Living in Bedford – 10 Reasons to Consider Moving There
13th July 2024

Living in Bedford – 10 Reasons to Consider Moving There

Are you thinking of living in Bedford?

Sitting alongside the River Ouse, Bedford provides a quaint riverside location for its residents.

Unsurprisingly, Bedford is the county town of Bedfordshire (the name may have given this away!)

Bedford enjoys a vast history dating back to the 9th century!

Reminders of this broad history can be found throughout the town.

No place highlights this more than the ruins of Bedford Castle.

Here residents can enjoy all-encompassing views of the stunning river.

Bedford affords residents a wonderful community as well as a host of fantastic amenities.

The town is home to an eclectic range of communities.

A range of different influences ensures that Bedford is a diverse town with a cosmopolitan culture.

This diversity is celebrated throughout the region, with a seemingly endless choice of international cuisine to be enjoyed!

Located just 50 miles from London, Bedford is also very popular with commuters.

Residents of the town are offered easy access to the capital as well as all the amenities of a big city on their doorstep.

Furthermore, the town is bordered by some breathtaking Bedfordshire countryside.

A balance of rural and urban features ensures that living in Bedford is appealing to all.

We aim to put the spotlight on Bedford, highlighting everything that is great in the area.

So, if you are thinking of living in Bedford, these are our top 8 reasons to consider moving there.

Best Area in Bedford: The Allure of the Castle Quater

Bedford was previously voted as the second-best place to live in the East of England by the Sunday Times, and their review highlighted the importance of the Castle Quarter.

This region of Bedford is championed for its blend of historical charm, modern amenities, and family-friendly atmosphere.

Located by the stunning River Ouse, the Castle Quarter provides residents with easy access to the river, offering scenic views and a serene environment for leisurely strolls or more active pursuits like kayaking.

The proximity to Russell Park further enhances the appeal of this area, providing locals with expansive green spaces perfect for picnics, sports, and community events.

The park, combined with the river, creates a harmonious balance of nature and urban living.

Families are particularly drawn to the Castle Quarter due to the presence of Castle Newnham Primary School, which boasts an ‘Outstanding’ report from Ofsted. This ensures that children receive a top-quality education within walking distance of their homes.

The cosmopolitan spirit of Bedford is thriving in the Castle Quarter, with a variety of fantastic local eateries and businesses contributing to the area’s vibrant atmosphere.

Italian food and culture are particularly well-celebrated, with the charming Italian bistro, 2likeusbistro, being a favourite among locals for its delicious cuisine and exceptional service.

The area also offers a host of pubs, each with its unique charm, such as The Devonshire Arms, The White Horse, and The Embankment.

Residents are sure to find their perfect local pub where they can unwind and socialise.

The Castle Quarter also hosts numerous events throughout the year, including the Bedford River Festival, which is the second-largest outdoor festival in the UK, second only to the Notting Hill Carnival.

This biennial event is a highlight for the community, offering a fun-filled day with activities and entertainment for all ages.

Bedford Property Prices: Affordability and Growing Demand

Buying property Bedford
Buying property in Bedford offers affordability in an increasingly popular area.

With Bedford’s growing reputation as a desirable place to live, it is no surprise that the town is becoming an increasingly popular location for homebuyers.

According to Zoopla, the average house price in Bedford is £358,399, representing excellent value especially compared to the soaring prices in nearby London.

This affordability makes Bedford an attractive option for first-time buyers and those looking to save on housing costs while still enjoying a high quality of life.

The property market in Bedford offers a diverse range of options to suit different needs and budgets.

For those considering buying a terraced home, these tend to be some of the most affordable properties in the area, making them perfect for first-time buyers.

Flats are another great choice, with plenty of stock available, providing an excellent entry point for those looking to get on the property ladder.

The increased interest in Bedford has also spurred development and investment in the area, ensuring that modern and well-maintained properties are available.

Although the boosted interest in Bedford means other nearby areas might be more affordable, the town offers residents various buying options and services that cannot be found elsewhere.

The average property price represents fantastic value, especially when considering the town’s excellent amenities and transport links.

Commuting from Bedford is a viable option, with journey times to London being reasonable and train services frequent, allowing buyers to save a substantial amount of money when moving to the area.

Keeping an eye on the market and staying informed about price changes can help ensure you get the best deal when purchasing a home in Bedford.

Working in Bedford: A Hub of Opportunity

Bedford’s vast history has contributed to its diverse and robust local economy.

Historically, Bedford’s economy was centred around wool, brewing, and engineering during the Victorian period.

Today, the town boasts a much broader economic landscape, attracting various industries and providing a range of employment opportunities for its residents.

Some of Bedford’s largest employers include Asda Distribution, Argos Distribution, Unilever, and Capita Children’s Services, each offering a significant number of jobs across different sectors.

New industries continue to flood into Bedford, with companies like Aldi establishing their own distribution centres in the town.

This influx of businesses ensures a steady stream of job opportunities and contributes to the town’s economic growth.

