15 Best Walks In Bedford (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks In Bedford (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

Bedford is a great place for those who love to get out and explore the great outdoors. With a wide variety of hikes and nice walks, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, Bedford has something for everyone.

I’m here to help you find the best walks in Bedford, from the Priory Country Park to the Ridgeway National Trail. Read on to discover the top 15 hikes and walks to explore!

Priory Country Park

Entrance to Priory Country Park
Photo by M J Richardson

Priory Country Park is a great spot for a leisurely stroll, boasting a plethora of diverse wildlife and stunning views. Whether it’s the perfect spot for a picnic, an afternoon walk, or a peaceful moment in nature, this park offers something for everyone.

You’ll find a variety of trees, plants, and animals, as well as interesting historical features. With its many trails, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to explore and enjoy the beauty of the area.

The views of the Ouse Valley are also spectacular, making it one of the finest places for a walk in Bedford. With its beautiful surroundings, Priory Country Park is an ideal spot for a peaceful and relaxing stroll.

The Embankment

The Embankment, Bedford
Photo by David Howard

Take a stroll along the Embankment and feel your worries melt away.

Located in the heart of Bedford, the Embankment is a great spot for a relaxing walk. It’s full of lush greenery and flowering plants, so you can take in the beauty of nature.

You can also take a break and enjoy the many benches and picnic spots along the way.

The Embankment also offers some great views of the River Great Ouse, so you can take in the stunning scenery. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some wildlife during your walk. From ducks to swans and even kingfishers, there’s plenty to admire.

You can also take a break and enjoy a few treats from the nearby cafes.

So, take a leisurely stroll along the Embankment and make the most of your time in Bedford.

The Great Ouse Valley Walk

Pasture Land in the Great Ouse Valley
Photo by Nigel Stickells

Experience the beauty and serenity of nature on the Great Ouse Valley Walk – a gentle stroll along the picturesque riverbank. It’s a stunningly beautiful, 10-mile hike that starts in the Bedfordshire town of Bedford and winds its way along the river.

Passing through several small villages and tranquil, rural landscapes, the route is well-marked and easy to follow. The peaceful atmosphere and stunning sights make it an ideal way to spend an afternoon.

Take your time to explore the riverside scenery, meadows, and woodlands. Keep an eye out for some of the local wildlife, like deer, foxes, and birds of prey. If you’re feeling brave, you can even take a dip in the river!

The Great Ouse Valley Walk is the perfect way to enjoy the beauty of Bedfordshire and soak up the peace and tranquility of the rural landscape.

The Greensands Ridge Walk

Discover the Greensands Ridge Walk, a stunningly scenic hike that takes you through some of the most beautiful parts of Bedfordshire.

This walk is a popular one for locals and visitors alike, with stunning views that stretch for miles.

Starting from the market town of Leighton Buzzard, the path takes you through the rolling countryside of Bedfordshire, passing through the hamlet of Soulbury.

You’ll have the chance to explore woodlands, meadows, and ancient trees, as well as the quaint villages of Edlesborough and Ivinghoe.

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Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities to spot a variety of wildlife and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the natural environment.

With its varying terrain, the Greensands Ridge Walk is perfect for a leisurely stroll, or a challenging hike for the more experienced walker.

Whatever your preference, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience as you explore this picturesque route.

The Shuttleworth Estate

Be amazed by the Shuttleworth Estate, a captivating estate home to a unique collection of historic buildings and gardens.

This sprawling estate is located in Old Warden, Bedfordshire, and is comprised of a Swiss Garden, lake, and a range of other attractions. It’s the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon, with plenty of activities for all ages.

The Swiss Garden is a stunningly beautiful landscape, featuring ornamental trees, shrubs, and ponds. The lake is the perfect spot for a picnic, with plenty of seating and plenty of waterfowl to admire. The estate also has a variety of other attractions, from a museum to a nature trail.

Whether you’re looking for a long walk, a day out with the family, or a romantic stroll through the gardens, the Shuttleworth Estate has it all.

So why not take a trip to this timeless estate and experience its unique beauty for yourself?

