The lifestyle magazine Muddy Stilettos has revealed its top places to live in Bedfordshire as part of a series of 200 of the best places to live in the UK.
The county is often the place of choice thanks to its close proximity to London and easy commute, while being relatively cheap to buy or rent in.
There are also all the glorious things Bedfordshire has to offer such as a zoo, a safari park, beautiful scenery and endless walking opportunities.
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The six towns and villages offer very different experiences, meaning there are plenty of choices depending on where you would love to be.
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Leighton Buzzard is a market town with a traditional feel, but modern facilities that make it a great place to live.
With a great selection of schools, independent shops, a weekly market, a steam railway and being on the Grand Union Canal, there’s definitely plenty to do.
It’s ideal for those who work in Milton Keynes or London, with trains going to both, and MK being a quick drive for those bigger shopping trips.
Muddy Stilettos said: “With its canal-side location and proximity to both pretty country villages and the buzzing hub of Milton Keynes, Leighton Buzzard ticks a lot of boxes and shh… it’s actually pretty affordable, too. Just don’t tell everyone!”
(Image: Des Blenkinsopp)
Biggleswade has so much to offer its residents while still being a small town.
It’s home to plenty of great restaurants to enjoy, the river Ivel, and has a community vineyard nearby as well as museums and a farm, while having great schools, making it ideal for families.
With trains to London, Stevenage and Cambridge, it’s another excellent option for commuters and it’s within driving distance to Hitchin, which also has lots to do.
Muddy Stillettos said: “A pretty market town on the river Ivel with an aeronautical connection and a local vineyard, Biggleswade is also perfectly located for commuters to London and Cambridge, and a lovely spot to bring up a family.”
(Image: Orangeaurochs via flickr (CC BY 2.0))
Nearby to Biggleswade is the delightful town of Sandy which also made the list.
Sandy is a great place for those who love a good pub lunch, with some great pubs to choose from, river walks, good school options and it’s home to the RSPB so it’s a bird spotter’s paradise.
Again Sandy has train links to London, Cambridge and Stevenage but is a bit more traditional than closeby Biggleswade.
Muddy Stillettos said: “This small Bedfordshire market town, perched on the River Ivel has great connections into London and is super-close to buzzy Bedford, and all its awesome independents. It’s also set in fantastic countryside – the Sand Hills, and you get an awful lot for your money.”
Woburn is probably one of the most well-known parts of Bedfordshire thanks to its safari park.
But this stunning village is so much more than that with antique shops, a farmers market, fantastic restaurants and tea rooms, as well as Woburn Abbey and its wonderful grounds.
While it doesn’t have a train station, it’s around a 13 minute drive to Flitwick which offers trains to London, Bedford and all the way down to Brighton, as well as being a close drive to Milton Keynes.
Muddy Stilettos said: “Don’t be put off by the MK postcode, this historic village – complete with gorgeous red-brick Georgian high street, has previously been listed as one of The Sunday Times’s ‘Best Places to Live’ in the UK, and for good reason. The passing trade from the nearby Woburn Abbey Estate has invigorated the village with numerous high-end shops, pubs and restaurants on offer.”
(Image: Fractal Angel)
This gorgeous village is no stranger to being rated among the best places to live, having previously making the Sunday Times’ best places to live guide.
Pavenham is on the river Ouse and is close to two beautiful nature reserves, as well as having a great local pub and fantastic schools.
The village is just outside Bedford so you can access train links from the town plus all the great shops Bedford has to offer.
Muddy Stilettos said: “Pavenham is another awesome Beds village that’s previously been listed in The Sunday Times ‘Best Places to Live’ guide. Again, if you’re after a small village close to great commuting links (six miles to Bedford), this is a classic. It’s got the lot – super-cute cottages, a pretty church, village hall, cricket green, tennis club, and even a golf club – so an excellent choice for sporty types.”
Another village to make the list is the pretty little village of Henlow.
Home to fantastic shops, takeaways and two bakers, as well as amazing schools, great walks and a Champneys spa, it’s a very relaxing place to live.
Close to both Flitwick and Arlesey, there are two different lines to choose from with access to Cambridge, London, Brighton, Bedford and Stevenage, so it’s a commuter’s dream.
Muddy Stilettos said: “After a picture-postcard rural village with a great pub and an unbelievably easy London commute? Then perhaps Henlow’s the one. This pretty spot (complete with a 13th-century church) is well-connected with Flitwick station just a stone’s throw away.”
(Image: Paul Billington)
The market town of Ampthill has a lot to offer to its residents, from a great range of restaurants and pubs, to the highest proportion of independent shops, to fantastic parks and fabulous schools.
Ampthill is a short drive from Flitwick station offering trains to London, Bedford and Brighton as well as being a close drive to Woburn which offers great days out.
Muddy Stilettos said: “This quintessential English market town (now officially twinned with Nissan-lez-Enserune in France, the significance of which nobody really understands, but it looks great on the sign) is absolutely charming, with pretty red brick houses fast becoming hot-Bedfordshire-property.”
(Image: Warren Gunn)
No list of the best places to live in Bedfordshire is complete without the county town.
With great shopping opportunities, so many restaurants to choose from, beautiful parks and lots of school options, it’s the place to be.
With train links to London and across the East Midlands line, it’s ideal for both commuting and those who want the option of exploring the UK.
Muddy Stilettos said: “At one point Bedford wasn’t even an option, but this pretty town, built around the River Ouse, has seen its star rise stratospherically in recent years – so get in on it while you can. Characterful winding back streets, arcades with independent shops and perfectly positioned riverside eateries are the order of the day. Oh, and the commute is pretty good, and the house prices still very reasonable.”
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