The finance, ICT, and manufacturing sectors are also prominent in Bedford, providing diverse career options for residents.

The presence of these industries means that Bedford is not solely reliant on any single sector, making the local economy resilient and dynamic.

Bedford offers a range of jobs in different industries, catering to a variety of skills and career aspirations.

The town’s employment figures are impressive, reflecting the availability of excellent job opportunities for those who decide to call the area home.

Whether you are seeking a career in retail, finance, logistics, or technology, Bedford has something to offer.

The town’s economic diversity and the continuous arrival of new businesses ensure that residents have access to a thriving job market.

This makes Bedford an attractive place for professionals looking to advance their careers and enjoy a high quality of life.

Excellent Transport Links: Making Commuting a Breeze

Bedford train station
Bedford is extremely well connected with the rest of the UK.

Bedfordshire is well-regarded as an excellent commuter county, and Bedford is no exception.

Popular locations such as Luton, Biggleswade, and Leighton Buzzard are renowned for their excellent links to London, and while Bedford is slightly further north, it remains a fantastic option for commuters.

The town’s strategic location and efficient transport network make commuting to the capital and other major cities straightforward and convenient.

With a potential journey time of under 40 minutes, Bedford is well-linked to London, making it an attractive choice for those who work in the city but prefer to live in a more tranquil and affordable setting.

Bedford is home to two main train stations, with the larger Bedford (Midland) offering Thameslink rail services that extend as far as Brighton!

Commuters have the convenience of around six trains per hour to London, ensuring that if one train is missed, the next one is not far behind.

Trains to London arrive at London St Pancras International, making further commuting within the city exceptionally easy.

If you are looking to commute to other locations, trains from Bedford also extend to Bletchley, Nottingham, Luton, and Three Bridges.

For those who prefer to drive, the A6 provides a direct route to London, although the journey takes over an hour and a half.

However, driving to nearby regions such as Cambridge takes around 40 minutes, making it a feasible option for daily commutes.

Local roads also connect Bedford with Milton Keynes, Luton, and Hitchin, offering a variety of commuting routes.

The combination of affordable property prices and excellent transport links makes Bedford an increasingly popular choice for commuters looking to move out of London and enjoy a higher quality of life.

Best Things to do in Bedford

Working, commuting and everyday life can certainly take a toll.

If you are contemplating living in Bedford, you will be pleased to know there are lots of opportunities for leisure activities.

The John Bunyan Boat is a truly unique way of enjoying the area.

Boat trips along the River Ouse provide a relaxing and insightful view of the town.

The Higgins Bedford Art Gallery and Museum is a cultural gem, housing an impressive collection of art, historical artefacts, and exhibitions.

It provides insight into the local history and showcases works by renowned artists.

Bedford is serviced by several fantastic parks.

Russell Park is a local favourite.

Located on the Bedford Embankment, the park is home to a café, play area and bowls green.

Residents can soak up some sun and enjoy the various festivals and events that are held throughout the year.

Cyclists are treated to the Bedford Green Wheel.

This ongoing development is establishing a network of paths and routes for cyclists and walkers.

Connecting parks, reserves, and the Bedfordshire countryside the Green Wheel is a jumping-off point for those looking to leisurely explore the town.

Education in Bedford

Education in Bedford
You will quickly find that education provisions in Bedford are of a very high quality.

Bedford offers students an excellent range of local schools.

Schools in Bedford cater for students from primary school age all the way up to sixth form and college.

Primary education is dependent on the area children live in.

If a school serves the local catchment area of their home, children can get a place there.

Students are usually admitted to primary school when they turn 5.

Children will then transfer to a secondary school that serves the local catchment area when they turn 11.

All secondary schools in Bedford have a 6th form.

Pupils can choose to remain at the school until the age of 18 or 19.

The town and surrounding regions are home to around 118 schools and colleges.

With such a range of choices, it is important to know all the best schools!

6 primary schools in Bedford have achieved the desired ‘Outstanding’ review from Ofsted.

Carlton C of E Primary School, Sharnbrook Primary, Castle Newnham School and Kempston Rural Primary School have all received this merit and are tops picks in the town.

With regards to secondary schools, Bedford is home to 3 that have received an ‘Outstanding’ report from Ofsted.

These include Bedford Free School, St Thomas More Catholic School and St John’s School.

Bedford also offers higher education at the University of Bedfordshire.

The Bedford campus is a 20-minute walk from the town centre and is home to a Physical Education and Sport Science Centre which was used to train athletes in the 2012 Olympics!

Education is very well provided for in Bedford, with a range of institutions for all age groups.

If you are thinking of living in Bedford be sure to check out the local school’s results here.

Dining and Nightlife in Bedford

Bedford’s dining and nightlife scene is as diverse and vibrant as you would expect from an area with such a growing reputation.

The town offers an impressive array of restaurants, cafes, and bars that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

Whether you are in the mood for fine dining, casual meals, or some interesting international cuisines, Bedford has something to satisfy every palate.

