This summer, come and explore the events taking place in Bedford. It’s the perfect place to spend a day, a weekend or longer.
On the banks of the River Great Ouse, the town’s history includes a medieval castle siege, a secret role in the BBC’s WWII broadcasts, the last sighting of Glen Miller, home to the secretive Panacea Society and the birthplace of Olympians, comedians, actors and John Bunyan.
As well as a wealth of events, there are museums to discover, thrills to encounter and plenty of places to eat, drink and stay.
Bedfordians love a party and this summer is full of festival fun for all the family.
Check out Bedfringe (15 – 27 July) for a fortnight of great comedy and performance at the Quarry Theatre and The Place, and Love Bedford’s Medieval Festival (27 – 28 July) for a time-travelling weekend of jesters, jugglers and more.
Rita Ora headlines this year’s Bedford Park Concerts (26, 27 & 28 July) and the Fake Festival is back (22 June) with a day of brilliant tribute bands. The first SpectaculArts Street Arts Festival (7 September) will bring incredible dance and performance to Bedford Park for a celebration of our town’s diversity.
StreEat Feast takes place on the last Friday of every month at Riverside Square and Taste Bedford, food and music festival is back on July 13th at the bandstand at Mill Meadows on the glorious Embankment.
The great outdoors
Bedford Borough is home to country parks (at Harrold and Priory) as well as the beautiful Bedford Park, Russell Park and the Embankment. You can hire a rowing boat or bikes at the Longholme Café and boating lake or just enjoy the view over a coffee and cake.
The Forest of Marston Vale is just a short drive away, as is the Danish Camp. Cycling Route 51 offers a great way to see the Bedfordshire countryside. For thrill seekers, Box End Water Park has wild swimming, wakeboarding, an aqua obstacle course and paddle boarding, plus a great bar and Corner 5 restaurant over-looking the lake.
The Bedfordshire Walking Festival takes place 7 – 15 September and more information can be found here. Also, search walks at Bedford.gov.uk for more inspiration.
Heritage, art and culture
While you’re here, make time to visit the Cultural Quarter. It’s home to the site of the former Bedford Castle, the Higgins Bedford, the John Bunyan Museum and the Panacea Museum, as well as a wealth of independent restaurants and businesses.
The Bedford Tour Guides run guided walks every Sunday at 11am.
Bedford is home to the Quarry Theatre and the Place Theatre, and both have a packed programme of events throughout the summer. Each year, Pavilion at the Park brings open air theatre to Bedford Park and this summer is no exception. Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is their 2019 production (8 June) and tickets are pavilion.atthepark.co.uk
How to get here
Whether you live nearby or are coming from further afield, it’s easy to be to Bedford by car or public transport.
Bedford is conveniently located between the A1 and M1 (J13) and is well served by the A421 dual carriageway which links the two major roads, as well as the A6 and A428.
Bedford is servedby three train services. The Midland Mainline connects with London St Pancras in just 40 minutes, while the Tahmeslink sevice runs from Bedford to Brighton. The Marston Vale line operates between Bedford and Bletchley. Full timetables are available at nationalrail.co.uk
Timetables of all buses serving Bedford Borough are available bedford.gov/uk/businfo
Parking is FREE!
Parking is free for the first two hours of your stay every Saturday and all day every Sunday in council-run car parks. Charges apply at other times.
For details of car parks Bedford.gov.uk/parking