Spend a day here: Culture Vultures and The Embankment
Head to Castle Lane in Bedford’s Cultural Quarter and start at The Higgins, John Bunyan Museum and then The Panacea Museum. Stop for a coffee break at The Higgins Pantry.
Book-loving kids will thank you for popping into Rogan’s Books opposite, after filling your faces with lunch at one of the eateries on Castle Lane then you can head to The Library, who host regular workshops for children.
Work off your lunch with a climb up Castle Mound to discover the history of Bedford Castle, before walking along the Embankment to Russell Park.
Have a go at putting when you get to The Kiosk or hire one of the iconic Viking boats at The Longholme and get the kids out on the water for 30/60 minutes. The boats are open from April – October generally subject to fair weather conditions, there is no need to book just pop along on the day though if the weather is a looking shady please call in advance to check (01234 954913). The lake itself is shallow, set on 5.8 acres and built as a labour project. Donated to the town in 1923 as a result of the generosity of the Rotary Club and its members, in association with the Charles Wells brewery now managed by Bedford Borough council & volunteers. In recent years the lake has bloomed with wildlife and is home to a wide range of birds, fish and wild animals – including otters! When you hire your boat you’re free to row across the waterway and loose yourselves on an adventure that really could place you anywhere.
Spend the day here: Talking Statues
If statues could talk, what stories would then tell? Now you can find out thanks to Talking Statues Bedford, all you need is your phone and this map and the statues in the town will tell you their stories. John Bunyan, John Howard, Glenn Miller, Reflections of Bedford, The Embankment War Memorial, Trevor Huddleston and SI Williams Harpur are all voiced by well know locals including Matt Berry and Al Murray.
Spend the day here: Bedford Park
Start your day in Bedford Park enjoying an amble through the Victorian landscaped gardens. If you’re feeling really energetic, kick start your Saturday with a 5km Parkrun (arrive at the bandstand by 8.50am for the briefing and 9am start).
Playgrounds are situated at either end of the park. The playground near Robinson Pool is perfect for toddlers and pre-schoolers, while the larger playground at the Kimbolton Road end of the park caters for all ages.
Head north towards Foster Hill Road Cemetery taking in the view at Cemetery Heights. Keep an eye out for special events and guided tours through the summer.
Head back towards The Pavilion in Bedford Park for a relaxed lunch or well-earned ice cream. From there why not head into the town centre to explore Bedford’s unique independent shops such as Anorak, Boutique Planet and Slide Record Shop in the Arcade or Epanoui on Mill Street, stopping off at Fay’s on Mill Street or Vanilla Tree on St Cuthbert’s Street for handmade cake and coffee.
Spend the day here: On the water
From Easter until the end of September Box End Water Park is brilliant fun for all of the family, be it on the UK’s largest Mega-Slide to Lake Ninja action, SUP or Cable Tow.
Canoe Trail offer 1/2 day or full days on the Great River Ouse be it on Canoe, Kayak or SUP (stand up paddle board). You can choose your route and which mode you prefer!
Spend the day here: Priory Park and Marina (MK41 9DJ) or Mowsbury Park (MK41 8BD)
Priory spans 360 acres of lake, woodland and green space and is a popular destination for families to get fresh air on foot or by bike. The path goes around the entire lake and ideal for walking and scooting and you can take a detour through the woodland, nature reserves and the play area. There is a visitor centre for you to grab a map, inspiration and information and also something to eat and drink.
At Priory Water Sports Centre children and adults enjoy many watersports with Edubase
At Mowsbury Park you have lots of green space, Putnoe Woods, a play area, outside gym, tennis courts and a cafe.
Spend the day here: Rainy Days
Rainy days ideas that will wear out the children include soft play at Kids World or Twinwoods, Laser World for some indoor laser tag (MK42 9BJ) and Bunyan Sports Centre host regular family Roller Disco’s on Saturday afternoons.
Ready Steady Roll in Sharnbrook is the perfect place to while away the hours over board games and cake, the Games Guru is on hand so you don’t even have to read the rules!
Cineworld and Vue Cinema have weekly mini morning films so you can catch up on films you missed when they first came out.