A change of scenery is good for us.
So our new Health and Wellbeing Coach, Vedia, has compiled the many excellent places to visit across Bedfordshire that are free to enter and wheelchair accessible.
Parks and country estates
Rushmere Country Park has 400 acres of woodland, heathland and meadows for all to enjoy. Including an ‘Access for All’ sculpture trail, a heronry, dog walking, a visitor centre and a restaurant. Some of the paths are suitable for wheelchair users.
Harrold Odell Country Park has 144 acres of beauty, which include two lakes, river meadows alongside the River Great Ouse, a nature reserve and a range of managed habitats. The park has accessible facilities and the main pathway through the Park and around Grebe Lake has a hard, but unpaved surface that is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, weather permitting.
Dunstable Downs and Whipsnade Estate has spectacular views in an area of outstanding beauty. The chalk grasslands of the Downs have miles of footpaths and several circular walks, a fascinating history and an abundance of plants and wildlife.Dunstable Downs is within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the highest point in Bedfordshire.
Priory Country Park is a 360 acre green space made up of lakes, meadows and woodland which is in part enclosed within a bend of the Great River Ouse. Priory Country Park is one of five Bedford Borough Council managed parks that has been awarded a Green Flag.
Addison Howard Park forms the grounds for the grange estate, a large residential house within the park with many sporting facilities.
Bedford Park is a Grade Two listed English Heritage Victorian park in the north of Bedford. Created in 1888 it is the largest urban park in Bedford and contains a lake, multiple play areas and sports facilities.
Indoor & outdoor
Bromham Mill is a late 18 early 19 century rebuilding in brick, timber and stone on the site of earlier mills. Within the mill buildings there is a craft exhibit, art gallery, and a museum of waterways and milling. Activities include milling and baking bread, mask making, and a Teddy Bears Picnic.
Wardown House Museum and Gallery is a Grade II listed building situated in the beautiful grounds of Wardown Park. Formerly the home of the Scargill family, then a World War I military hospital, the house is now a museum. A lift is available on the ground floor, taking you up to the first floor. Accessible toilets are on the ground floor.
The Higgins Bedford unites on one site three previous cultural venues: Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford Museum and Bedford Gallery. The buildings themselves date back 200 years and have their own history of occupation and use. The Higgins Bedford has step free access to all floors and many more accessibility features.
John Bunyan Museum is a museum primarily dedicated to the life, times and works of John Bunyan. The museum’s displays recreate a number of scenes from Bunyan’s life which also show some of Bedford’s social history in the seventeenth century.
The Panacea Museum tells the story of the Panacea Society, a religious community formed in the early twentieth century. The society’s name became familiar to many people with their campaign to open Joanna Southcott’s Box, a curious cultural icon of inter-war Britain.
Next stop Milton Keynes and Luton
We are also compiling places to visit that have free entry in Luton, Milton Keynes and surrounding areas, so please let us know your suggestions.
Many thanks to our volunteer, Owen, who helped compile this list.