BBN 40: Walks and River Cruise - Sunday 3rd September


An event celebrating BBN's 40th Anniversary for BBN members, past and present, families and friends. A choice of morning walks followed by an afternoon cruise on a chartered narrowboat along the River Ouse, Bedford with food (of course) on board. There will be a nominal charge of £10 per person towards the cost of the cruise and the food.

Map of Priory Marina and Priory Park

Priory Park

All BBN members, past and present, plus family and friends are warmly invited to come along and enjoy the day. We are hoping that some of our long-standing friends who no longer regularly walk with us will be able to join one of the morning walks or come along in the afternoon for the river cruise.

Here is the outline of the day’s events:

Our day of celebration will begin with a choice of one of three walks:
Note: Some of these walks have limited spaces and places will be reserved on a first come basis.

Walk One - The Jewel in Bedford’s Crown

[90 minutes - 2 hours duration and covers a distance of 1-2 miles]
A walking tour with Bedford Tour Guides around the River Great Ouse. The Jewel in Bedford's Crown is undoubtedly the River Great Ouse and its Embankment. Find out how the construction of this part of the town came about and hear about the many important features which stand on either side of the river and which can easily be overlooked.
Start time: 09:15am
Meeting point: War Memorial, Bedford Embankment (opposite Rothsay Road)

Walk Two - Treasure Quest
[2 hours duration and covers a distance of 2-3 miles]
A semi-guided Treasure Trail to locate the BBN Queen and her Ruby Tiara.
Start time: 09:30am
Meeting point: Priory Marina, Bedford

Walk Three - Easy Amble
[2-3 hours duration and covers a distance of 6 miles]
An easy amble led walk from Priory Marina into the surrounding countryside.
Start time: 09:30am
Meeting point: Priory Marina, Bedford

'Time and tide wait for no man' and nor can we as we begin the afternoon with our river cruise on the John Bunyan boat departing promptly at 1pm - we will begin loading the charter from around 12:45pm.
There are 40 spaces available and these will be reserved on a first come basis.

We’ll be sitting down to enjoy a well-earned rest and lunch on the boat.
Your lunch choices will be:

Ploughman’s Lunch
- Ham, cheese, half a baguette, salad, pickle, crisps and butter.
Vegan Falafel Wrap - Two falafel wraps with cucumber and mint dip, salad and crisps.
Afternoon Tea - A trio of sandwiches (ham, cheese, egg and cress) sausage roll, crisps, salad, clotted cream and jam scone and a cake (brownie, lemon drizzle, shortbread or tea loaf) with tea or coffee.
Cream Tea - A delicious hand made scone with clotted cream, strawberry jam and fresh strawberries with a tea or coffee.

The boat also has a small licensed cafe bar where you can purchase drinks.

Individuals will need to pay a £10 contribution towards the cost of the cruise and the lunch.

More about the Cruise
Priory Marina is the home mooring of the John Bunyan boat.
We will make our way from Priory Marina up to Queen’s Bridge where we’ll catch a glimpse of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Queens Park before turning round and heading back. We’ll then go downstream towards the Barns Hotel before turning again and heading back into Priory Marina.

Parking and Facilities at Priory Park/Priory Marina (see map above)
There is a café and toilets (near the Visitor Centre) at Priory Park.

Parking at Priory Marina
Parking is available at Beefeater/Premier Inn public car park (MK41 9DJ) ///rides.mole.atom (what3words car park)

After turning off Barkers Lane at the Priory Country Park sign, take the immediate right into the Premier Inn car park, and follow the John Bunyan parking signs, which point to the spaces immediately in front of you, behind the Premier Inn.
Once parked, head towards the Beefeater Restaurant, with the pub garden on your right, follow the road round until you see the John Bunyan Boat Notice Board. Please wait on the grass area just inside the gates to be escorted to the mooring by one of the crew.

Please contact me as soon as possible to book your place(s) on one of the walks and/or the cruise (my contact details are shown below).
I will then send you a form for you to complete to confirm your choice of morning walk and your meal choice. You can also let me know of any special dietary requirements or food intolerances.

Looking forward to seeing you in Bedford – it’s going to be a great day!

Sarah Feal
Contact me via mobile phone on 07925 849281 or
email address at