TG Tips – Bedford

Ok I suppose I really ought to add a page from the town where I grew up (at least after the age of fourteen). I can’t really necessarily advocate going out of your way to come here. Bedford is a small town north of London, largely commuter, I suppose one could say it’s close to airports and Cambridge. One would be hard pushed perhaps to come up with a real reason to make a visit, however most who end up here, do usually stroll along our famous embankment (of the River Ouse) and are pleasantly surprised it’s fair to say…

Things Haven't Changed A Great Deal...

Things Haven’t Changed A Great Deal…

However, if you do find yourself in Bedford (at least better than Luton) waiting for a flight, or as the M1 is blocked. Here are a few things you could do or see…


The Wellington Arms, 40-42 Wellington Street, MK40 2XJ. Now this really is a nice pub. One of the few true Free Houses about. You are likely to find at least ten guest ales on tap at any given time. Set back from the bustle of the city centre, it’s a real locals place, however not the sort where you are made to feel unwelcome as you walk in. On Tuesdays they often have live music. Be aware, they don’t serve food. Have a look at their website – The Wellington Arms.

Embankment, The Embankment, MK40 3PD. This pub, hotel, restaurant has been a family favourite since I stopped having to try to sneak into places aged less than 18. The once Colonial feel has been given a modern overhaul and the place also serves great food now. The best thing however is the location; just across the road from the river it is the perfect place to ‘just have a quick drink’ after a stroll along the Ouse. Have a look at their website for more details – Embankment.


The Bedford River Festival. This really is quite the event. All sorts of claims to fame – the largest outdoor even after the Notting Hill Carnival in the UK, the biggest River Festival, etc.

Dragon Boat Racing at Bedford River Festival

Dragon Boat Racing at Bedford River Festival

However this biannual event is certainly worth a detour if you don’t mind crowds (and the weather is good). The River Festival returns in 2014 and details can be found here – Bedford River Festival.


Bedford Ink, 4 The Broadway, MK40 2TE. Once again I am not here to advocate tattoos and certainly not the idea of getting a tattoo whilst on holiday. However, that said, if you are getting one, you could do a lot worse than see Lee and his team at Bedford Ink. There are now (2013) 12 tattoo shops in Bedford alone and – though I don’t have one from them all – this place is really run extremely professionally, cleanly and artistically. Lee will even turn you away if you are planning something daft. Have a look at their website – Bedford Ink.

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