The silver thread of the River Great Ouse winds and loops its way across North Bedfordshire. Quiet backwaters, popular fishing spots and fine riverside walks lined with gardens and meadows make North Bedfordshire such a pleasure to visit. Away from the towns, the river links a string of beautiful limestone villages in the Ouse Valley.
The county town of Bedford is dominated by its fine buildings and the river. Its prosperity dates from the late 17th century when the town became an important distribution point for goods up and down the Great Ouse. Cheap public school education became widely available in the late 19th century, attracting many new residents and this educational tradition is still strong today. Bedford is also synonymous with John Bunyan.
Things to see and do:
See medieval architecture and visit the churches of St Paul, St Peter, St Mary and St John in Bedford. The Swan Hotel, Dame Alice Street Almshouses, High School, old Town Hall, Adelaide Square, St Cuthbert’s Street, The Crescent and John Howard’s statue and house are also well worth seeing.
Walk along the Embankment Gardens, Bedford’s treatment of its riverside is unsurpassed in England.
Pick up the Pilgrim’s Trail around Bedford and its surrounds. A guide to the places and museums associated with John Bunyan can be obtained from Bedford Tourist Information Centre.
Visit a fully restored water mill at Bromham. Nearby is Stevington Post Mill, where harnessed wind power did all the hard work.
Celebrate the past at Bedford Museum and Cecil Higgins Art Gallery and Museum.
Recreation and Sport
Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust – The Trust is promoting and supporting the building of a new waterway linking the Grand Union Canal with the River Great Ouse.
Bedford Amateur Regatta – Bedford Amateur Regatta, established 1856, is one of Britain’s largest one-day rowing regattas.
Bedford and District Table Tennis League – Results, tournaments and history of the league.
Bedford Athletic Rugby Club – History, fixtures and contact details of this community-based club.
Bedford Athletic Stadium – International-class venue, details of opening times, facilities and a track diagram.
Bedford Group of RoSPA Advanced Driving Association – Contains training information, meeting details, and membership form.
Bedford Harriers Athletic Club – Describes the club and includes competition reports, coaching, results and a photo gallery.
Bedford Rowing Club. – Offers information and results for the regattas and heads run in the town. Includes membership details and a web cam aimed at a rival club’s boat house.
Bedford Rugby Club – The official site with all the latest news, results and fixtures.
Bedford Steam Engine Preservation Society – Describes the society and includes information about activities, local events and membership details, a message board and a gallery.
Bedford Tigers RLFC – The official site with news, results, fixtures, articles forums and shop.
Bedford Traktors Triathlon Club – Club profile, with information about local events, training, race participation and results.
Bedford Water Polo Club – Gives training times brief background details and contacts.
Elisabeth Curtis Centre – Riding for the Disabled group. Includes history, riders, ponies, diary dates, a poem, and details of RDA holidays.
K9 Obedience – Provides information about dog training and dog behaviour. Includes articles, a breed directory, forums and owners’ stories.
Modernians Swimming Club – Gives a welcome and introduction to the club, with history, organisation, coach profiles, news and results. The club welcomes beginners and competitive age-group and open swimmers.
Star Club – Rowing. Describes the club and its facilities with data on the squads and their training schedules. Includes an events diary and results.
Triumph Owners Motorcycle Club – Offers local club news along with local and national events details. Warning: attempts to add itself to Internet Explorer Favourites.