John Bunyan

Museums & galleries

The Higgins Bedford 



Castle Lane, Bedford, MK40 3XD     Tel. 01234 718618     Web.

The Higgins Bedford, art gallery and museum is located in the historic buildings of Castle Brewery, and the adjoining Victorian family home, both built by the Higgins family in the mid-19th Century. The Higgins Bedford unites on one site three cultural venues: Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford Museum and Bedford Gallery. 

The Higgins Bedford has a lovely selection of Bedford gifts and memorabilia available, have a browse around the museum shop when you visit Bedford!


John Bunyan Museum



Mill Street, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK40 3EU     Tel. 01234 270303     Email.

The John Bunyan Museum tells the story of John Bunyan (1628 -1688), the renowned author, pastor and preacher. Visitors to the museum are able to take a walk through Bunyan’s life and times. See 17th Century Bedford, hear Bunyan tell his story and visit him in prison. There are lots of family friendly trails to help visitors explore the museum, including a photo-trail and quiz.

The Pilgrim's Progress, his most famous work, has been translated into over 200 languages, many examples of which can be seen in the museum. The museum showcases some of the objects owned and used by Bunyan from the anvil he used as a tinker, to the jug believed to have been used by Bunyan’s blind daughter to take ale or soup to her father in prison.

Opening Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 11.00am - 4.00pm
March to end October
Admission Free

The Basement at Bunyan is a flexible and community-orientated arts centre; the newest addition to the Bunyan Meeting complex - joining the church, museum and library in offering spirituality, heritage and creativity to the community in Bedford.



Eagle Gallery



20 St. Peter's Street, Bedford       Tel. 01234 346995        Website.

The Eagle Gallery is located in the vibrant St. Peter’s Street, Bedford, a modest walk from the town centre and The Higgins Gallery and Museum, and close to the Quarry Theatre.

The Eagle Gallery is unique in the region, being run by a non-profit making collective of artists from Bedfordshire and neighbouring counties who are directly involved in all aspects of the gallery.

The gallery exhibits and sells only original artworks. We have a new exhibition every month and up to eight solo or group one-week shows during the year.

There is a wide range of original artwork on show, ranging from paintings, printmaking, collages, ceramics, textiles, jewellery, glass, sculpture and photography.

Visitors are warmly welcomed. The gallery is entirely staffed by members so there is an opportunity to meet the artists and talk about the work on show.

Wheelchair access is available.

The South Bank Arts Centre



Bedford College, Cauldwell Street, Bedford     Tel. 01234 291415     Web.

The South Bank Arts Centre houses the College’s gallery and theatre. It is also a first class teaching facility and arts hub with up-to-date industry standard media and music suites including TV and recording studios with all the latest equipment. Many of these facilities are available for hire.

The art gallery showcases inspiring and contemporary work by staff, students, local artists and external practitioners and our exciting programme of work covers a wide range of disciplines that include graphics, painting, installation and textiles. The gallery space is open to the public during College open hours and has a Costa Coffee bar allowing you to relax and take in the surrounding artwork.



The Panacea Museum



9 Newnham Road, Bedford MK40 3NX     Tel. 01234 353178     Web.

This museum tells the story of the Panacea Society – a remarkable religious community formed in the early twentieth century. The Society was founded in 1919 by Mabel Barltrop, a 53-year-old widow who lived in Bedford.

The Panacea Museum is in ‘Castleside’, a beautiful Victorian house that was part of the community’s headquarters. It tells the story of the Panacea Society and other similar religious groups. The museum also incorporates several other buildings, set within the gardens, that formed the original community’s ‘campus’.

Groups of eight or more people can visit the museum for a private tour by prior appointment on any weekday. A tour of the whole site takes between one and two hours and can be tailored to meet the needs of your group. In addition, the museum offers customised tours and activities for education groups, art groups and local history groups.

Please contact the museum for information at Group tours and activities are free of charge.

The museum has a small café which serves tea, coffee, soft drinks and a selection of cakes and snacks.

General Opening Hours

Museum and Gardens open February half term to October half term

Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 10.00am – 4.00pm

Gardens only open April - September

Monday - Wednesday from 10.00am – 4.00pm.


Bedford Creative Arts



I-Create Studios, 104 Midland Road, Bedford MK40 1QE     Tel. 01234 273 580     Web.‎

Bedford Creative Arts is a contemporary arts charity. They deliver a programme of artist commissions and residencies, events, projects, and workshops that cater for a wide audience and provide new opportunities for artists.


Cardington Airship Hangers



Cardington, Bedford     Web.

“It may be seen as rather a simple fact, but before you build an airship, you need somewhere to build it in. This is the main factor, which dictates the design and size considerations of an airship. The simple fact is that the size of the ship is dependent on the size of the shed it is built in.

Today, the two Cardington Sheds can be seen dominating the skyline for many many miles around.”


The Glenn Miller Museum



Twinwood Road, Bedford, MK41 6AB     Tel. 01234 350413     Web.

Twinwood Control Tower has been meticulously restored, and now houses the museum in honour of the band-leader, who took his ill-fated last flight from this air base. Downstairs is an audio and visual exhibition dedicated to Glenn Miller. Also an RAF room, and an aviation art gallery. 





Old Warden Aerodrome & Park, Biggleswade     Tel. 01767 627950     Web.

Eight hangars housing approximately 40 aircraft dating from 1909 to 1942. Vintage and veteran cars, motorcycles, bicycle and carriages. During thesummer months most of the exhibits are shown off during the regular flying displays. Also here is The SwissGarden, which takes you back to the early 19th century, when an interest in ornamental gardening and picturesque architecture first came together; and the Birds of Prey Centre with its collection of some 300 birds.

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