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Bedfordshire (including Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton) is in the East of England. It has a population of around 412,000 and covers approximately 119,000 hectares. Here is a list of nearby or neighbouring counties: Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire.

County flag of BedfordshireBedfordshire had a reputation for centuries as an important centre of lace making and hat making in England and the Wardown Park Museum in Luton has a collection reflecting the history of these traditional crafts. Also located in Luton is the Stockwood Discovery Centre, which has exhibits from local history, a rural crafts collection, which includes a number of horse-drawn carriages, and a variety of garden designs. First built as a Jacobean farmhouse, Ascott House was later enlarged and today the interior rooms are finely furnished and decorated with artworks including ceramics and paintings, whilst the grounds feature picturesque gardens. Performing arts venues in Bedfordshire include the Sharnbrook Theatre in Bedford, the Grove Theatre in Dunstable, Bedford Corn Exchange and The Hat Factory in Luton, which has also served as a venue for art exhibitions.

The county town of Bedfordshire is Bedford, where you can visit the Higgins Art Gallery and Museum, which has a collection including Palaeolithic tools, locally made crafts and decorative arts. There are watercolours by artists including William Blake, John Constable and J. M. W. Turner, as well as prints by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Francisco Goya and Roy Lichtenstein. Woburn Abbey was established during the 12th century and later became a country house, which was rebuilt during the 18th century. Within the house are collections of historic furniture, silver, ceramics, sculptures and paintings, including works by artists such as Canaletto, Gainsborough, Rembrandt and Velasquez. The extensive grounds surrounding the house have landscaped gardens, woodlands, a wide variety of plants and a Safari Park. Other attractions in Bedfordshire include Wrest Park country house and gardens, Dunstable Downs, Jordans Mill in Biggleswade, Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton and Harrold-Odell Country Park.

Elkanah Settle

(Born 1648 in Dunstable in Bedfordshire), Poetry

Settle was a poet and play write. He wrote among other works - CAMBYSES King of Persia: A TRAGEDY. When the curtain first opens, we see the scene of the Royal Pavilion, Cambyses seated on a Throne attended by Otanes, Darius, Artaban, Prexaspes, Guards, Slaves, and Attendants with the Princess Mandana, and Ladies.

John Bunyan

(Born 1628 in Elstow in Bedfordshire), Fiction

As a writer Bunyan was most famous for The Pilgrims Progress, although he did write many dozens more works.