2019 is shaping up to be a bumper year for Bedford, so get your diary out and make a note of the following festivities…

Saturday 9 March 2019
BedPop Science Labs (multiple venues throughout Bedford Borough)

BedPop Science Labs – unleash your inner scientist, engineer, architect and more…

As part of British Science Week, BedPop Science Labs will be back for their fourth year, turning museums, libraries, forests and visitor centres into pop up science labs. Hands on experiments, live demonstrations, workshops, challenges and more will be taking place throughout the day, hosted by engineers, scientists, teachers, school scientists and designers. 

Some things need to be booked, but everything is completely FREE to take part in. bedpop.co.uk


April – September 2019
Kathy Brown’s Garden Tuesday open days 1 – 5pm

A garden for all seasons at the Manor House in Stevington

From April until September, explore over four acres of beautiful gardens at the Manor House, Stevington, developed and looked after by owners, Kathy and Simon Brown. The gardens are a treat to visit whatever time of year, with plenty to see as the seasons change. Visit in June/July for climbing rose displays and July and August to see the clematis. There’s also a wild flower meadow to explore, a formal garden, wisteria and laburnum walk and the House at Pooh Corner – especially for younger visitors!

Entrance is £5 and visitors are welcome to bring picnics to enjoy on the lawn. Tea and Kathy’s home-made cake £4. No need to book, although groups of six or more are advised to let Kathy know so she can make sure there is enough cake! kathybrownsgarden.com


April – September 2019
John Bunyan boat cruises

Cruise on the (River Great) Ouse

Throughout Spring and Summer, the John Bunyan boat runs cruises and charted trips along the beautiful River Great Ouse.  Public cruise dates will be released in early 2019 and we can highly recommend booking a trip to see Bedford from a unique perspective.



May, July and September
Bedford Flea and Affordable Art Market at St Paul’s Square

Chill out at Bedford Flea next Summer and pick up a bargain

Dates to be confirmed, but make sure you’re following @BedfordFlea on instagram and Facebook to be the first to find out when this unique market of eclectic collectibles returns to St Paul’s Square. Charles Wells will be on hand with liquid refreshment and the Affordable Art Market is great place to pick up something beautiful direct from the artists. bedpop.co.uk


Saturday 11 May (tbc)
Bedford Amateur Regatta by the Suspension Bridge

Bedford School compete at the regatta

Founded in 1853, Bedford Amateur Regatta is one of the largest single day river regattas in the country. Racing takes place on the River Great Ouse through the heart of the town over a 1,200 metre course and competitors come from far and wide representing schools, colleges and clubs.



Sunday 19 May 
Have a go with Harpur day 11am – 4pm at Bedford Park
A day to try your hand at something new, courtesy of the Harpur Trust. Over 60 organisations will be on hand with free tasters, demonstrations, competitions and hands-on activities. Local dance and music groups will be providing entertainment on the community stage, plus there will be a free climbing wall, potholing cave and an assault course, plus much more.

In 2018, around 60 organisations signed up for the event including local bike shop Flamme Rouge, the world renowned Philharmonia Orchestra (with their virtual reality headsets), The Higgins Bedford, Bedford Blues, Towers Health & Racquets Club, the YMCA, Sustrans, Chums, Full House theatre and Bedford Bowling Club to name just a few.

If you are a local organisation which would like to get involved, please contact us on events@harpurtrust.org.uk for an exhibitor pack.  And if you are interested in attending the event, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates as we get closer to the big day.

Photos provided courtesy of Bedford Camera Club.


25 – 26 May 2019
Bedford Cheese & Chilli Festival in Bedford Park
With over 70 traders, this is a must for all cheese and chilli fans (surely that’s everyone?) with added music and lots of things to keep the children entertained. There will be demos and talks, a chilli sauce competition judged by the public, a chilli eating competition, a man v food challenge plus bars and street food stalls.



Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 June
Bedford International Kite Festival at Russell Park

Let’s go fly a kite!  Keep your eyes on the skies for this fabulous annual event in Russell Park. Beautiful kites in a beautiful park. Bring a picnic, bring your friends and family and have a great weekend.


Saturday 13 July 
TASTE Bedford at Mill Meadows

Phil Fanning of Paris House on stage at Taste Bedford

Bedford’s annual food and music festival returns to Mill Meadows with more street food, more food demos, more local producers, more live music and more kids’ activities than ever before. It’s free to come along. Just make sure you come hungry! bedpop.co.uk


Saturday 7 September
SpectaculArts Carnival 
Bedford is known for its wonderfully diverse population the SpectaculArts Carnival will bring the town’s communities together for a town-wide celebration. The parade will be a moving show, featuring actors, musicians, storytellers, audience participation, street performers and spoken word, culminating in a festival in Bedford Park.


Saturday 5 & Sunday 6 October
BedPop Fun Palaces (multiple venues across Bedford Borough)

Circus of Illustration’s Robot Lab at BedPop Fun Palaces

Bedford’s annual celebration of art, science and culture returns for its fifth year. Take part in dozens of free events, activities, workshops and performances as part of the international Fun Palaces initiative. bedpop.co.uk