Dating back to 1874, Bedford Corn Exchange is a multipurpose venue in the heart of town on St. Paul’s Square. The 1,000-capacity space hosts over 800 events a year, ranging from sell-out comedy shows from Jimmy Carr and Ed Byrne to themed music nights, tribute acts and even darts and wrestling. More recently, the Corn Exchange has hosted an ABBA-themed night, the Johnny Cash Roadshow and an interactive talk from Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
The Corn Exchange has a long orchestral history – the BBC Symphony Orchestra relocated here during WWII, while the Philharmonia Orchestra holds residencies here and in London and regularly perform live.
Arguably, the Corn Exchange went through its biggest phase in the 40s, when huge names like Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Humphrey Bogart and Gracie Fields were welcomed on stage.
As well as the main auditorium, which can seat 830 people or 1,000 standing, the Corn Exchange has several other rooms including the 180-seater Harpur Suite and the 100-seat Howard Room, which are used for smaller performances.
Thanks to its location in the heart of Bedford, there are plenty of places to eat and drink nearby. The Standard is a cool cocktail bar around the corner, while on Castle Lane, you’ll find the Riverside Grill and The Higgins Pantry, both of which come highly recommended.
There are four car parks close by, including the River Street multi-storey, which is open 24 hours. The Corn Exchange is around 15 minutes’ walk from Bedford train station, with the bus station just a two-minute walk away and our Bedford Town Centre (Riverside) hotel is only a three-minutes walk away.
Take your pick from any one of our three hotels in Bedford if you're interested in visiting this pretty riverside town. They're perfect for exploring Bedford's stunning green spaces, sampling its entertainment scene, and ticking off the town's top attractions.
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