Bedfordshire is a relatively small county in the southern Midlands. It is largely low-lying, though the Chiltern Hills also reach into the southern part of the county. The chief river is the Great Ouse, which snakes through the county, producing very fertile country, and on whose banks lies the county town, Bedford. In area, most of the county is agricultural. However there are several large towns and industrial development around many towns. The main town is Luton, an industrial town with a major airport. Bedford itself, is smaller, but a thriving town nevertheless. While no “New Towns” were planted in Bedfordshire, Bedford, Luton and several towns have been the subject of similar planned expansion, influenced by the A1, which runs through the centre of the county, and the M1 in its south. Nevertheless, away from the main towns Bedfordshire has rich agricultural land, rolling rural scenery and pretty villages.
County Town: Bedford
Main Towns: Ampthill, Luton, Biggleswade, Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard, Sandy.
Main Rivers: Flit, Ouse, Ivel, Hiz, Ouzel, Lea.
Highlights: Woburn Abbey Safari Park; Luton Hoo; Whipsnade Zoo; Wrest Park.
Highest Point: Dunstable Downs, 801 feet.
Area: 465 sq miles
Flower: Bee Orchid