Bedford Hospital is a district general hospital that operates from two sites in the town, providing a wide range of services, although patients requiring advanced health services are referred to specialist units elsewhere, particularly Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, which has a partnership with Bedford Hospital. Bedford Hospital's catchment area is based on the Borough of Bedford and parts of Central Bedfordshire.
Nearby small towns include Ampthill, Biggleswade, Flitwick, and Sandy, all of which are in Central Bedfordshire, as well as Rushden in Northamptonshire and St Neots in Cambridgeshire. The nearest towns and cities with larger populations than Bedford are Northampton to the north west, Cambridge to the east, Milton Keynes to the south west, and Luton to the south, all of which have urban area populations of 150,000 or more.
Bedford is the county town of Bedfordshire, England. It had a population of 81,635 in 2011.
Despite being far upriver from the sea, seals have occasionally been reported as swimming as far inland as Bedford.
Bedford has the largest Sikh temple in the United Kingdom outside London, alongside two other Sikh temples; one of which is in Kempston. Bedford also has Guru Ravidass and Valmiki temples.
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Bedford bus station serves the town of Bedford, The bus station is part owned by the Stagecoach in Bedford and Bedford Borough Council and is situated in the town centre on All Hallows just off Greyfriars.
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Renowned as having one of the finest riverside settings in the country, enjoy panoramic views of the River Great Ouse from the restored Castle Mound; all that remains of Bedford castle, which was destroyed in the siege of 1224.
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Bedford is home to four private schools run by the Harpur Trust charity, endowed by Bedfordian Sir William Harpur in the 16th century. These are:
Whether you like high-octane thrills or you're interested in history and the arts, if you want to entertain the family, or simply want to relax and enjoy quiet, unspoilt countryside, come and visit Bedford and north Bedfordshire.
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The River Great Ouse became navigable as far as Bedford in 1689. Wool declined in importance with brewing becoming a major industry in the town.
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Every two years, an event called the "Bedford River Festival" is held near the river in Bedford during early July. The event lasts for two days and regularly attracts about 250,000 visitors. The event includes sports, funfairs and live music. It is the second largest regular outdoor event in the United Kingdom, beaten in numbers only by the Notting Hill Carnival. The Bedford Regatta each May is Britain's largest one-day river rowing regatta.
Bedford is on the Midland Main Line, with stopping services to London and Brighton operated by Thameslink, and express services to London and the East Midlands operated by East Midlands Trains.
It was the home and prison of John Bunyan, the author of The Pilgrim's Progress. Prison Reformer John Howard, although born in London, was high Sheriff of Bedfordshire.
And the 30 year old Banana Cabaret has nourished acts including Michael McIntyre, The Mighty Boosh, Omid Djalil and recent America’s Got Talent winer, Paul Zerdin.
Just outside the town lie the Cardington airship hangars. The hangars have been used to shoot scenes for movies such as Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and Inception. The hangars can be seen from the Bedford Bypass.
The Panacea Museum tells the story of the Panacea Society, a religious community formed in the early twentieth century.
The River Great Ouse passes through the town centre and is lined with gardens known as the Embankment. Within these gardens, opposite Rothsay Road, stands a war memorial to the men of the town killed in the First World War. The memorial was designed in 1921 by the sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger and depicts a knight killing a dragon. The inscription reads
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Smaller private institutions include Rushmoor School (boys aged 3–16, girls 3–11) St. Andrew's School (girls aged 3–16, boys 3–9), and Polam School (boys and girls aged 12 months to 9 years), none of which are part of the Harpur Trust.
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From Spring lamb to Mediterranean al fresco inspired light bites, our chef has got you covered.
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Other annual events include "Bedford by the Sea" (when large quantities of sand are deposited in the town centre) and the "Bedford International Kite Festival" in June. "Proms in the Park", held in early August, is a popular musical event.
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The legendary Live Music nights have witnessed stunning early performances by the likes of Ed Sheeran, The Staves, James Bay and many others, as well as providing a wonderful backdrop for performances by established artists including Pete Townshend, Crowded House, KT Tunstall and other superstars.
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Bedford Bridge in 1783. This version of the bridge was replaced in 1813.
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Transport in Bedford provides links between the town and other parts of England. Road access to the town is provided by the A6 road. The town is served by two railway stations and a network of bus services.
Bedford Today provides news, events and sport features from the Bedford area. For the best up to date information relating to Bedford and the surrounding areas visit us at Bedford Today regularly or bookmark this page.