Bedfordshire

Bedfordshire is a county in the middle of England, a little towards the south-east in the East of England.

Towns

Map of Bedfordshire

Other destinations

Get in

By car

By plane

By train

Get around

By car Bedfordshire has a good road network and every town and village is reasonably easily accessible by car. The A5, A6 and A1 trunk routes run through the county - the A5 in the west (for Dunstable and Woburn), the A6 in the centre (for Bedford, Luton, Ampthill and Flitwick) and the A1 in the east (for Sandy and Biggleswade)

By bus Bus services operate in all parts of the county, although they can be infrequent. Bedford operates a Park & Ride system.

Do

Woburn Abbey is set within 3,000 acres of beautiful gardens complete with a deer park and fabulous buildings and really is a must-see if you find yourself in Bedfordshire. The Abbey itself has been home to the Dukes of Bedford for more than 300 years and is now occupied by the 15th Duke and his family. There are many things to do at the Abbey: if the weather is nice maybe a picnic lunch in the stunning grounds watching some of the ten species of deer, or you can join one of the tours looking at the many paintings collected at the Abbey, including those by Gainsborough, Reynolds, Van Dyck and Cuyp. There is also a fabulous Tea Room where you can enjoy traditional afternoon tea in true English style and new for 2008 is the Woburn at War exhibition, which illustrates the impact of wars on Woburn Abbey.

Lion Enclosure, Woburn Safari Park, Bedfordshire

Woburn Safari Park really offers an amazing safari adventure where you might least expect it! Drive around in your own car and experience the beauty of wild animals up close and personal... but watch out for those mischievous monkeys! Aside from seeing sea lions, birds of prey, elephants, giraffes, tigers, lynxes, penguins and snakes, to name but a few, you can also pre-book a special experience: VIP Tour with a Ranger, walk with elephants or breakfast with the carnivores, and there is also the Great Woburn Railway, Swan Boats and the Mammoth Play Ark to keep you and your family occupied.

Woburn Village has more than 200 listed Georgian buildings as well as many antique shops, pubs, chic restaurants and a fabulous tea-room for the truly English experience! If you visit in early September you will have a fabulous time at their yearly Oyster Festival: food, drink, live music and street entertainers, as well as champagne and Oysters, make this a great day out for all the family.

Mead Open Farm is great for a family day out whether its rain or shine! There are plenty of animals to see from goats, sheep, cows, pigs, ducks and horses, both inside and outside. You can also watch a sheepdog demonstration, play crazy golf, race round on go-karts or head to Shaggy's PlayWorld for a snack and tumble around the child-friendly activities. Or why not cuddle rabbits and guinea pigs, bottle-feed lambs, groom horses or go on a tractor ride at pre-arranged times. It really is a brilliant and varied day out for all the family.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo near Dunstable, is open all year round, apart from Christmas Day and is great if you want a more local, personal experience than ZSL London Zoo. One of Europe's largest wildlife conservation parks, you will see the newly opened Cheetah Rock, meet the Lions of the Serengeti and watch the chimps swinging their stuff in their extensive indoor chimpnasium! There are also many unusual things to see such as beautiful African hunting dogs and reptiles, amphibians and fish.

Ampthill is a quaint Georgian market town, famous for its connections with Catherine of Aragon and John Bunyan's A Pilgrim's Progress. It has numerous antique, gift and coffee shops.

Eat

Ampthill

Stay safe

The same general rules for the UK apply in Bedfordshire as well. It's a primarily rural county and crime is no higher than most places in the UK. However, everyone (not just tourists) should exercise caution, especially in the larger towns such as Bedford and Luton. Luton especially has a (largely undeserved) reputation for being a "rough" town - as with anywhere else, if you don't go looking for trouble you shouldn't find it.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, March 06, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.