On this page you can find out more about:
Eating and Drinking
Walking and Exploring
Festivals and Events
Places of Interest
Things to Do
There are plenty of places to eat and drink nearby. The new development at Castle Quay boasts a great range of cafés and restaurants to suit every taste. Visit the Castle Lane Facebook page to find out more about where to eat and drink close to The Higgins Bedford.
The Higgins lies within the boundary of Bedford Castle, close to the River Great Ouse. Next to the art gallery and museum, you can explore the remains of the Castle and Castle Mound, and the Archaeology Park.
On the Castle Mound you can see the story, displayed in a series of panels, of the siege of Bedford Castle, when in 1224 the castle was destroyed by King Henry III.
The remains of a Lime Kiln are also visible. The kiln is now preserved within the Castle Quay development. It would have been used to produce quicklime which was the mortar used to build the castle.
The Higgins is also near the beautiful Embankment. A walk along the river takes in fabulous views, beautiful bridges, plenty of wildlife and one or two ice-cream vans.
You can find some great information about walking, cycling and exploring in and around Bedford at Let’s Go! and Bedford walking tours www.bedfordtourguides.org
There are some wonderful markets in Bedford town centre in Harpur Square and St Paul’s Square. The Farmers' Markets are on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month, the Home and Garden Market is on every Friday, the Handmade In Bedford Market is on the second Saturday of the month from March - December. The main market is on Wednesday and Saturday every week.
For further details see www.bedford.gov.uk/business/markets
Bedford hosts several festivals and special events throughout the year. The River Festival is a biannual event held over two days at the end of July. The festival includes a parade, live music stages, countless river activities, fireworks, arts, heritage and sports villages and cuisine from around the world; there is literally something for everyone at the Bedford River Festival.
The Bedford International Kite Festival is held annually in Russell Park. The festival showcases kites from the four corners of the globe, with representatives from America, Canada, Japan, China, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium and a member of the Bali Royal family! You'll also see domestic flyers from around the UK. The programme throughout the weekend features kites never seen before in the UK and workshops in the Kite Marquee.
For more information visit the Bedford Borough Council website.
The Bedford Regatta was established in 1863. It is held annually during May and is an important event in the British Rowing Calendar. Find out more on the Bedford Regatta website.
Just around the corner from The Higgins Bedford is the Bunyan Museum which tells the story of the renowned author, preacher and pastor. For information about opening times visit the John Bunyan Museum website.
Mill Street, Bedford, MK40 3EU. Tel: 01234 270303
There are lots of places of interest slightly further afield:
Bromham Mill is open on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays 1 to 5 pm, from April to October. Admission during opening hours is free and the café sells fresh coffee and home made cakes. It is available for groups at any time and we give guided tours, baking lessons and craft activities on request. Meadow and picnic area are open all day every day till dusk. Find out more about visiting Bromham Mill on the Bedford Borough Council website.
Bridge End, Bromham, Beds. MK43 8LP, Tel: 01234 824330
Elstow Moot Hall
A 15th Century timber framed market hall, set on the village green at Elstow, the Moot Hall was originally built to serve Elstow Abbey as a market house and courtroom for the Abbess with strong connections to John Bunyan. Beautiful period furniture and exhibits illustrating 17th Century life. Further information about Moot Hall is available on the Bedford Borough Council website.
Church End, Elstow, Beds. MK42 9XT, Tel: 01234 266889
Glenn Miller Museum
A unique collection dedicated to Glenn Miller, housed in the original control tower at the airfield where he was last seen alive in December 1944. See also the Airfield Archaeology Collection and the National Fire Service Collection, Home Front House and Summer of 1944 Collection all housed in original wartime buildings. Visit the Twinwoods website for more information.
Twinwood Road Clapham, Beds. MK41 6AB, Tel: 01923 282725
Moggerhanger Park is a 33-acre estate in the midst of beautiful Bedfordshire countryside containing Moggerhanger House, a Grade 1 listed Country House designed by the eminent architect Sir John Soane. The fascinating grounds contain historic woodlands, walled gardens and an Ice House. Visit the Moggerhanger Park website for further information.
Park Road, Moggerhanger, Beds. MK44 3RW, Tel: 01767 641007
Museum of Military Intelligence
The collections include the Intelligence Corps Museum charting the development of British Military Intelligence, including its use in the Second World War as a “Y” Service intercept station of Enigma Codes and its post-war USAF intelligence-gathering activities up until the late 1990s. A varied and interesting collection allowing you to “Share the Secret…” Access is by appointment due to the security of the site. For further information visit the Museum of Military Intelligence website.
Chicksands, Shefford, Beds. SG17 5PR, Tel: 01462 752896
A unique flying collection showcasing the first one hundred years of flight. Home of the "Flying Proms" and many other outdoor events. Also Shuttleworth House, the Swiss Garden, Bird of Prey Centre and Jubilee Play Centre. Visit the Shuttleworth Collection website here.
Shuttleworth (Old Warden) Aerodrome, near Biggleswade, Beds.
SG18 9EP, Tel: 01767 627927
This English Heritage property has one of the most magnificent gardens in England, yet one of the least well known. Unlike Capability Brown's natural landscape styling, favoured during the late 18th Century, Wrest Park's formal gardens provide a fascinating history of gardening styles, laid out over 150 years and inspired by the great gardens of Versailles in France. Wrest Park was the home of the De Grey family - whose serried monuments fill the nearby De Grey Mausoleum - from the 13th Century until 1917. Visit the Wrest Park website here.
Wrest Park, Silsoe, Beds. MK45 4HR, Tel: 01525 860000
Have a look at Bedford Bid's "Things To Do" page for more information about what’s on in Bedford and the surrounding Borough.