Popular dining spots include The Higgins Pantry, known for its Mediterranean-inspired dishes, and Radhuni, which offers exquisite Indian cuisine.

In addition to its diverse restaurant scene, Bedford has a lively nightlife that appeals to both young and older crowds.

The town boasts a variety of pubs, bars, and clubs where residents can enjoy a night out with friends.

Venues such as The Bear and The Wellington Arms are beloved for their cosy atmospheres and extensive drink menus.

For those looking to enjoy live music, comedy nights, or themed events, Bedford’s entertainment venues provide a range of options to keep evenings exciting and engaging.

The town also hosts several food and drink festivals throughout the year, celebrating local produce and culinary talent.

These events, such as EAT Fest, offer residents the opportunity to sample a variety of dishes and beverages from local vendors and artisans.

The combination of excellent dining options and a vibrant nightlife makes Bedford a culinary and social hub, ensuring that residents have plenty of options for enjoying their evenings.

Shopping in Bedford

shopping in Bedford
There are some great shopping options for locals in Bedford.

Bedford offers shoppers a delightful array of choices.

Ranging from well-known retailers to independent stores and markets, Bedford has it all.

Bedford’s leading shopping centre, the Harpur Centre, is open seven days a week.

It is home to 36 stores across two levels.

Shops consist of all the big high street names including WHSmith, Primark and Boots.

The centre also offers free parking for shoppers on Sundays.

If you do not drive, the Harpur centre is very easy to get to.

It is a short walk of 10 minutes to the train station and has a bus stop metre from the entrance!

If you prefer a more unique shopping experience, Bedford has you covered.

Living in Bedford means you can frequent the many markets!

Both the Bedford Gourmet Market and Bedford Farmers’ Market offer the best local produce.

Other markets offer a range of items.

The Garden Market and Arts and Crafts Fair present a range of one-off items, whilst the Continental Market introduces produce from across Europe every June.

There are so many niche shops to find across Bedford.

The best way to explore the town is to have a wander.

Be sure to search the historic streets for your new favourite antique shop, gallery or coffee house, there are so many to find!

Explore Bedford’s History

Bedford Bridge
Bedford is a location packed with history and has plenty of places to explore its past.

With such a rich history, it is no surprise that Bedford is home to numerous museums!

If you are thinking of living in Bedford, what better way to get acquainted with your new home?

The top-rated museum on TripAdvisor is the Panacea Museum.

This fascinating museum explores the history of the unique religious community that created its own Garden of Eden in the centre of Bedford!

Experienced guides will explain the fascinating story of the Panacea Society throughout the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

Other museums to explore include the Higgins Bedford.

This offers the opportunity to enjoy the work of Cecil Higgins as well as other talented artists.

It also explores the wider history of Bedford and is full of fascinating information.

If you are considering living in Bedford, be sure to visit one of the many local museums and learn about this historic town.

Healthcare Facilities in Bedford: Quality Care for Locals

Bedford boasts a robust healthcare system, ensuring that residents have access to high-quality medical care and facilities.

The town is served by Bedford Hospital NHS Trust, which provides a wide range of services, including emergency care, maternity services, and specialised treatments.

The hospital is well-regarded for its compassionate and professional staff, ensuring that patients receive excellent care.

In addition to the hospital, Bedford is home to numerous GP practices, dental clinics, and specialist healthcare providers, offering comprehensive medical services to the community.

For those seeking alternative and complementary therapies, Bedford has several wellness centres and holistic health practitioners.

These facilities provide services such as acupuncture, physiotherapy, chiropractic care, and mental health support.

The town’s commitment to healthcare extends to preventive services as well, with various health and fitness centres promoting a healthy lifestyle through exercise classes, personal training, and nutritional advice.

The combination of public and private healthcare options ensures that residents have access to a broad spectrum of medical services, making Bedford an ideal place for those prioritising health and well-being.

Ready to Start Living in Bedford?

GoodMove Truck

Are you thinking of living in Bedford?

Whether you want to enjoy the excellent commuter links, revel in the diverse community or soak up some of the town’s fascinating history, Bedford has something for all.

Offering a range of wonderful locations and an assortment of unique properties, there is certainly a home for you in Bedford!

GoodMove will make your house move an easy and stress-free process.

We take great pride in making sure everything runs smoothly and faultlessly, helping you to settle into your new home right away.

As well as our competitively priced removals package, we can also offer extra services such as temporary or long-term storage facilities should you need them.

GoodMove covers all areas of Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex and our friendly estimators can call round at a convenient time for you and strategically plan your move to perfection.

During these unique times, GoodMove are also offering a new video survey service.

Using our new technology, we can gather all the information required to assist with your move, from the comfort of your home!

Video surveys will help you save valuable time and preserve the best safety levels.

To find out more about how we could get your dream move to Bedford or any other location underway do not hesitate to call us on the number listed above.

Alternatively, fill out a quick quote form or click on our live bot in the bottom right and a member of our customer services team will be in touch shortly.