Quick journey times and good choice of new builds gives Bedford commuter appeal

Posted 18 April 2016 by Fiona Brandhorst

Just 45 minutes from central London, Bedford's reasonable property prices may just provide the value for money commuters want...

Bedford is a traditional English market town situated on the banks of the River Great Ouse. It sits between the thriving cities of Cambridge and Milton Keynes at the heart of Europe’s dynamic innovation region and just a short hop from London. 

Bedford boasts fast trains to St Pancras in less than 45 minutes. The trains on the Thameslink service carry on to Farringdon, City Thameslink and Blackfriars Stations. A monthly season ticket to London costs £426.70 (£4,444 annually) with the fastest journey time between Bedford and London St Pancras 39 minutes. Trains to Luton Airport Parkway take 21 minutes (£248.10 monthly, £2,584 annually); Bletchley takes 43 minutes (£113.70 monthly, £1,184 annually).

Bedford lies on the A6, a few miles east and west of the A1 and M1. There are two railway stations, with regular services to London St Pancras, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds.  Bedford is 57 miles from London, one hour 19 minutes by car; Luton Airport is 21 miles (38 minutes); Stansted Airport 44 miles (1hr 7mins); Milton Keynes 18 miles and Cambridge 30 miles.

Over the past century Bedford has undergone a great many changes as its proximity to London and easy commute has meant increasing prosperity for the town. Bedford town centre includes a mix of both chains and independent shops mostly dotted around the central square mile of the town. The Harpur Centre is set behind the facade of the 19th-century Bedford Modern School. The Castle Quarter 10 minutes’ walk from the town centre has a buzzy vibe with street side cafés, restaurants and the Eagle Art Gallery.

The award-winning Castle Quay development is a mixed-use leisure complex with 100 homes, shopping, cafes and an archaeological park. Bedford hosts a weekly gourmet food market and a farmers’ market twice a month. There is a vast choice of restaurants and bars which range from Italian and Mexican, to American diners and traditional Indian cuisine.

The River Great Ouse hosts a day-long regatta in May. For families there is a museum cum art gallery, three theatres, several leisure centres and swimming pools as well as outstanding parks with children’s activities. Russell Park hosts the International Kite Festival.

Bedford has a three-tier education system of lower, middle and upper schools. There are plenty of decent primary schools many rated 'good' by Ofsted. Bedford has a range of good state and private secondary schools including Sharnbrook Upper School, Wootton Upper School and Harlington Upper School. The well-renowned Harpur Trust independent schools include Bedford School for Boys, Bedford Girls' School and Bedford Modern School is co-ed. The University of Bedfordshire has 23,000 students and Cranfield University with 3,800 post graduate students.

Central Bedford will see its first 157-flat scheme designed specifically for rent when the former Merton Centre office conversion is completed later this year. Designed to appeal to an emerging crowd of professional renters working at major local employers such as Sainsbury’s and Unilever, the project by Westrock is close to Bedford’s two railway stations.

Here’s a round-up of great new homes to buy in Bedford:

Great Denham Park (David Wilson Homes) – These three- and four-bedroom homes offer the best of town and rural living, bordering the country park yet close to Bedford.  Featuring spacious lounges and stylish kitchens with dining and family areas, three- bedrooms with an en suite shower room to the master bedroom. Prices start from £309,995. Find out more about Great Denham Park from David Wilson Homes  Great Denham Park
Marston Park (David Wilson Homes) – A superb range of three- and four- bedroom traditional family homes arranged over two or three floors and set on the edge of the Marston Vale Millennium Country Park. These homes are in the catchment for some of the area's most sought-after schools. Prices from £319,995. Find out more about Marston Park from David Wilson Homes  Marston Park
Jubilee Gardens (Charles Church Developments) – Located in the lovely village of Wootton, less than five miles from Bedford Station and close to the M1 and A1, this development offers a new primary school, play areas and sports facilities. Part Exchange and £5,000 towards stamp duty is available. A five-bedroom detached home is priced at £479,995. Find out more at www.charleschurch.com ; 01234 866833 Jubilee Gardens
Lime Tree Court (Storey Homes) – These five-bedroom homes are set over three or four floors with ensuites to main bedrooms and first-floor living rooms. Located within a gated development, all properties benefit from either a garage or a carport, allocated parking and a landscaped rear garden. Priced from £599,950. Find out more at www.storey-homes.co.uk ; 01582 742165 Lime Tree Court
Zurich House (Compass Homes) – This high quality contemporary development of 31 private apartments is located close to Bedford town centre and within walking distance of the river and train station. Flats benefit from lift access and a private car parking space. There are integrated kitchen appliances, electric central heating, fitted flooring, entry system and a communal TV dish/cable. Priced from £135,000. Find out more at www.compasspropertygroup.co.uk ; 01234 343450 ​​​​Zurich House



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