Priory Country Park marks the western end of the BRVP and is within walking distance of the centre of Bedford. The existing country park will serve as the main gateway from Bedford into the BRVP and represents one of the main future ‘activity hubs’ within BRVP. There is car parking, a small visitor centre, toilets, a café, an adjacent marina and facilities for angling, sailing, windsurfing and paddle sports, including an artificial kayak slalom course.
School visits are hosted by the Wildlife Trust – Priory Country Park could become the base for environmental education across the BRVP. This part of the BRVP also has quieter areas where people can follow nature trails or enjoy angling. Priory Country Park has been repeatedly awarded Green Flag Status recognising the excellent work of Bedford Borough Council’s Ranger Team in making the park a clean and well-maintained place that welcomes visitors and involves the local community.
The creation of the BRVP provides Priory Country Park with the opportunity to significantly develop and update its existing facilities in response to its new key role as the gateway into the much larger BRVP area. It will continue to be an important asset within BRVP, providing a range of largely informal recreation opportunities for large numbers of local people and visitors.
Tucked away on the banks of the River Great Ouse, set in Priory Country Park, Priory Marina is an oasis of peace and tranquility. Along with moorings, the Marina offers cycle hire, a chandlery, chemical toilet disposal, diesel, boat maintenance and a restaurant.