Bedfordshire is a stunning county and in this guide we look at various aspects of living in this county, and give you tips to help your move to the area be easier.
Bedfordshire is a stunning county of the UK which shares its borders with Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire.The county is incredibly popular with families, and many people choose to visit the area annually, others love it so much they choose to move there. It’s no surprise many people choose to move here, especially with so much gorgeous open space yet being close to the capital. Marston Vales and Chiltern Hills are just a couple of the many incredible areas of breath-taking countryside. Then there are the wonderful quaint towns like Woburn, and exceptional stately homes and gardens like Woburn Abbey. Kids also love the various attractions in the area, like Whipsnade Zoo and Woburn Safari Park. There’s just so much to love, there’s every reason for families to move to this fantastic county.
If you’re thinking of moving to Bedfordshire, this guide will help you gain some useful information and tips to get you started.
A Brief History
Bedfordshire has some interesting history, much of which you can still learn about in key historical sites across the county. The area has been the residence of many English kings and queens, and many have crossed through the area as well, perhaps hunting in the forests during their stay.
In Dunstable you can find the grave of Queen Eleanor, and there is a historical record of ill-fated Catherine of Aragon who was held at Ampthill. There are also records of royalty taking refuge in Bedfordshire during World War 2. Another interesting piece of Bedfordshire history is Winston Churchill making a speech at the Luton Hoo, which has history dating back to 1455 and now functions as an exclusive hotel and golf resort.
Transport in Bedfordshire is great, but there are also plenty of opportunities if you like to walk, cycle or travel in other ways, like with a canoe or kayak. Cycling and walking is a pleasant and easy way to get around in the county because of the vast amount of cycle and cycle/ walking paths which meander through wonderful areas, but also connect various towns and areas so that eco-commuters can easily get to work. The footpaths and rights of way networks are so vast that a commuter would have no problem using them to get to and from work, although note that some aren’t necessarily lit at night.
Bedfordshire, although not a major transport hub, has various great rail, airport and road links. If you are travelling by road, the 2 major trunk roads of the A1 and A5 are extremely useful for getting around. The M1 London to Leeds motorway has a junction serving Bedford and one serving Luton, so is excellent for commuting north or south.
If you want to travel by rail, the Leighton Buzzard railway station is served by London Midland and you can get a train to Euston London at various times throughout the day. Arlesey, Biggleswade and Sandy have stations which are served by Great Northern, taking you on routes towards Kings Cross and Peterborough. Luton and Bedford are served by East Midlands trains and they have trains travelling to many different destinations, including London.
If you’re looking to catch a taxi, Luton is famous for having the highest number of taxis per head in all of the UK, so you shouldn’t struggle to catch a ride. Uber is also operating around the county, so if you want to avoid high taxi costs Uber could be a great option.
Bedfordshire also has Luton airport within it, which is handy if you want to go on holiday to any of the places it serves. Currently it is the UK’s 7th busiest airport, used by over 6 million people annually and has over 15 airlines that run to over 30 countries and 70 unique destinations across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa including Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Budapest, Stockholm and Warsaw,.
If you are moving to Bedfordshire and have a young family, or plan to raise one in the future, education is of course a major concern. There are many great state and private schools in the area and some fantastic further education options including 3 colleges of further education and Bedfordshire University. The further and higher education options in the county are extremely popular right now, and easy to access. So if your children are leaving school, or are planning what to do when they leave school, there are many different options for them to choose from. From part-time courses, apprenticeships, complete degrees and more, they won’t struggle to study locally if they want to. They are of course not too far from London at under 2 hours in the car from Bedford to Central London, so if they chose to go to one of the many prestigious schools, colleges or universities within London, they wouldn’t be too far from home.
The Bedfordshire economy is booming, as are most places within a commutable distance to London. With people commuting from Cornwall and even overseas to get to their job in the capital, it is no surprise to see commuters moving to Bedford to get a good quality of life, whilst being able to commute a reasonable distance to work. With its beautiful countryside and good distance to London, top businesses are also looking to get in on the action and many are basing themselves within the county. Autoglass, EasyJet, Monarch Airlines, Thomson Airways, Whitbread and Jordans Cereals all have either their headquarters or large bases in the county.
Food & Drink
Bedfordshire provides visitors and residents with an incredible array of places to dine. From Indian to Vegan, there are so many different options to choose from. Did you know Bedfordshire even has its own dish? The Bedfordshire Clanger, a pastry with savoury and sweet fillings is something to try when you move to the area, so you can say you’ve tried the local dish. It is made by a well known bakery and served in various areas.
