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Cycle lanes and routes

Walking and Cycle Map for Bedford and Kempston

The latest walking and cycling map (2017) for Bedford and Kempston.

Cycle Map for Bedford and Kempston

Cycle Map Bedford and Kempston (PDF) shows the whole of the urban area around Bedford and Kempston.

The map is especially good for showing quieter links which might not be obvious. Side two shows a detailed plan of the town centre including cycle parking locations. Urban maps are ideal for planning local journeys to schools, shops or work. 

Bedford Borough Council is working year on year to expand the cycle network, so maps do gradually go out of date. A paper version is available for free from Tourist Information or by contacting the Walking and Cycling Officer at Bedford Borough Council.   

National cycle network routes in Bedfordshire

Sustrans is a voluntary body who work with Bedford Borough Council to build cycle routes as part of the National Cycle Network (NCN). Where possible these are off-road or on quiet roads so that as far as possible they are suitable for family cycling.

There are 3 NCN routes in Bedfordshire. Eventually these will link up as a triangle around Bedfordshire, with the west corner in Milton Keynes, the east corner in Sandy, and the south corner in Welwyn Garden City. Note that some of these routes are still in the process of being completed.

  • NCN 51 west section from Milton Keynes, via Marston Moretaine, to Bedford: This is an Interim route, with on-road sections and also currently a diversion because of subsidence over one section. The final route will be built with the Wixams development.
  • NCN 51 east section from Bedford to Sandy: This is a high quality off-road section following the disused railway line. It is an ideal family and starter route.
  • NCN12 north section from St Neots, via Sandy and Biggleswade, to Letchworth. Apart from the section through Sandy, this route is still in the planning stage.
  • NCN 6 south section from Harpenden to Luton: This section will follow the old railway line.
  • NCN 6 middle section from Luton, via Dunstable, to Leighton Buzzard: This section is open and mostly off road. “Marsh Farm” is the section through Luton and “Sewell Greenway” is the section from Dunstable to Leighton. Download Luton Area Cycle Guide (PDF) for whole route.
  • NCN6 north section from Leighton Buzzard to Milton Keynes. This section follows the Grand Union Canal.

Other maps covering Bedfordshire are available for sale on the Sustrans website.

Other routes around Bedford

Routes west of Bedford:

  • West Circular Route: This 6 mile route starts from County Bridge through Queen’s Park, Great Denham, and Biddenham. This route uses off-road tracks and quiet roads.

Routes north of Bedford:

  • North Beds Villages: a circular route via Thurleigh, Sharnbrook, Harrold, Rushden, Swineshead and Riseley (33 miles).
  • The Ouse Valley: a looping route going north from Bedford via Bromham, Oakley, Pavenham, Felmersham, Odell, Chellington, Carlton, Stevington and back to Bromham (16 miles).
  • St Neots Riverside: a looping route going north from Bedford to St Neots, via Wilden, Colmworth, Bushmead and Upper Staploe (26 miles)

Routes south and east of Bedford:

  • Marston Vale: a circular route going south from Bedford through Kempston, Wootton, Marston Moretaine, Ampthill, Maulden, and Cardington (27 miles).
  • Marston Vale cycle trail: a short circular ride (off-road) around Forest Valley Centre in Marston Moretaine (5 miles).  
  • Greenwood Trail: a circular route going north from Forest Valley Centre via Wootton, Wood End, Stagsden, Astwood, Bourne End and Cranfield (23 miles).
  • Old Warden: a circular route from Cardington to Southill, Old Warden and Northill (16 miles)
  • The Thatcher’s Way: a circular route east and south from Bedford via Willington, Blunham, Moggerhanger, Northill, Southill, Old Warden and Cardington (24 miles).  

Other maps available

  • CCNB (Cycling Campaign for North Bedfordshire) has a number of cycling maps and cycling leaflets available for sale.
  • The National Byway  is another organisation creating cycle routes linked to historic monuments. The National Byway runs through Bedfordshire. The routes are signed by a brown sign with a cycle, but there are no detailed maps available. 
  • Bridleways are designed for horses and walkers. Cyclists can also use them, but the surfaces are only likely to be usable by mountain bikers (and not always even for those bikes). A number of historic long distance and short bridleways pass through Bedfordshire.

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