It’s All About Bedford

Bedford Beautiful Bedford is based on the banks of the River Great Ouse just a stone’s throw from Central London and a hop and a skip to the glorious ancient University town of Cambridge and the modern metropolis of Milton Keynes.

Bedford is well recognised for boasting one of the finest riverside settings in the country, criss-crossed with bridges old and new. The River Great Ouse became navigable as far as Bedford in 1689 and is overlooked by the restored Castle Mound – all that remains of Bedford castle which was destroyed in the siege of 1224.
During the Middle Ages Bedford remained a small agricultural town and wool was a very prolific industry in the area. From the 16th century Bedford and much of Bedfordshire became one of the main centres of England’s lace industry. Lace remained an important industry in the town until the early 20th century.
As brewing became a major industry in the town, wool declined. Youngs Brewery, situated in the centre of Wandsworth for 500 years, gave up the site as it was being redeveloped and made an association with Wells Brewery in Bedford to combine the companies and to have Youngs beers brewed in Bedford.
As an essential ingredient for any beer, good quality water is needed to be able to produce the best beer. Wells climbed a local hill in 1902 and sank his own well, tapping into an underground reservoir of water. All Charles Wells beers were made with water drawn from this well and this continues with the recent joint venture with Youngs

Bedford in Pictures

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Local Businesses

Bedford is a market town, and with lots of prime business real estate in the surrounding areas, Bedford is a great place to do business.


Not every town can boast two shopping centres side by side, a huge open air market and an out of town retail park. Bedford can! So dust off the plastic and come along and grab a bargain or two.


Two train stations, one bus station, and parking for 1,000 vehicles, there’s no excuse not to visit.

Parks and Green Spaces

Bedford’s Green Spaces are second to none. As well as the river, there are many beautifule places to enjoy outdoors.

Sport and Leisure

Bedford has produced many Olympians and International sports stars over the years – including Paula Radcliffe, Martin Bayfield and Alistair Cooke – and its not surprising when you look at the facilities we have in our town. Read more..

Famous Bedfordians

Meet the names and faces from Bedford, past and present

Places Of Culture

Bedford’s culture and heritage can be found in the many museums and galleries around the town.

Places Of Worship

Bedford is home to the largest Sikh Temple in the UK, along with many churches, mosques and synagogues, which reflect the many cultures of our town.

Statues and Monuments

From John Bunyan’s statue on St Peter’s Street to the Reflections of Bedford in Silver Street, our town’s history is told in stone, marble and steel.

The Music Scene

Music is also prominent in Bedford’s culture. With a symphony orchestra, numerous choirs, bands and groups, you can listen to live music in the town pretty much every night

Theatre and Cinema

Bedford was once home to the UK’s biggest cinema screen. Although The Granada closed down in the 80s, there are still many cinemas and theatres for you to catch some night time entertainment,

Schools and Colleges

Sir William Harpur’s legacy means that education has always played a big part in the history of Bedford. We hope you find the list of schools, colleges and places of education useful.

Ghosts and Ghouls

Black Tom is probably Bedford’s best known ghost, but there has been plenty more paranormal activity around the town. Check out our haunted past.

Local Politicians

Meet Bedford’s Mayor, MP, MEP, and councillors