The Chiltern Hills

The Chiltern Hills are a stunning landscape of rolling hills and green valleys, offering stunning views and plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors. These hills span across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and Hertfordshire, with Bedfordshire in the middle.

With a variety of terrain, from grassy slopes to wooded areas, there are plenty of trails to explore and delightful country walks to be had.

The Chiltern Hills are home to a number of charming villages and towns, making them a great destination for a weekend getaway. The area is also home to many nature reserves, so you can explore the natural beauty of the region, including its rare birds and insects.

There are also plenty of pubs and restaurants to find in the area, making it the perfect place to take a break from your hike and enjoy a well-deserved meal.

The Marston Vale Millennium Country Park

Experience the beauty of the Marston Vale Millennium Country Park, a stunning area of woodland, meadows, and wetlands in Bedfordshire.

The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including rare and endangered species.

Here, you can take a leisurely walk through the countryside, with a variety of paths and trails to explore.

With so much to see and do, it’s easy to spend a full day in the park, taking in the sights and sounds of the natural world.

The Millennium Country Park is also home to a number of historic sites, including a medieval deer park and a Norman church.

There’s plenty of wildlife to spot, from woodpeckers and kingfishers to otters, deer, and bats.

There are also plenty of opportunities to take part in activities like birdwatching, orienteering, and geocaching.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful, relaxing stroll or an adventurous outdoor experience, the Millennium Country Park is the perfect place to explore.

The Greensand Ridge Walk

Discover the beauty of the Greensand Ridge Walk, a scenic route along the ridge of the Greensand Hills, offering breathtaking views of Bedfordshire’s countryside.

This 10-mile route takes you along the ridge from the village of Keysoe in the south to the market town of Leighton Buzzard in the north.

The trail offers stunning views of the rolling countryside, with rolling hills, woodlands, and meadows in all directions, and the occasional glimpse of the Bedfordshire village of Marston Vale.

Along the way, you can also spot plenty of wildlife, such as badgers, foxes, rabbits, and even the occasional red kite.

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The route is well-marked, with signposts and markers to guide you, and plenty of benches to rest and take in the views.

The trail is also suitable for all levels of walker, from beginner to experienced, so everyone can enjoy the beauty of the Greensand Ridge Walk.

The Greensand Way

Meander along the Greensand Way for a journey of breathtaking views, lush meadows, and diverse wildlife. This 77-mile route takes you through the picturesque vistas of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, and Surrey.

The trail follows the Greensand Ridge, which is a long, narrow ridge of sandstone that runs through the southern part of England. It is a great way to explore the area’s rich wildlife, from birds and mammals to butterflies and dragonflies.

Along the route, you can also visit quaint villages and towns and take in the beautiful views of rolling hills and valleys.

The best way to experience the Greensand Way is to plan a multi-day hike. You can choose from a variety of routes and lengths, depending on your level of experience and fitness. The route is well-marked so you won’t get lost, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and rest along the way.

You can also take the time to explore the local history and culture, visit nearby attractions, or simply relax in the tranquil countryside.

Whatever you choose, the Greensand Way is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

The Holme Valley

Exploring the Holme Valley is a perfect way to immerse yourself in nature and uncover the area’s hidden gems.

The Holme Valley is a beautiful area in Bedfordshire, located near the River Ouse and surrounded by picturesque hills. It is known for its rolling countryside and stunning views, making it an ideal spot for a peaceful walk.

The area is also home to some unique wildlife, including a variety of bird species, so it’s a great place to spot some of the region’s rarer creatures.

The Holme Valley is also home to some historic sites, including some well-preserved Iron Age hillforts and stone circles. These sites are sure to fascinate any history buffs who explore the area and are a great way to learn more about the region’s past.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, the Holme Valley is sure to provide the perfect walking experience.

The Ouse Valley Way

Take a journey through the Ouse Valley Way and enjoy its stunning views of the River Ouse and rolling countryside.

This route is a great way to explore the area and admire the natural beauty of Bedfordshire.

The path starts in the small village of Tempsford and takes you through a variety of landscapes, including rolling hills, meadows, and woodlands.

