Bedford is an exciting riverside town with a rich history dating back to the medieval era. Discover museums like the Higgins Art Gallery & Museum, take a stroll along the banks of the River Ouse at Priory Park or shop at the charming Victorian-era Arcade.
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With beautiful riverside walks along the River Ouse, great high street shopping centres and major historic sites, Bedford is perfect for family holidays, shopping trips and weekend breaks in the East of England.
Discover more about Bedford's culture and history at museums like The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum, with exhibits ranging from fine watercolour paintings to photographs of Bedford's wartime history. The work of John Bunyan, the world renowned writer of The Pilgrim's Progress, is celebrated at the John Bunyan Museum – a great place to learn more about Bunyan’s contributions to Bedford and literature across the world.
From Cainhoe Castle to Houghton House and St. Paul's Church, Bedford is famous for its historical sites. The Rise and Fall of Bedford Castle, a guided walk and tour of Bedford Castle, is a highlight and perfect for finding out more about the medieval castle that played such an important role in history, just a five-minute walk from our Premier Inn Bedford Town Centre (Riverside) hotel.
Bedford has fantastic parks and natural spaces, with views of the River Ouse from Priory Park, where you can also hire a boat or enjoy riverside cycling trails. Bedford Park is great for family trips, with cricket grounds, tennis courts and playgrounds – and during the summer it hosts the Bedford Proms. Russell Park is close to Bedford Embankment and hosts Easter Egg hunts with fun family events throughout the year.
Major acts like Coldplay, Elbow and Muse have played at Bedford Esquires, an independent club in the heart of Bedford that’s famous for opening its stage to talented local musicians as well as headline names. At the Bedford Corn Exchange you’ll find acts ranging from comedy to wrestling – with sell out shows in the past from stars like Jimmy Carr and Ed Byrne.
There’s plenty of high street brands and great bargains at Harpur Shopping Centre in Bedford town centre. Or for unique Bedford souvenirs visit The Arcade, a Victorian-era centre full of independent shops.