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#Ampthill :Houghton House was built in 1621 by Mary, Countess of Pembroke and sister of the poetSir Philip Sidney. In 1675, the house provided the inspiration for ‘House Beautiful’ in John Bunyan‘s The Pilgrim’s Progress. Bunyan’s work is loosely based on his own journey between Bedford and Luton, and the steep slope leading into Ampthill was the model for the ‘Hill of Difficulty’. Houghton House passed to the Duke of Bedford in 1738 and became a ruin after the removal of the roof in 1794.
# Arlesey :Arlesey is a small industrial town and civil parish in the district of Central Bedfordshirein Bedfordshire. It is located near the border with Hertfordshire, about three miles north-west of Letchworth Garden City, four miles north of Hitchin and six miles south ofBiggleswade. Arlesey railway station provides train services to London, Peterboroughand Stevenage. The station opened in 1988 under Network South East. The old station was called Arlesey & Henlow and was shut to passengers in the 1960s. Arlesey Town Football Club has their ground to the south of the town.
# Bedford :Bedford is the county town of Bedfordshire, in the East of England. It is the administrative centre for the wider Borough of Bedford. According to the formerBedfordshire County Council‘s estimates, the town had a population of 80,000 in mid-2005, with 19,720 in the adjacent town of Kempston. The Bedford Built-up Area which includes Kempston, Elstow and Biddenham forms the 69th largest Urban Area in England and Wales with a population of 106,940. The wider borough, including a rural area, had a population of 153,000
#Biggleswade: The area around Biggleswade is thought to have been inhabited from around 10,000 BC, with arrowheads dating from this period found in the region. InRoman times, a loop road known as the White Way passed through Biggleswade (possibly along the course of the present-day Drove Road), linking up with the Ermine Way at Godmanchester.Biggleswade is mentioned in the Domesday Book.
#Cranfield: Cranfield’s airfield was originally an RAF training airfield, and was used after the war by the College of Aeronautics. Today the main user is the Cabair School of Flying. The future of the airfield is uncertain – one runway was closed to allow the construction of the Nissan building and technology park, and there are controversial plans to build further housing on airfield land. Kennett Aviation, who previously operated a range of vintage aircraft from Cranfield, were forced to move to North Weald due to these plans. However, Cranfield is still home to one of the few remaining serviceable English Electric/BAC Lightning jet fighters.
#Flitwick : Flitwick, pronounced /ˈflɪtɨk/, is a small town and civil parish in Central Bedfordshire, England. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book as “a hamlet on the River Flitt”. The nearby River Flit runs through Flitwick Moor, a nature reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
# Henlow: RAF Henlow is located nearby, but is in fact nearer to the village of Stondon. The civilian settlement of Henlow Camp has grown up around the RAF station since its establishment.There is a well-known health farm in Henlow at Henlow Grange, part of the Champneys group.
#Leighton Buzzard: Leighton Buzzard is famous as the Grand Union Canal was opened there. More recently, Leighton Buzzard station was the location for part of the film Robbery, based on the so-called “Great Train Robbery“ (1963), while the actual robbery took place just outside the town, at Bridego bridge, Ledburn. In the Domesday Book, Leighton Buzzard and Linslade were both called Leestone.
# Luton: Luton is home to Conference Premier team Luton Town Football Club, whose history includes several spells in the top flight of the English league as well as a Football League Cup triumph in 1988. They play at Kenilworth Road stadium, which has been their home since 1905.London Luton Airport, opened in 1938, is one of England’s major airports. During theSecond World War it doubled as an RAF base.The University of Bedfordshire is based in the town.The Luton Carnival, held on the late May bank holiday, is the largest one-day carnival in Europe.
#Sandy : Sandy is a small market town and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England. It lies betweenCambridge and Bedford, on the A1 road from London to Edinburgh. The area is dominated by a range of hills known as the Sand Hills while the River Ivel runs through the town. The dedication of the Anglican church is to St Swithun. Sandy is probably best known today as the headquarters of the RSPB.
# Studham: Studham is a village and civil parish in the county of Bedfordshire. It has a population of 1,127. The parish bounds to the south of the Buckinghamshire border, and to the east is the Hertfordshire border. The village lies in the wooded south facing dip slope of the Chiltern Hills. The hamlet of Holywell is located to the north of Studham, and forms part of the same civil parish.In the Domesday Book of 1086 it was recorded as Estodham. Studham’s churchcelebrated its millennium in 1997.
#Toddington:Toddington is blessed with an excellent rights of way network so there are many walks around the village. A range of suggested walks are available on the website Lets Go, then search for Toddington. The Icknield Way Path passes through the village on its 110 mile journey from Ivinghoe Beacon to Knettishall Heath. The Icknield Way Trail, a multi-user route for riders and off-road cyclists also passes through the village
#Woburn: Woburn was first recorded as a hamlet in 969 and is found in the Domesday Book of 1086. It is best known as the location of Woburn Abbey (a stately home), founded by Cistercian monks in 1145 and granted to the first Earl of Bedford in 1538 after the dissolution of the monasteries, and Woburn Safari Park. The village may have been called “Woburne chapell” in mediaeval times, in order to distinguish it from the abbey. Woburn has been burned down and rebuilt three times. A mediaeval chimney fire spread due to the prevalence of thatched roofs and closely built houses. Then, during the English Civil War, the Cavaliers burned down much of the village and in 1724 a third fire destroyed much of the town, which was re-built in the Georgian style that remains today.