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14 Breathtakingly Beautiful Places in Bedfordshire to Take a Date for Free

14 Breathtakingly Beautiful Places in Bedfordshire to Take a Date for Free

Bedfordshire is a truly beautiful county with a vast number of wonderful and romantic places available to visit completely free of charge. If you want to impress, consider taking a date to one of these fourteen breathtakingly beautiful places for an unforgettable day out in the Bedfordshire countryside.

1. Go for a Hike on the Breathtaking Dunstable Downs

    The Dunstable Downs are one of the most beautiful parts Bedfordshire, and indeed of the whole country. If your date enjoys walking, a hike around here will be the perfect way to spend a pleasant day exploring the landscape.

    2. Enjoy a Relaxing Picnic at Bedford Park

      Bedford Park is one of only three parks to have been awarded the prestigious green flag for cleanliness and it’s easy to see why. This is a stunning park and a great place to spend the day. There are lots of secluded and romantic little spots to enjoy a picnic and get to know one another a little better over a glass of wine.

      3. Experience the Magical Beauty of the Whipsnade Tree Cathedral

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        Witness the remarkable tree cathedral consisting of various trees, hedges and shrubs planted into the shape of a cathedral, and wonder at the skill and time that would have gone into creating this impressive site. Your date will be sure to be impressed.

        4. Get Close to Nature at The Lodge RSPB Nature Reserve

          This RSPB owned nature reserve is a great place to go birdspotting, so take a nature loving date here and you’ll be sure to impress. If the birds alone aren’t enough for you, take time to learn about the stone age settlements which once housed whole communities on the very spot you are now standing and wow your date with your knowledge.

          5. Wander Beneath the Willows at Wardown Park

            Wardown Park in Luton is uniquely beautiful with rows of stunning willow trees lined along the banks of the River Lea. Take a picnic and relax while watching the ducks and swans swim past then walk across the pedestrian suspension bridge to take in the views from the other side. Take the time to visit the park’s more formal gardens too, of you have the time.

            6. Take a Leisurely Stroll around Swiss Garden

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              Take a date on a leisurely stroll around the stunning gardens taking in the lakes, the woodlands and the stunning views of the Bedfordshire landscape stretching far into the distance. This beautiful garden is set around the grounds of the Swiss Cottage and a wonderful place to explore.

              7. Get Lost in the Forest of Marston Vale

                The Forest of Marston Vale is an incredible place to wander around with over 1 million trees planted by the Woodland Trust and a huge array of wildlife to spot. This is a great place to spend a day exploring and learning about the conservation efforts of the volunteers.

                8. Take a Walk around Stockgrove Country Park

                  Stockgrove Country Park is a charming place for a visit, with stunning woodland and paths to walk along while talking with your date or find a secluded spot to enjoy a picnic and admire the stunning scenery.

                  9. Explore the Ruins at Houghton House

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                    This English Heritage owned 17th century mansion in Bedford is a mere shadow of what it once was, but even so it is a remarkable building with breathtaking views of the nearby countryside. Read the informative and interesting plaques dotted around the house and soak up the history together, or just sit and enjoy the wonderful views.

                    10. Relax by the Tranquil Embankment Bridge

                      For a lovely chilled date, why not visit the Embankment Bridge in Bedford and enjoy the views across the river and the stunning scenery. This is a wonderful place to walk or just sit and enjoy the peace and tranquillity.

                      11. Get Close to History at Jordans Mill

                        Although a guided tour around the mill itself will include a small entry fee, the gardens are free to enter and are beautifully kept with a wide range of native British plants on show throughout the year. The grounds around the mill offer some wonderful views of the Bedfordshire landscape.

                        12. Explore the Sharpenhoe Clappers

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                          Sharpenhoe Clappers is a lovely, unspoilt nature reserve set in ancient woodland taking in some of the best scenery in Bedfordshire. It’s a great place to take a romantic stroll or more vigorous hike, and perfect for wildlife spotting.

                          13. Spend a day at Rushmere Country Park

                            Rushmere Country Park is a huge space with something to do to keep everyone occupied. Take you date for a walk around the woodland or go for a cycle ride on one of the many beautiful trails around the park.

                            14. Admire the Unspoilt Beauty of Harrold-Odell Country Park

                              Take a date to this breathtaking location for a wonderful day exploring over 144 acres of unspoilt natural beauty. Make sure to spend plenty of time appreciating the two stunning lakes and the wild beauty of the nature reserve.

                              Image Source: 1. via nationaltrust.org.uk; 2. via redwoodworld.co.uk; 3. via nationaltrust.org.uk; 4. via rspb.org.uk; 5. via bedsbucksherts.org.uk; 6. via shuttleworth.org; 7. via centerparcs.co.uk; 8. via mapio.net; 9. via nglish-heritage.org; 10. via hikemtshasta.com; 11. via apdoorsandjoinery.co.uk; 12. via nationaltrust.org.uk; 13. via bridgetdavey.com; 14. via raisingemily.net.

                              Featured photo credit: Unknown via bedsbucksherts.org.uk

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                              Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                              The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                              The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                              Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                              your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                                Why You Need a Vision

                                Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                                How to Create Your Life Vision

                                Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                                What Do You Want?

                                The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                                It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                                Some tips to guide you:

                                • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                                • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                                • Give yourself permission to dream.
                                • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                                • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                                Some questions to start your exploration:

                                • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                                • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                                • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                                • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                                • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                                • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                                • What qualities would you like to develop?
                                • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                                • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                                • What would you most like to accomplish?
                                • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                                It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                                What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                                Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                                A few prompts to get you started:

                                • What will you have accomplished already?
                                • How will you feel about yourself?
                                • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                                • What does your ideal day look like?
                                • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                                • What would you be doing?
                                • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                                • How are you dressed?
                                • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                                • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                                • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                                It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                                Plan Backwards

                                It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                                • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                                • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                                • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                                • What important actions would you have had to take?
                                • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                                • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                                • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                                • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                                • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                                Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                                It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                                Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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