Things to do in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire
The delightful village centre has several local shops, a pub, an Indian restaurant and a doctor's surgery. The village is served by two schools, Church End School and Shelton Lower School.
Near the pub is a stone set in a field on the east side of the Woburn road. Local legend claims that the owner of the field was playing "jumps", (probably leapfrog), on the Sabbath. The devil took an almighty leap from the church tower, landed on the stone and carried the miscreant off into eternity!
The popular village hall is the hub of village social life with a number of clubs and activities. There's also a sports pavilion and pitches which are used by Marston Moretaine football and cricket clubs.
Marston Moretaine is on the Marston Vale Railway Line and is served by the Millbrook station, about a mile down the road. The railway runs between Bletchley and Bedford and is one of only two remaining passenger sections of the "Varsity Line" which used to connect Cambridge and Oxford.
Things to do in Marston Moretaine
The nearby Forest of Marston Vale is a popular attraction in Marston Moretaine along with the Forest Centre and Millennium Country Park.
A 6-mile circular walk also starts from the village hall in Marston Moretaine and is well signposted through Hunger Hill and the Thrift woodland.
Water sports recreation can be enjoyed on the nearby lakes which have been landscaped from the former clay pits.
The Forest of Marston Vale
The Forest of Marston Vale is a Community Forest being planted in an area of 61 square miles between Milton Keynes and Bedford. The Forest of Marston Vale charity is dedicated to creating woodlands by planting 5 million trees in the Marston Vale area. Their aim is to improve the quality of life for people and wildlife alike.
There are also activities and ideas for families with kids including activity sheets to print out and take on your visit. Find out more here: https://www.marstonvale.org/
The Millbrook Golf Club
If you fancy a round of golf, The Millbrook Golf Club welcomes visitors to its beautiful course. Its location on Greensand Ridge means that visitors will enjoy its stunning views over rural Bedfordshire.
The course was laid out in 1977, and has since matured so that13 holes are now lined with indigenous trees.
A noteworthy feature of the course is the links-style "pot bunkers" made possible by the sandy soil in the area. The Millbrook Golf Club has hosted the Bedfordshire County Championship, so you can be sure of excellent facilities.
Woburn Safari Park
Always a great family day out with the children, Woburn Safari Park lets you drive through 300 acres of parkland, and spot tigers, zebras, lions, giraffe, elephants and rhinos from the comfort of your car!
Don't miss the shows including a fantastic Birds of Prey display, Birds in Action, Feeding the Otters, Sea Lions, Wander with Wallabies and more.
Historic Marston Moretaine
The village has a large 14th Century parish church, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. The church built in 1340, has a rare feature - a detached square tower situated about 70 feet from the main church.
There's another devil-related local legend which states that the reason for the bell tower's unusual location was that the devil was trying to steal it, but it proved too heavy so he dropped it where it now stands!Grade I listed.
Marston Moreteyne Manor was once owned by Sir Thomas Snagge, Speaker of the House of Commons in the 16th Century. He was buried in St Mary's Church, which now has an alabaster tomb of him and his wife.
The Manor is a lovely half-timber and brick building, now used as a restaurant and wedding venue.
Historically, Marston Moretaine was known for its brick-making and the surrounding area has many exhausted clay pits. Some are now lakes which are popular for water sports.
Famous Resident - Captain Tom
99-year-old Captain Tom Moore inspired the whole nation during the coronavirus lockdown in 2020 by walking laps of his garden in Marston Moretaine to raise money for the NHS. His plan was to raise £1,000 before his hundredth birthday.
Captain Tom was knighted by the Queen in a ceremony at Windsor Castle, becoming Captain Sir Thomas Moore. Sadly Captain Sir Tom died in February 2021 at the age of 100.
Places to Eat
The Bell offers a range of pub food, including lasagne, pies and Sunday Roasts. Guests can choose to eat in the lovely garden during the summer. Vegan options are available on the extensive menu.
Chef Mark Hickman and his wife Jacqui have run Moreteyne Manor since 1996, creating a country house restaurant with a great atmosphere in this stunning historic building.
Places to Stay
The Travelodge Bedford Marston Moretaine
This local Travelodge provides budget accommodation with the quality and consistency you can rely on from Travelodge. All double rooms offer a king-size bed, duvet and 4 pillows.
Upper Wood End Farm B&B
This period farmhouse offers two comfortable double rooms with en-suites. Both rooms have lovely rural views over the Bedfordshire countryside.
The B&B is dog-friendly and if you're looking for a holiday with your horse - they can come too as there is stabling available and miles of local bridleways to enjoy.
Upper Wood End Farm also has two self-contained holiday cottages and plenty of off-street parking on the farm.