Various towns contain a wide range of chain restaurants and cafes, as well as plenty of independents, particularly in the more quaint towns and villages. Chunky’s, A Different Brew, Sheff’s Fish & Chips and Nonno Joe’s are all highly rated reasonably priced eateries. Woburn Coffee House, The Luton Hoo and Ridgmont Station Tea Rooms are all excellent choices for tea and cake.
If you want fine dining, you have some pretty incredible choices to consider. Paris House in Woburn is a Michelin Starred destination restaurant offering tasting menus, masterclasses and events in a gorgeous setting. St Helena, The Croft Kitchen and Wernher Restaurant are other excellent fine dining restaurants that could provide you with an incredible way to celebrate your move to the area. Book ahead to avoid disappointment.
Things To Do
When you first move to the area you will be concentrating on settling in and getting your bearings, however, after a while you’re going to want to explore the many things to do within the county.
- Woburn Safari Park – Over 300 acres of parkland are home to a plethora of exciting and beautiful animals, including white rhino, elephants and black bears.
- ZSL Whipsnade Zoo – There are lots of amazing animals and exhibitions at the zoo, ideal for a family day out.
- Mead Open Farm – A lovely little farm that is at its best in springtime when the baby lambs are born.
Fun & Interesting
- Leighton Buzzard Railway – This is ideal for families with young children providing visitors with an insight into locomotives and the opportunity to ride on steam trains.
- John Bunyan Museum & Library – An incredible place of history with interesting exhibits dedicated to this incredible man.
- Panacea Museum – A quirky museum exploring a unique religious group who set up their own Garden Of Eden in Bedfordshire.
- Wrest Park – Gorgeous in all seasons, Wrest Park provides visitors with the stunning visuals of over 3 centuries of landscape.
- The Forest Centre – A great place for walking and cycling with lots of paths to explore, as well as lovely lakes to walk around.
- Stockwood Discovery Centre – Great for nature and art lovers alike, you can enjoy walks containing sculptures here, as well as a carriage collection, and the areas last tram.
Top Moving Tips
If you’re planning on moving to Bedfordshire, you’re likely to have a lot to do. From sorting out paperwork, to packing boxes, and arranging help from removals companies and storage companies – the list for moving home is never ending. However, there are ways to make it less stressful. Here are our top moving tips to help you with your move to Bedfordshire:
Clear Out Before You Pack
When you sort a room, try not to just blindly pack everything and take it to your new home, use this as an opportunity to have a big clearout. Have boxes or bags ready for charity shop, throwing out and packing for the new house and label each bag or box clearly. If there are items you want to sell, take them to a car boot and make yourself some spare cash for the move. You might also want to store them in a self storage unit to save them for when you can list them online. Remember to be ruthless, and picture your clutter-free beautiful new home when you’re struggling to let go of items you really don’t need.
Everything has its own packing ‘rules’ so be sure to look up individual guides for specific types of items, particularly if they are valuable. For example; books simply need dusting and packing into a strong box, and clothes will be fine in a box or bag as long as they are hung up on arrival. However, things like expensive wine, electronics and antiques need packing in a special way.
Many people leave packing to the last minute, resulting in items stuffed in recycling bags, badly piled in boxes, and taped into unlabelled boxes. This can result in losing or breaking items, and it adds to the stress of unpacking. Labelling and packing properly means whoever handles your items knows how to handle them, and wherever they end up you can easily identify where they are going and what is in them. This is so important if you’re hiring a moving company, so they know which items can be stacked, which are delicate and where they should go in your new home. It is also important is you are using a self storage facility because it helps you know which items can be stacked, and helps you find items quickly when you go to the unit.
Don’t Put Off Packing
So many people put off packing thinking it can be done over a weekend. This results in a rushed packing job where things aren’t packed or labelled properly. Try to get a box a day done, or tackle a room every weekend. The sooner you have it all packed the better.
Get Cheap Self Storage
Self storage might seem like an extra expense you can’t afford at the moment, but it has benefits that could save you time and money and certainly reduce the stress of moving. You might want to use it to clear space in your current home as you pack boxes pre move. You could use it to store items you want to sell in the future and not take to your new home at all. You could use it to store items you have bought for your new home. You could even use it to store items temporarily while you renovate your new home. The possibilities are endless, but many people use facilities like this when they are moving because extra space away from both properties is extremely useful.
Enjoy Moving To Bedfordshire
Hopefully this guide has given you some useful information and inspiration in time for your move to this beautiful county. Remember, plan well in advance and get started on moving tasks as early as you can, you’ll thank yourself for it when it comes to moving day.