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5 January 2024

8 Prettiest Villages in Bedfordshire

Thinking of relocating to one of the prettiest villages in Bedfordshire?

In this article, we discuss some of the reasons you may want to consider Bedfordshire as a new home.

Packed with attractions, excellent travel links with an easy commute into London and a great choice of schools has resulted in its ever-growing popularity.

There are 87 villages to choose from, but here are just a few of what are considered to be 8 prettiest villages in Bedfordshire along with a little information about each one.

1. Harrold

Set along the banks of the River Great Ouse. 9 miles west of Bedford, Harrold is known for its picturesque bridge and historic buildings, creating a charming riverside ambience.

There has been human settlement in the area for centuries.

Harrold was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as a parish within the Hundred of Willey.

An early medieval sword mount was unearthed by a metal detectorist in 2006. It is believed the tiny phallic decoration could have adorned the sword belt of a high-ranking Saxon warrior.

For a small village with just under 2000 residents, Harrold has surprisingly convenient travel links by road. Northamptonshire is 15 miles away and Bedford city centre just 12 miles providing as easy commute.

When to comes to leisure pursuits, it is all about the outdoors. On the village’s doorstep is the Harrold Odell Country Park, 144 acres of beauty and tranquility. While Grebe Lake provides some popular walking trails close to the water. Both are ideal places to explore in your spare time.

Harrold makes a fine choice for those who want to be far from the madding crowd but not so far as to feel cut off.

2. Clophill

With approximately 2000 residents, the village of Clophill is situated in an appealing location nestled between the River Flit Valley to the south and the Greensand Ridge to the north.

Clophill has a long history.

There is evidence for a Roman road running east-west through the village.

Recorded in the Domesday book of 1086, the village was then known as Clopelle, which means “tree stump hill”.

A pretty place that boasts woodlands on both sides. Chicksands Wood an ancient semi-natural woodland and n the other side, equally as important, is Maulden Wood, a semi-natural woodland, both under the stewardship of the Forestry Commission.

Clophill contains a wealth of historical buildings and it is home to no less than 23 listed buildings.

The village has managed to retain much of its heritage features as a result it has a very distinctive character.

Nestled along tranquil lanes, the majority of residences in Clophill contribute to a serene and laid-back rural lifestyle, maintaining the village’s timeless charm.

Woburn Abbey

3. Woburn

Sitting in the heart of Bedfordshire, Woburn, which translates to “twisted or crooked stream,” is a charming village that may be small in size but holds great appeal for commuters and visitors alike

It sits in a geographically convenient location, 5 miles from Milton Keynes, and about 3 miles south of junction 13 of the M1 motorway.

It is best known as the location of Woburn Abbey, a stately home founded by Cistercian monks in 1145.

Woburn Safari Park is another popular attraction, housing species such as southern white rhino, elephants, tigers, and black bears.

The active locals host a popular Village Festival around the last weekend in August every year attracting thousands of visitors.

At the heart of the village lies its visually appealing Georgian center, adorned with a diverse array of specialist shops, services, pubs, and restaurants.

This central hub also features a number of sought-after period properties, contributing to the timeless charm and desirability of Woburn

4. Elstow

Located on the southern edge of Bedford, the village of Elstow has a long history, boasting settlements dating back at least to the Neolithic era.

Renowned as the birthplace of John Bunyan. The Christian minister is celebrated for his masterpiece, Pilgrim’s Progress, Elstow is proudly associated with Bunyan’s End.

The centre of the village, a conservation area, is an oasis of tranquility, with an attractive village green – a good place for a picnic or for children to play.

Though Elstow remains in itself small, it has in recent years slowly become a suburb of Bedford.

It is just a short hop to livelier locales when the fancy takes you.

Most importantly, Elsow has the A421 and the busy A6 on either side of the village which means you can reach larger locations quickly.

Milton Keynes, Stevenage, and Peterborough are all reachable in no time at all.

Elstow makes an ideal residence for those seeking a serene lifestyle in proximity to larger urban areas.

5. Pavenham

Pavenham is among one of the smallest villages in Bedfordshire

Oozing with quintessential English charm, Pavenham is adorned with picturesque thatched cottages and a vibrant local church.

