What Is Student Life In Bedford Like? 10 Things To Do

Bedford is the market town on everyone’s lips, and for students living here, you’ll be glad to know there’s a whole host of things to do when you’re not busy studying. 

Whether it’s getting a cultural fix at art galleries and museums, exploring the beautiful countryside that surrounds the town, experiencing the vibrant nightlife, or watching a theatre show, the opportunities are endless here. 

We’ve put together a full guide on what student life in Bedford is like, so you can discover the best things to do with your friends. 

Let’s get going! 

things to do in bedford

1. Get A Cultural Fix At The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum 

Looking for things to do in Bedford? We have to suggest getting a cultural fix at The Higgins Art Gallery and Museum.

Located in the Castle Quarter, here you can explore collections of fine and decorative arts, world-class watercolours, local stories and find out more about the town. 

With ever-changing exhibitions it means there’s always something different to see, and it’s absolutely free to enter so it’s great for your student budget. 

If you and your besties are looking for an activity to fill your weekend, definitely take a visit here. 


Address: Castle Ln, Bedford MK40 3XD

2. Stroll Around Bedford Park  

Dating back to 1888, Bedford Park is the largest urban park in the town and is definitely a highlight when it comes to things to do. 

The Grade Two listed English Heritage Victorian park is such a lovely place to wander around or watch the ducks and swans in the pond. 

There’s a water fountain on the east side for some Insta-worthy photos, and you can even stop at The Pavillion Cafe for a coffee! 

In the summer, the green space is home to the Bedford Park Concerts series, where you can watch amazing gigs and live music events. 


Address: No 98 Kimbolton Rd, Bedford MK40 2PF

3. Visit Panacea Museum

For those looking for unique places to visit in Bedford, we urge you to take a visit to Panacea Museum.

Located in Castleside, the Panacea Museum is housed within a beautiful Victorian building that was the headquarter of the Panacea Society from 1919 until 2012. 

The museum tells the story about the religious community formed in the early twentieth century and includes restored Edwardian rooms, beautiful gardens and a quaint tea shop. 

It’s free to visit the museum, and once you’ve finished delving into the fascinating history, you can enjoy a traditional Cream Tea in the museum gardens. 



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Address: 9 Newnham Rd, Bedford MK40 3NX

4. Go For A Tour Around Brewpoint 

For those searching for a weekend activity in Bedford, we urge you to go for a tour around Brewpoint. 

With more than 140 years of brewing experience, this state-of-the-art facility located in Fairhill just outside of the town centre is a must for beer lovers. 

Here you can delve into the science behind making the perfect pint, and you’ll also be able to sample various Brewpoint beers along the way.

This modern hub is also home to a tap room, a stylish beer garden featuring a pizza oven, along with plenty of outdoor seating so you can enjoy a pint and a slice! 

They regularly host exciting events like live music shows, comedy shows and open mic nights so make sure to check out their website to see what’s on. 



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Address: Cut Throat Ln, Bedford MK41 7FY

5. Watch A Show At Bedford Corn Exchange

Bedford Corn Exchange is the largest entertainment and events venue in the town and offers a diverse programme of music, comedy, dance, theatre and family shows. 

Housed in a Grade II listed building, The Corn Exchange opened in 1874 welcomes around 40,000 people each year. 

Wondering what upcoming shows are taking place? There’s The Little Mermaid, Magic Of Motown, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Lost In Music and more coming soon. 

For a full list of what’s on for 2023 or to book tickets to a show, head over to the official website.


Address: Corn Exchange, 13 St Paul’s Square, Bedford MK40 1SL

6. Have Some Drinks At Auction Room Bar

Having been a part of Bedford’s nightlife scene since 2011, Auction Room Bar has become a favourite for students and locals alike. 

If you and your besties are after somewhere to enjoy a few tipples, this vibrant cocktail bar is located in the heart of the town centre and is a must-visit. 

Featuring a sky-lit main bar, dance floor and secret garden courtyard, you’re guaranteed a good time here. 

Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday until late, it’s the place to be for stylish cocktails and unforgettable memories! 



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Address: 1 Duke St, Bedford MK40 3HD

7. Experience A Gig At Bedford Esquires 

Calling all music lovers, you need to experience a gig at Bedford Esquires.

For over 30 years, this beloved independent music venue has been bringing in crowds with the likes of Coldplay, Muse, Biffy Clyro, Lizzo and Kae Tempest taking to the stage. 

This grassroots venue hosts a wide range of artists from a variety of genres with 3 different rooms, so no matter your music taste, you’re sure to find a gig that suits. 

Everyone is sure to be entertained here as there’s a pool table, extensive drinks menu as well as free live music and DJs on Friday and Saturday nights.



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Address: 60A Bromham Rd, Bedford MK40 2QG

8. Go For A Picnic At Priory Country Park 

Priory Country Park is one of the most stunning green spaces in Bedford, and lucky for you it’s right on your doorstep. 

This 360 acre park features lakes, meadows and woodland with plenty of wildlife walks so that you can escape the hustle and bustle. 

When the weathers nice, why not pack up a picnic and head here for the day? Nothing beats basking in the summer rays and enjoying alfresco food and drink! 

The park is located just an 8-minute drive from the town centre, and is easily accessible by public transport so be sure to check it out. 



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Address: Barkers Ln, Bedford MK41 9DJ

9. Enjoy A Meal At The Higgins Pantry

Situated in Bedfors’s Cultural Quarter, The Higgins Pantry is an absolute top choice when it comes to eating out. 

This independent family restaurant serves up pizzas, pastas and Italian tapas, along with espresso drinks and cocktails.

Some of their menu highlights include their Quatro pizza with Italian cotto ham, artichokes, mushrooms and olives, as well as their homemade lasagna. 

Don’t worry, they also offer vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options so everyone can enjoy a meal out here. 

If you don’t fancy heading out, they also offer takeaway so you can enjoy from the comfort of your student flat.


Address: Castle Ln, Bedford MK40 3XD

10. Try To Break Free At Bedford Escape Rooms 

Last but by no means least in our guide to things to do in Bedford is for the adrenaline seekers out there. 

Located on the High Street, Bedford Escape Rooms offers an exciting, interactive experience for you and your friends to do together. 

With a range of themed escape rooms, you can work together to solve a series of puzzles and try to escape within 60 minutes. 

There’s even a nice little bar area if you want to grab a cocktail or a beer after your games finished! 


Address:  75a High St, Bedford MK40 1NE

So there we have it, hopefully now you know more about what student life is like in Bedford thanks to our guide.  

Now you can go out there and experience these places for yourself, you’re sure to make amazing memories! 

Read next: What To Do If You Can’t Find Student Accommodation In Your City.

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