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Getting here

Don’t have a boat? Don’t worry, there are other ways to get to the River Festival


Getting to the River Festival

Festival Car Parks sponsored by StagecoachStagecoach logo

The Bedford River Festival always draws huge crowds and you are advised to plan ahead and think about how to get here, where to park and how to get around the 105 acre site.

We would like visitors to consider how they travel to the event and where possible use public transport or use other sustainable modes of transport.

By Bus

Stagecoach will be running extra buses to make it easier for people to get to and from the River Festival. Please check their timetables for routes and further information.

By Car

Visitor parking is available at the town centre car parks, and also at Bedford International Athletics Stadium (£7 a vehicle per day) and Priory Country Park (£5 a vehicle per day), both on Barkers Lane - ONLY CARD PAYMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Blue badge holders can park in the Athletic Stadium car park but please be aware that this is a grass field.

Additional car parking for disabled visitors will be available at Longholme Way (MK42 0BX), and in St Mary’s Car Park (in-between Borough Hall and Bedford College), Cauldwell Street, MK42 9AP. A blue badge will be required.

Park & Rides

Elstow Park and Ride (MK42 9XF) will be running an enhanced service during the River Festival weekend. Elstow Park and Ride is located in Progress Park, on the A6 - just north of the A6 junction of the A421. Pay on Bus - £2 per person per journey.

Mowsbury Park and Ride (MK41 8AH) Stagecoach will be operating a Park and Ride service from Mowsbury Park specially for the River Festival. This will be a 15 minute service dropping off and collecting from town centre (River Street). Mowsbury Park is situated to the north of the Bedford and the access for the park and ride will be from Kimbolton Road (B660). Pay on Bus – fees are £5 per adult, £3.50 per Child (up to 16), £12 for Family up to 2 adults and 3 Children (including return).

By Train

EMR, Thameslink and West Midlands Railway trains come to Bedford Train Station, please check their websites for timings. Additional train services will be run over the weekend between Bletchley and Bedford with the Bedford St. Johns stop being a short walk to the festival site.

Bletchley to Bedford

BLETCHLEY 09.40 11.15 12.55 14.45 16.22 17.57
Fenny Stratford 09.43 11.18 12.58 14.48 16.25 18.00
Bow Brickhill 09.47 11.22 13.02 14.52 16.29 18.04
Woburn Sands 09.51 11.26 13.06 14.56 16.33 18.08
Aspley Guise 09.54 11.29 13.09 14.59 16.36 18.11
Ridgmont 09.58 11.33 13.13 15.03 16.40 18.15
Lidlington 10.02 11.37 13.17 15.07 16.44 18.19
Millbrook 10.05 11.40 13.20 15.10 16.47 18.22
Stewartby 10.08 11.43 13.23 15.13 16.50 18.25
Kempston Hardwick 10.12 11.47 13.27 15.17 16.54 18.29
Bedford St.Johns 10.18 11.53 13.33 15.23 17.00 18.35
BEDFORD 10.22 11.57 13.37 15.27 17.04 18.39

Bedford to Bletchley

BEDFORD 10.28 12.05 13.55 15.35 17.10 18.45
Bedford St.Johns 10.32 12.09 13.59 15.39 17.14 18.49
Kempston Hardwick 10.38 12.15 14.05 15.45 17.20 18.55
Stewartby 10.42 12.19 14.09 15.49 17.24 18.59
Millbrook 10.45 12.22 14.12 15.52 17.27 19.02
Lidlington 10.49 12.26 14.16 15.56 17.31 19.06
Ridgmont 10.53 12.30 14.20 16.00 17.35 19.10
Aspley Guise 10.57 12.34 14.24 16.04 17.39 19.14
Woburn Sands 10.59 12.36 14.26 16.06 17.41 19.16
Bow Brickhill 11.04 12.41 14.31 16.11 17.46 19.21
Fenny Stratford 11.06 12.43 14.33 16.13 17.48 19.23
BLETCHLEY 11.09 12.46 14.36 16.16 17.51 19.26

By Bike

A new bike storage shelter has now opened in Bedford town centre near Harpur Square, enhancing the bike racks that are currently there. To access the shelter, cyclists just need to email with their full name, address in Bedford Borough and phone number. They will then receive details on how to access the unit and will need to download the ‘Okey Access’ app on their smart phone.

Road Closure

Please be aware of the many road closures that will be in place to allow the Bedford River Festival to happen – see map below.

We ask that if you are attending the event, you are considerate of local residents and park in official car parks.

Please note that the following roads will be residents only parking:

  • Newnham road
  • Albany Road
  • Waterloo Road
  • Rothsay Road
  • Bushmead Ave (south of Castle Road)
  • Howbury Street (south of Castle Road)
  • Bower Street (south of Castle Road)
  • Pembrooke Street (south of Castle Road)
  • York Street (south of Castle Road)
  • Denmark Street (south of Castle Road)
  • Dudley Street (south of Castle Road)
  • George Street (south of Castle Road)
  • Shaftesbury Ave
  • Kingsley Road
  • Tennyson Road
  • Beresford Road
  • Newnham Ave (south section)
river festival road closures map

Below is a map of the Festival site and a map of nearby Council car parks to help you plan your journey to the River Festival.

Getting to and around the Bedford River Festival

Click the zone links on the festival map below to access information on the events at each location. 

Click the 'Parking' (P symbol) links on the map to access information and costs for each car park. 

Please note that Borough Hall car park and Duckmill car park will NOT be available for public use on 20th and 21st July. St Mary's Gardens car park will be available for blue badge parking only.





The 2024 River Festival will include countless river activities, eight live music and performance areas, the Sports Island, Family Island, Green Earth Village, the wonderful offerings of the Festival Market, Bedford Festival of Motoring, plus so much more!

Make sure you keep the 20th & 21st July 2024 free in your diaries so that you don’t miss out on any of the action.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on this web site, please contact the Events Team at to discuss how you can get involved.

Become a River Festival Participant

Sponsors and Partners

Gallagher Developments is a strategic land promoter with experience dating back over 50 years and, as a master developer, has delivered thousands of homes, employment land, schools, and community facilities across Bedfordshire. Gallagher Developments continue to work to deliver sustainable communities across Bedford Borough in order to provide much needed homes and wider communities.

Sir Tony Gallagher, Chairman of Gallagher Developments said, “We are delighted to again sponsor and support the Bedford River Festival which we know brings joy to thousands of people. We hope everyone has a great time”.