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Top places to live in Bedfordshire Ampthill

After a gorgeous market town, where you can't move for independent shops and restaurants? Ampthill may well be the one for you. This pretty riverside town has oodles of character, and great independents. and as they say, it's very much 'on the up' right now. Find out why... Top 200 Places to Live series.



This quintessential English market town (now officially twinned with Nissan-lez-Enserune in France, the significance of which nobody really understands, but it looks great on the sign) is absolutely charming, with pretty red brick houses fast becoming hot-Bedfordshire-property. 


Ampthill Deli & Kitchen is the locals’ go-to for great coffee, and ALL THE TREATS. You can’t move for pubs in Ampthill *goes straight to Rightmove*. And the best foodie one has got to be the listed, Queen-Anne-Style, White Hart, with the Engine and Tender best for a chilled pint. Fratelli and The Hide are popular mid-range dinner options, with Eileen’s by Steve Barringer (the Beds-born Head Chef was a runner-up in Masterchef: The Professionals!) being the top choice for a slap-up treat.


Ampthill has one of the highest proportions of independents of any town in the UK – hats off to that! The newest addition is super-cool (and could well have been airlifted from Shoreditch) craft store, Sisterhood. The Wardrobe and Love2Shop provide the high-end boutique fix, while florist Emi Floral Designs, Patternmatch Interiors and the much-loved Ampthill Antiques Emporium are also all worth a purchase (or three). 


Ampthill Great Park (160 acres of parkland and woodland, with a children’s play area, forest school, tennis courts and cafe); ruined 17th-century Houghton House; Stewartby Lakes at the Forest of Marston Vale; and of course it’s a stone’s throw from Woburn with the Abbey (which is currently closed for refurbishment) and Safari Park.


Although the larger red brick numbers go for over £700,000, there are great bargains to be had with the terraces, coming in at below £300k, on average. Orchards and Country Properties are our suggestions for local agents.


Ampthill boasts numerous nurseries and two lower schools: Russel Lower and The Firs. If you’re after independents, there are a range of options nearby, including Bedford Girls’ School (prep & senior), Bedford School (boys prep & senior), Rushmoor School, St Andrews School (co-ed prep, girls senior) and Pilgrims Pre-Prep.


Although we’ve already mentioned it – so it’s not really a secret anymore – it’s got to be the jewel in the crown that is the gorgeous Ampthill Antiques Emporium. The town wouldn’t be the same without it. 


45 miles. Quick as a flash! Just 48 minutes from Flitwick to St Pancras.

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live 

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