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Visitor Information

Boat going under town bridge in Bedford
Photo by Steve Ashley

About Bedford

Located on the banks of the River Great Ouse, Bedford is the historic market town of Bedfordshire. This charming riverside town is situated centrally in the UK, surrounded by beautiful, peaceful and unspoilt countryside and within easy reach of London, Oxford and Cambridge.

Bedford’s melting pot of cultures provides a thriving historic and cultural scene, along with a goldmine of independent businesses, including cafés and restaurants, bookstores, fashion, food stores, and galleries.

Bedford is known as the Town of Markets and continues to feature a range of markets throughout the month with new stall holders making regular visits.

Getting Here

Bedford is situated in the heart of Bedfordshire. Our town is centrally located in the UK, to the north of London and southeast of the Midlands. Bedford town centre is easily accessed from the A1 and M1 motorways. Whether you’re making your inaugural trip or are an old friend returning, we have provided valuable information for your journey.

Staying Here

Your visit to Bedford for a night or two might be to see friends or family, for business, or to attend a festival or an event (of which there are many!). We are delighted to say that accommodation here is plentiful, with something to suit all budgets, from small and friendlies to delightfully luxe!

FYI, Bedford’s location gives it excellent access to the beautiful surrounding villages, including Silsoe, Ampthill, Millbrook, Thurleigh, Sharnbrook, Cardington, Willington and Oakley.

Things to Do

Planning a day or weekend to entertain friends or family can be a little tricky. Whether you’re a resident or visitor, in Bedford there is plenty to see and do and places to go. With regular events, activities, shows and performances, there is always something going on in town.

Places of Worship

Bedford is home to a wide range of cultures, beliefs and lifestyles. We are proud to be able to offer places for all faiths to have their quiet time or share in celebrations.

Green Bedford

Bedford is alive with eco-friendly initiatives and innovations from BedfordBID, local businesses, the residents, and the council. Eat, drink, shop, and be active. See for yourself just how green Bedford is!

Rainbow flag with hands making. aheart


Bedford has a thriving LGBTQIA+ culture, offering a safe and welcoming place to be. With regular events, social groups, places to visit, exhibitions and so on, you can find out more here.

Venue Hire

Events come in all shapes and sizes and, helpfully, so do the venues in Bedford. Whatever you’re planning there’s an event space for you. Some come with catering, some are DIY. And being in the town centre means there’s plenty of transport and parking to hand!

Work From Bedford

When working from home doesn’t inspire you, it’s time to come into town and work from one of our many cafés, coffee shops and other lovely venues. Offering WiFi, food and drink packages, and meeting spaces in a variety of environments, we have places to suit everyone.

Volunteering in Bedford

Volunteering is a great way to not only give something back and help people in need, but to also to meet people, to learn new skills, connect with the community, and to even kick-start a new career. There are many places in Bedford who would be delighted to welcome you, whether long term or short term.

Bedford Chiro Clinic man rubbing a sore shoulder

Healthcare, wellbeing and other essentials

If you’ve forgotten a prescription or need to see a consultant, optician, doctor or dentist, we’ve compiled a list for all your health and wellbeing needs. For emergency services, it’s 999. The nearest A&E is at Bedford Hospital South Wing, MK42 9DJ (approximately 10-15 mins from the town centre).

We’ve also included a quick reference for if you need to whizz to a newsagent or convenience store – it helps if you don’t feel like wading your way through our Directory!

Public Amenities

Bedford provides public amenities around the town centre, in locations such as Lurke Street Car Park, The Higgins Bedford, Allhallows Car Park and River Street Car Park.

Changing Places disabled facilities are located at River Street Car Park and The Higgins Bedford.

Defibrillator Locations

Defibrillators are located around town at Bedford Bus Station and outside the Slug & Lettuce pub on the High Street.