Bedford is an important market town on the River Great Ouse. There are good views over the river from Castle Mound (all that remains of Bedford Castle). The parks and meadows beside the river are worth exploring and they make a pleasant route to Priory Country Park. The Bus Station is ½ mile from Bedford's main Rail Station and just over ¾ mile from St Johns Station. Bedford PlusBus can be used on buses within the urban area.
TI Old Town Hall, St Paul's Square. Tel. 01234 718112.
A series of tableaux, room sets, reconstructions and information points tell the story of the 17th century
author, pastor and preacher John Bunyan. Church Coffee Shop. Tel. 01234 270303.
Open TWThFS 1100-1600.
An art gallery and local museum in the former home of the Higgins family. Displays introduce the family
and Cecil Higgins' collection. Watercolour, print and decorative art collections, including works by the architect
William Burges and the artist designer Edward Bawden. Local collections tell the story of Bedford and its people.
Exhibitions programme. Café and restaurant. Tel. 01234 718618. Admission free.
Open TWThFS 1100-1700, Sun & BH 1400-1700.
The Park, established after gravel extraction finished on the site, includes two large lakes,
meadows and woodland. It is managed for wildlife as well as visitors. Wildlife garden.
Bird-watching hides. Visitor Centre with displays and trail leaflets.
Tel. 01234 211182.
Open Visitor Centre M-F 0900-1630, SSu 1100-1630. Park open at all times.
Set in the ancient village of Elstow on the picturesque village green the timber-framed Moot Hall
was designed as a market house for Elstow Abbey. It now houses a collection of medieval furniture and
many items relating to the life and works of Elstow's famous author, John Bunyan.
Tel. 01234 266889.
Open Easter-Sep, Sat & BH 1300-1600.
An extensive English garden developed by the de Grey family and displaying over 200 years of garden history.
Follies and other architectural features. Waterside and woodland paths. Formal gardens near the mansion.
Some unfurnished but opulently decorated State Rooms in the French-style Mansion are open. Exhibition on the
history of the de Grey family and their estate. Café. Tel. 01525 860000.
Open Apr-Oct, Daily 1000-1800 (1700 in Oct). Nov-Mar, SSu (and WThF in Mar) 1000-1600. The Mansion may be closed if an event is booked, please check the website.
Bus 81 from Bus Station (½ mile from Bedford Rail Station) to Silsoe Church (30 minutes journey) then ½ mile walk. M-S hourly. Operated by Stagecoach. Buses also operate from Luton.
Wrest Park is 4 miles from Flitwick station.
The Shuttleworth Collection covers the history of flight from the early 1900s to the 1950s.
It is housed in hangers at Shuttleworth (Old Warden) Aerodrome which is still in regular use.
Other exhibits include vintage cars, motorcycles, bicycles and horse drawn carriages.
Flying displays during the summer months.
Programme of Air Shows and other events.
The Swiss Garden is an early 19th century landscape garden with plants from all over the world,
ponds, bridges, miniature buildings, grotto, fernery and a tiny thatched Swiss Cottage.
Children's Play Centre. Restaurant. Tel. 01767 627927.
Open Daily 0930-1700 (closes 1600 Nov-Mar).
Bus 74 from Bus Station to Ickwell, Green (about 20 minutes journey) then ¾ mile walk. M-S only hourly. Operated by Grant Palmer. Buses also operate from Biggleswade.