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Living in Shefford: the local area guide

The historic market town and civil parish of Shefford rests amid the lovely county of Bedfordshire, about 50 miles north of London. The town is beautifully spread at the convergence of the Hit and Flit, two small rivers, and along the edge of the River Ivel, granting a beautiful waterside quality to the town’s charming character.

Shefford’s rich history dates back to the Roman era according to archaeological discoveries suggesting Roman presence in the first century AD, although early records of the actual village do not occur until the 13th century.

In the medieval ages, the area was mainly swampland and presented great difficulty for travellers. Eventually, shepherds found a particular point at which the river was easiest to cross their flocks, hence the town’s origin as Sheep Ford.

Today, Shefford boasts a variety of specialist local shops and an industrial estate, as well as a local microbrewery, The Banks & Taylor.


Shefford classifies as a small town with a population of about 9,325, with an even male to female ratio. Both the average and median age of residents is 38, as the area attracts many young families. Many of the local residents were born in England, approximately 89% and nearly 55% of the population are married.

Many of the local residents are employed in a professional capacity, with 36% working in either a professional and associate professional role. A further 12.5% are managers, while nearly 10% are either higher level management or corporate directors. Most of the population of Shefford are Christian, sitting at approximately 60.8% of the town’s population.


The B.E.S.T. Nursery unit, situated on the edge of the Samuel Whitbread campus, caters for babies from 4 months and children up to school age. There’s also the Shefford Nursery, which is found locally.

The Shefford Lower School deals with children from the ages of 5-9. After that, students typically attend the Robert Bloomfield Academy, a middle school that caters to students aged 9-13. It’s an extremely good school, consistently rated by Ofsted, and achieving a rating of ‘Outstanding’ in every single category. The Samuel Whitbread academy is both an upper school and sixth form, which also possesses academy status and specialises in Engineering.

Other school options in the area include Campton Lower School and Stratton Upper School. Nearby, the larger towns of Bedford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge offer excellent higher education institutions, including the renowned Cambridge University.


Shefford’s rail links include Arlesey Station within 3 miles, Biggleswade in 4.6 miles and Letchworth Garden City in 5.8 miles. These run regular services to Bedford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge, which provide onward connections.

Shefford’s bus network connects the town to the surrounding communities, with the 71 and 72 buses running routes between Shefford, Bedford, Henlow Camp and Hitchin. The 79 bus travels to Luton, and there are other local buses to hubs such as Welwyn Garden City, Milton Keynes and Stevenage.

Shefford is only 11.2 miles from London Luton Airport,

Amenities and shopping

Like many areas of rural Bedfordshire, there are a range of hotels and B&Bs throughout the beautiful countryside. The traditional Black Horse Inn, and the Beadlow Manor Hotel offers one of the finest golf courses in the area.

Shops selling local fine art and crafts and antiques, as well as upmarket clothing retailers are within the town, and Shefford is also home to a well-known historic market offering speciality goods. Shefford has an excellent range of restaurants and takeaways including English and continental cuisine to Indian and Thai food at Café Spice and Bangkok Lounge Thai.

The town also has many beautiful pubs offering great meals and fine local ales. The town benefits from sporting grounds, a local health centre, a veterinary clinic and a supermarket.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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