Despite is relatively small size, home to just 800, a lively social scene will assist your integration into village life.

Try joining the local Cricket Club, Golf Club, or Tennis Club. Each has regular social events throughout the year.

The village sits alongside the River Great Ouse the ideal spot to enjoy the many country walks which dot this region of Bedfordshire.

The village has two nature reserves, Stevington Marsh, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and Pavenham Osier (reed) beds, both managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire.

In this retreat from city living, large superstores are notably absent, replaced by a couple of locally run convenience stores.

However, as getting to Bedford is so fast, you can be amid all the modern amenities you could ever need in no time at all.

This superb location provides regular trains from Bedford station right into St Pancras in around 50 minutes. Adding a further layer of convenience to this superb and tranquil community.


6. Bromham

Sitting three miles from Bedford the settlement of Bromham is oozing with historic charm.

Bromham has long been a desirable place to live.

Nowadays, many of the little farmers and mill workers’ cottages have now been converted into desirable homes.

Archaeologists have dated a human presence in Bromham as far back as 50 BC.

In later history, the village had two water mills operating from the River Ouse.

The long Bromham Bridge spanning the river has become a special feature of the village along with its 26 arches!

These days Bromham is part of the Bedford commuter belt region.

It offers a fast one-hour journey to St Pancras International station via Bedford railway station.

A medium-sized village of just under 5000.

Bromham plays host to several social events throughout the year.

Bromfest, The Duck Race, and other well-organised events draw visitors from miles around.

The fields where crops once grew, and cattle grazed are now filled in with twentieth-century housing.

A pretty location surrounded by a swathe of walking routes along with excellent travel connections.


7. Ickwell

Ickwell is a tiny village located in Central Bedfordshire, the heart of “market garden country”, and home to around 300 residents.

Its charming village green has been the backdrop for regular cricket matches for over a century. Ickwell Green Cricket Club one of the oldest in Bedfordshire.

The local Ickwell Green Cricket Club is one of the oldest such clubs in Bedfordshire.

Annual May Day celebrations are held also held on the green. A permanent red and white maypole takes centre stage during the festivities.

Ickwell is noteworthy as the birthplace of the great English clockmaker Thomas Tompion.

Tompion is known as the ‘Father of English Clock making’ presented to Bath in 1709, the famous Pump Room Clock which still keeps good time.

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, Ickwell proves to be a practical choice.

Around 15 minutes by road to Biggleswade Railway Station, fast trains get into London Kings Cross and St Pancras within 40 minutes.

Amenities are also surprisingly good.

Just a short distance away is a large Asda Superstore and the busy A1 runs parallel to the village, so getting to larger towns in the area is so easy.

The downside to Ickwell is that its very size means that homes rarely come onto the market.

Prospective buyers must be patient, as homes rarely come onto the market. You need to act swiftly to secure a residence in this idyllic village.


8. Cardington

The name Cardington means Caerda’s People’s Farm.

The earliest mention of the parish is in the Domesday Book of 1086 (as Chernetone).

Cardington is best known in connection with the Cardington airship, founded by Short Brothers during World War I.

Later the village became a training base for the RAF.

Geographically, the village lies in the flood plain of the River Great Ouse on the outskirts of Bedford.

Like so many of Bedfordshire’s rural settlements, there has been human habitation in the village since the stone age times.

Aside from being a pretty place to live, there are plenty of lush open spaces surrounding the village.

Moreover Cardington is a great base for exploring other parts of the county.

Whilst the village may run a little short of contemporary amenities, the 5-minute drive to Bedford offers everything you need for modern-day living.

Ready to Move to One of the Prettiest Villages in Bedfordshire?

So you are finally ready for your big move to one of the 8 prettiest villages in Bedfordshire.

Regardless of your reasons for moving, Lund Conlon are here to help ensure everything runs smoothly!

For more than 35 years, we have offered first-class customer service in Bedford and the surrounding areas, including these prettiest villages in Bedfordshire.

Whether you are relocating locally or are preparing for a long-distance move, our removals services can be tailor-made to meet your specific needs.


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