Newnham Street, MK40 3JRTraditional cheap and cheerful Neopolitan pizzeria, with wood-fired oven.
phone: +44 1234 272053address: 41 St Cuthbert's StreetSmall, good quality Thai restaurant.
Like all towns in England, Bedford has its fair share of chain pubs and bars packed to the gills on weekends. Walk down the High Street and you'll cover most of them, with a few bars found down Lime Street and various pubs along Tavistock Street.
For a quieter drink with good ales and ciders look out for the Wellington Arms on the corner of Wellington Street and Princes Street, which has won several CAMRA awards. Other good places to drink are the Castle and the Three Cups on Newnham Street; the Cricketers on Goldington Road; and the Bedford Arms on Bromham Road. There's a selection of live music at the Angel on Tavistock Street and Esquires
phone: +44 1234 346565address: The Embankment, MK40 1RWA good central location at the bottom of the High Street on the embankment. The hotel was built in 1794, with more recent extensions increasing its size to 113 rooms.
phone: +44 1234 799988address: 2 St Marys Street, MK42 0ARModern concrete block on the other side of the river from the Swan.
phone: +44 1234 359219address: 26 De Pary's AvenuePleasant but unexciting bed and breakfast on a tree-lined avenue 5 minutes from the High Street.
address: 48 De Parys Avenue, MK40 2TP
- Taking the cycle route (an old railway line) out to Willington can be pleasant on a summer's day. Although the route does run right by the sewage works.
- Bedford is surrounded by small old villages with village pubs. Great Barford (7 km to the east), for example, is sure to please.
- The RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) has a nature reserve (and headquarters) in Sandy, 11 km to the east.
- North-east to St Neots.
- East to Biggleswade
- South to Flitwick, Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City and Luton
- West to Milton Keynes, Stony Stratford, Towcester, Silverstone and Northampton
- North to Little Gidding, Kettering, Wellingborough and Rushden