Along the way, you’ll also pass through picturesque towns and villages, providing plenty of stops to refuel and take a break.

The Ouse Valley Way is also home to a variety of wildlife, making it a great spot for a leisurely walk or an adventurous hike.

You can spot waterfowl and wildfowl on the River Ouse, as well as a variety of birds, small mammals, and insects.

If you’re lucky, you might even spot a deer or two!

The path also has plenty of interesting historical sites, such as old mills and abbeys, so there’s plenty to explore and discover along the way.

All in all, the Ouse Valley Way is an ideal spot to spend a day enjoying the great outdoors.

The Lea Valley Walk

After exploring The Ouse Valley Way, I decided to take on the challenge of the Lea Valley Walk. This 26-mile route takes you on an incredible journey through the Lea Valley, from its source in Luton to its terminus in the Thames at Limehouse.

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Along the way, you’ll be treated to a variety of landscapes, from meandering meadows to bustling market towns. The route is easy to follow thanks to well-marked signs, so you can keep your eyes peeled for the sights along the way.

The Lea Valley Walk is a great way to explore the area and take in some of the best views in Bedford. You’ll pass through quaint villages and get a glimpse of the area’s historical sites. Along the way, you’ll see the remains of a Roman road, a canal, and an old mill.

You’ll also pass through a nature reserve, so if you’re lucky, you may spot some wildlife! Whether you choose to take on the entire route or just a small part, the Lea Valley Walk is sure to be an enjoyable and memorable experience.

The Ridgeway National Trail

Discover the beauty of the Ridgeway National Trail, a 87-mile route that winds its way along ancient pathways through the countryside of England.

This scenic trail is a great way to explore the unique and varied landscapes of Bedfordshire, following a route that has been used for thousands of years.

Along the way, travelers can enjoy breathtaking views of rolling hills, charming villages, and a wide range of flora and fauna.

The Ridgeway also includes some of England’s oldest sites, such as the Uffington White Horse and the mysterious Neolithic ditches of the Uffington Castle.

Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or a long-distance hike, this trail is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

The Ouzel Valley Park

Leaving the Ridgeway National Trail behind, I’m now heading to the Ouzel Valley Park for a walk with a difference.

This park is a veritable oasis of tranquility and beauty, with its lake, river, and woodland trails. This park is perfect for taking a leisurely stroll, with plenty of picturesque scenes to take in along the way.

The paths in the park are an easy grade, winding through the trees and meandering along the banks of the Ouzel River.

Along the way, you can spot wildlife such as water voles, kingfishers, and dragonflies. The route takes you past a variety of habitats, including bogs, wet meadows, and ancient woodlands.

There is also a nature reserve to explore, along with a few picnic spots. You can even take a break at the Ouzel Valley Visitor Centre, which has a cafe, a gift shop, and toilets.

All in all, the Ouzel Valley Park is the perfect place for a soothing stroll in Bedford.

The Bedfordshire Way

Exploring the Bedfordshire Way, you’ll find yourself immersed in a stunning landscape of rolling hills, forests, and riverside paths. The Bedfordshire Way is a 28 mile network of trails that traverse the county, beginning in the historic market town of Ampthill.

As you make your way along the trail, you’ll discover a range of terrains, from open grassland and wooded areas to secluded beauty spots and winding riverside paths. The route takes you through some of Bedfordshire’s most exquisite scenery, from the rolling hills of Ampthill to the lush woodlands of Marston Vale and the River Great Ouse.

Along the way, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to relax and take in the natural beauty of the area. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging trek, the Bedfordshire Way offers something for everyone. With a range of pubs and cafes dotted along the route, you can rest, refuel, and enjoy the stunning views along the way.

Conclusion

I absolutely love exploring Bedford on foot. Taking time to walk its trails, parks, and streets has become one of my favorite activities.

Each of the 15 best walks offers something unique, from the beauty of the Lea Valley Walk to the historical charm of the Shuttleworth Estate.

Whether I’m looking for a peaceful stroll or an invigorating hike, Bedford has something to offer.

I’m so glad I discovered the joys of walking in Bedford, and I can’t wait to explore more of what the area has to offer.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.