Top 10 reasons to live in Bedford


Top 10 Reasons to live in Bedford



Thinking of moving to Bedford ? Perhaps you are thinking of getting a new job or yearning for  change in lifestyle. Maybe you are thinking of ways to save money or just looking for a good property investment.


The Sunday Times voted Bedford one of the best places to live in the UK in 2019, calling the town unfairly underappreciated! As Bedfordians we could not agree more. Bedford is a cosmopolitan town made up of one of the most diverse communities in the UK making it a vibrant place to live and work with a good range of houses, abundance of green spaces, decent food places, excellent transport links and a beautiful riverside not to mention award winning schools. At Open House Bedford, we have put together a list of our top 10 reasons to boost your confidence to make the move!


1. Good urban & rural housing options


If you want to live within close proximity of the town centre, then the Prime ministers area of Bedford and Castle quarter is the place to be. With a good balance of town centre living with Victorian architecture, it is a relaxed residential neighbourhood within a conservation area. You can enjoy the nearby green spaces which include Bedford Park and Russell Park.


Depending on your budget, you may prefer something a little more quiet and exclusive such as a large detached house and large garden spaces which can be found all around the surrounding villages and areas outside of the town centre. The houses in Biddenham offer predominantly large detached houses in a peaceful area yet close enough to the town centre.  The surrounding villages of Bromham, Ravensden, Oakley, Thurleigh to name a few, offer a good range of semi and detached houses, not to mention some with spectacular scountryside views.



2.     Green spaces & leisure



If you are after beautiful leisurely walks, then head towards Bedford park, perhaps even the Embankment, Priory marina or Russell park. Bedford also hosts the Bedford River Festival which takes place every other year, it is the 2nd largest outdoor event in England after the Notting Hill carnival.


If you are into health & fitness you can almost be spoilt for choice with a choice of around 18 Gyms & fitness centres available within close proximity with different level of facilities. For Golf lovers there is also around 15 golf courses to choose from.


 3.     Great commuter location


Living in Bedford means you are never too far away from the capital and other major towns. There are approximately five or six trains an hour to London St Pancras (40-60 minutes) via Luton (plus airport) 15-23 minutes, and also via Thameslink on through London and the City. If Driving to the A1 & M1 takes approximately 15 minutes, 30 minutes to Milton Keynes, 40 to Luton & 50 to Cambridge.


There is also plans in motion for a new train link the “Varsity line” through Bedford, connecting Oxford and Cambridge due to complete by the year 2030.


 4.     Vibrant cosmopolitan town


Bedford is a cosmopolitan town made up of one the most diverse communities in the UK. There are around 57 ethnic groups represented in the Borough which make the town vibrant and culturally diverse suiting many tastes.


5.     Outstanding & good state schools


This is undoubtedly one of the key areas for parents. Bedford has good selection of Ofsted outstanding and good rated schools. Bedford Free School ( Outstanding, ages 11-16), St Thomas More Catholic School (Outstanding ages 11-18), Castle Newnham School (Outstanding ages 3 -11), Kempston Rural Primary School (Outstanding ages 5-11), Priory Primary School (Outstanding, ages 3-11).


6.     Award winning independent (private) schools


If you are wealthy enough to send the kids to private school or not, this is something to be proud of, after all a good school nearby can influence your house price. Bedford has a good selection of Independent schools. This year out of 700 nominations Bedford School won the independent boys school of the year and Polam School was crowned Independent Pre-prep School of the Year.


There are other popular independent schools in Bedford such as Bedford Modern School, Bedford Girls School, Bedford Greenacre & Pilgrims Pre-preparatory School.



 7.     Café, Dining & nightlife



Bedford being a cosmopolitan town has a good mix of bistro, Italian, Indian, Thai, Chinese and Mexican restaurants to name a few. Two of our favourites are El Picante (Mexican food) and Indian Summer (Indian / Bengali Food). Across the riverside you will also find the likes of Nandos, Wagamamas & Zizis.


You will never run out of choice whether your sitting in or fancy a night out in Bedford.  There are a good number of pubs & bars scattered across the town centre. Set on the embankment of the beautiful Great River Ouse in Bedford is the Embankment pub & Swan Hotel which is a popular hot spot with many locals.


8.     Employment

Bedford has a wide range of industries including retail, transport, logistics & IT. Some of the main employers outside of Local Government, Education sector & the NHS in Bedford are Unilever, Asda Distribution, Argos Distribution & Capita.


It is worth noting due to the easy transport links many residents choose to commute to London and Milton Keynes for work. On the outskirts of Bedford there has notably been a recent expansion in distribution centres such as the likes of Amazon, John Lewis and B&M retail.


 9.     Affordable house prices


Bedford has seen strong growth over recent years. However in comparison to its neighbours Cambridge, Luton & Milton Keynes Bedford in terms of affordability still remains as an attractive location.


According to Rightmove, the majority of sales in Bedford during 2020 to 2021 were semi-detached properties, selling for an average price of £315,126. Terraced properties sold for an average of £253,635, with detached properties fetching £475,623. Flats in Bedford sold for an average of £176,180 (Source:


Due to the increasing demand in house prices the rental market remains strong in Bedford. At Open House Bedford our opinion is that this pattern of growth will continue in the foreseeable future due to the housing shortage locally and nationally. Renting will continue to be the only viable option for many young professionals.


Data collected by suggest the median rental price of 1 bedroom property is £725 per month, 2 bedrooms £895 per month and three bedrooms £1098 per month. This still remains relatively more affordable than Bedfords neighbouring towns Luton & Milton Keynes.


10. Shopping

Bedford town centre offers many unique small independent retail and boutique shops. The Arcade is a beautiful place full of light, offering a unique shopping experience straight off the High Street. It boasts a wide selection of independent shops selling designers, bespoke jewellery, fresh flowers, healthy organic food & supplements and upcycled furniture and vintage pieces. 


Like many UK town centres recently there has been a surge in many budget retail outlets in and outside of the town centre. If you fancy more mainstream big brand outlets Milton Keynes & Rushden Lakes is within a short commute.


Written by : Mujahid Ali 30th November 2021


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