Things to do in Bedford, Bedfordshire

Welcome to Bedford, a charming town located in the heart of Bedfordshire, England. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture, Bedford offers a delightful experience for visitors. Explore the historic sites, wander through picturesque parks, indulge in delicious cuisine, and immerse yourself in the warm hospitality of the locals. Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or a food enthusiast, Bedford has something for everyone. Come and discover the hidden gems of this enchanting town.

Things to do

Bedford Castle

Explore the ruins of Bedford Castle, a medieval fortress that played a significant role in the history of England. Built in the 12th century, the castle was once a grand structure with a keep, walls, and a moat. Although much of it has been destroyed over the centuries, you can still see the remains of the castle and imagine what it was like in its heyday. Take a walk around the site, learn about its history, and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding area. Don't forget to bring your camera to capture the picturesque scenery.

The Higgins Bedford

Visit The Higgins Bedford, a fascinating museum and art gallery that showcases the history and culture of Bedford and its surrounding areas. The museum houses a diverse collection of artifacts, including archaeological finds, fine art, decorative art, and social history objects. Explore the various galleries and exhibitions to learn about the town's past, from its Roman origins to its industrial heritage. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, events, and workshops, providing visitors with a dynamic and engaging experience. Whether you're interested in art, history, or both, The Higgins Bedford is a must-visit destination.

Priory Country Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the town and immerse yourself in nature at Priory Country Park. This beautiful park spans over 360 acres and features a large lake, meadows, woodlands, and wetlands. Take a leisurely stroll along the walking trails, go for a bike ride, or have a picnic by the water. The park is also a haven for wildlife, so keep an eye out for birds, butterflies, and other creatures. If you're feeling more adventurous, you can rent a kayak or a paddleboard and explore the lake. Priory Country Park offers a tranquil retreat for nature lovers of all ages.

The Panacea Museum

Step into the intriguing world of The Panacea Museum, a unique attraction that tells the story of a religious community that once thrived in Bedford. The museum is located in a row of Georgian townhouses and offers a glimpse into the lives of the Panacea Society members. Explore the various rooms, which have been preserved to reflect the time period, and learn about the society's beliefs, rituals, and practices. The museum also houses a collection of artifacts, including photographs, documents, and personal belongings of the society's members. Take a guided tour to fully immerse yourself in the history and atmosphere of this fascinating place.

Bedford Park

Spend a relaxing day at Bedford Park, a charming Victorian park that offers a range of activities for visitors of all ages. Take a leisurely stroll through the park's beautifully landscaped gardens, admire the ornamental flower beds, and relax on the grassy lawns. The park also features a children's play area, tennis courts, and a bowling green, providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun. If you're feeling peckish, head to the park's café for a cup of tea or a light snack. Bedford Park is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature.

John Bunyan Museum and Library

Discover the life and works of one of Bedford's most famous residents at the John Bunyan Museum and Library. John Bunyan was a 17th-century writer and preacher, best known for his book 'The Pilgrim's Progress'. The museum is located in a 17th-century building and houses a collection of artifacts related to Bunyan's life and writings. Explore the interactive displays, listen to audio recordings, and learn about the impact of Bunyan's work on literature and religious thought. The museum also has a library with a wide range of books on Bunyan and his contemporaries. A visit to the John Bunyan Museum and Library is a must for literature enthusiasts and history buffs.

The Embankment

Take a leisurely stroll along The Embankment, a picturesque riverside promenade that offers stunning views of the River Great Ouse. The Embankment is lined with beautiful gardens, historic buildings, and charming cafes, making it the perfect place for a relaxing walk. Admire the Victorian architecture, stop by the iconic Suspension Bridge, and enjoy the tranquility of the river. The Embankment is also home to various events and festivals throughout the year, including the popular Bedford River Festival. Whether you're looking for a peaceful retreat or a vibrant atmosphere, The Embankment has something for everyone.

Moot Hall

Visit Moot Hall, a historic building that has served as Bedford's town hall for over 400 years. The hall is located in the town center and features a distinctive timber-framed façade. Step inside to admire the beautiful interior, which includes a grand staircase, ornate ceilings, and historic artifacts. The hall is still used for civic functions and events, so you might even catch a glimpse of local government in action. Don't forget to look up at the clock tower, which offers panoramic views of the town. Moot Hall is a fascinating architectural gem that showcases Bedford's rich history.

The Quarry Theatre at St Luke's

Experience the vibrant performing arts scene in Bedford at The Quarry Theatre at St Luke's. Housed in a converted church, this intimate venue hosts a variety of theatrical performances, including plays, musicals, comedy shows, and live music concerts. The theatre also offers workshops and classes for aspiring actors and performers. Check the schedule to see what's on during your visit and immerse yourself in the world of live entertainment. The Quarry Theatre at St Luke's is a cultural hub that showcases local talent and provides a memorable experience for theater enthusiasts.

Swan Hotel

Indulge in a luxurious stay at the Swan Hotel, a historic coaching inn located in the heart of Bedford. This elegant hotel dates back to the 18th century and offers a blend of traditional charm and modern comforts. The rooms are beautifully decorated and equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. Enjoy a delicious meal at the hotel's restaurant, which serves a range of dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Afterward, relax with a drink at the bar or take a leisurely stroll along the nearby river. The Swan Hotel provides a perfect base for exploring Bedford and its surrounding areas.