Bedfordshire divides neatly into two distinct sections; the industrial south, centred on Luton
, and the agricultural north, where the Great River Ouse meanders through peaceful countryside and the quiet county town of Bedford.
is known primarily for its association with John Bunyan
, author of Pilgrim's Progress
, who was born near here in 1628. Several museums and town walks feature mementoes of Bunyan's life in the area.
Near Bedford is Woburn Abbey
, one of the great stately homes of England, and seat of the powerful Russell family, Dukes of Bedford. Woburn has another association: it is home to the popular Woburn Safari Park.
If you want more wildlife, Whipsnade Zoo
in Dunstable houses over 2500 wild animals in 600 acres of parkland. You can drive your car through the park, or hop on one of the regular shuttle buses.
The Shuttleworth Collection
near Biggleswade houses a wonderful collection of vintage aircraft, including many which are the sole surviving examples of their type anywhere in the world. Shuttleworth is also home to a fine museum of antique and vintage automobiles.
Lacemaking in Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire's stately homes include Woburn Abbey
and Wrest Park
. For a complete list see our gazetteer.
Bedfordshire has a rich history of aviation: There are aviation museums at Cardington, Shuttleworth
, London Colney and Hendon, and you can see vintage aircraft in action at one of the flying days at the Old Warden Aerodrome.
Bedfordshire is perfectly situated for outdoor pursuits. The Chiltern Hills provide excellent walking and cycling in the south of the county. The Icknield Way long distance path runs through Luton on its way from Warden & Gallery Hills to Dunstable. More countryside