Experience the John Bunyan Boat

John Bunyan Departure Points and Car Parking Information

The John Bunyan community boat departs from a number of different locations in Bedford these include;-
        Priory Marina
        Sovereigns Quay
        St Mary’s Gardens
        Newnham Steps

To make joining a cruise easier the various departure point locations are detailed below along with Post Code if known and What3words reference point.

Separate area details the car parks in Bedford, please refer to the Bedford Borough Council website for up to-date  parking charges and additional information

John Bunyan Departure Points

Priory Marina

  • Post Code: MK41 9DJ

    What3words: ///lion.total.prefer (John Bunyan Boat Notice Board)

    Priory Marina is the home mooring of the John Bunyan.

    The meeting place to join cruises from Priory Marina is John Bunyan Community Boat notice board just before the Marina gates.

    Car Parking: ///rides.mole.atom (What3words car park)

    Car Parking: Parking is available at Beefeater/ Premier Inn public car park (after turning off Barkers Lane at the Priory Country Park sign, turn immediate right follow the signs for Beefeater / Premier Inn Public Car Park). Park in the car park immediately in front of you behind the Premier Inn. John Bunyan Parking signed spaces near Premier. Coach parking is available in the signed spaces behind Premier Inn.

    Once parked, head  towards the Beefeater Restaurant, with the pub garden on your right, follow the road round until you see the John Bunyan Boat Notice Board.  Please wait on the grass area opposite the Notice Board to be escorted to the mooring by one of the crew.

  • Sovereigns Quay

  • Post Code: MK40 1NY

    What3words: ///calls.lion.upon

    John Bunyan Mooring: Located to the right of Star Rowing Club and near the new Riverside Bedford Leisure Complex Riverside Square Car Park, Sovereigns Quay is ideally located for Town Centre access. Please wait by the blue John Bunyan notice board on the quayside.

    Car Parking close to Sovereigns Quay: is available at Prebend Street (surface Level, Pay & Display). From Prebend car park head over the bridge and cross the road to the Embankment path (Queen’s Walk), follow the river east to Quayside and wait by the blue John Bunyan boat notice board. Alternative Car Parks are: Harpur Street Shopping Centre (underground car park – pay on exit). River Street Car Park (multi-storey car park- pay on exit). There is a small pay and display car park (Riverside Square Car Park) behind the Riverside Premier Inn hotel, next to the mooring, which has a limited number of disabled bays and parking for EV users only. Coaches can drop people off at the junction of Horne Lane, River St and Commercial Rd. There is no coach parking at Sovereigns Quay, the closest coach parking is Castle Lane (MK40 3XD).

  • St Mary's Gardens

  • Post Code:

    What3words: ///string.smug.link

    We can also offer the option of mooring at St Mary’s Gardens on the opposite side of the river to Riverside Bedford Leisure Complex, close to the pedestrian bridge. Please ask for more information.

    Car Park: The closest car park is St Mary’s Gardens Car Park (small surface Level, Pay & Display). From the car park head north following the signs to ‘River & Embankment’ into the garden area and follow the river east to the area just before the pedestrian bridge. Alternative Car Parks are Duck Mill Lane (surface Level, Pay & Display). Also, Prebend Street (surface Level, Pay & Display) is nearby.

    Coaches: Drop off/pick up point outside the Magistrates Court on St Paul’s Square or in Horne Lane and the closest coach parking is Castle Lane (MK40 3XD).

  • Newnham Steps

  • Post Code: MK40 3NZ

    What3words: ///loaded.liked.drips

    The mooring point for cruises from Newnham Steps is located at the junction of Newnham Road and the Embankment, opposite Castle Mound, and should not be confused with Town Bridge Steps next to the Town Bridge, which is slightly further upstream and directly outside the Swan Hotel.

    Car Parking: Lurke Street (multi-storey car park- pay on exit),

    Coaches: Drop off at Castle Lane (MK40 3XD) and also coach park at same location.

  • Bedford Car Parks

    Prebend Street Surface car park

  • Post Code: MK42 9BX

    5-7 min walk Sovereign Quay (surface Level, Pay & Display).

    From Prebend car park head over the bridge and cross the road to the Embankment path (Queen’s Walk), follow the river east to Quayside and wait by the blue John Bunyan notice board.

  • River Street multi-storey car park

  • Post Code: MK40 1PX

    Car Park is accessed from River Street

    7-10 mins walk from Sovereign Quay to board the John Bunyan Community Boat. 

    Direction to Sovereign Quay come out of River Street Car Park walk down towards the River, over the roundabout with Commercial Road & Horne Lane to Riverside Car Park. Once at the River turn right onto Queens Walk passed Star Rowing Club and wait at the blue John Bunyan Community Boat notice board opposite the island.

  • St Marys Gardens Car Park

  • Post Code: MK42 9AP

    Access between Borough Hall and Bedford College

    4-5mins walk to the St Mary Gardens mooring when we are running cruises from St. Marys Gardens. Walk towards the river once you have reached the river turn right on the path, the mooring is approximately opposite the Vue Cinema on the opposite bank of the river.


  • Duckmill Car Park & Mercure Bedford Centre Hotel

  • Post Code: MK42 0AU

    7- 10 mins walk to St. Marys Garden Mooring & 11-14 mins walk to Sovereign Quay

    Directions to St Marys Garden Mooring – Walk to wards the river past the Mercure Hotel taking the path down to the River and turn left once at the river under Town Bridge and follow the riverside path under the new footbridge to nearly opposite the Vue Cinema / Premier Inn Bedford on the opposite bank.

    Duckmill Lane  – car park on the right as you turn into Duckmill Lane opposite the Mercure Hotel

    Mercure Hotel – Car Park – accessed from Duck Mill Lane past the Mercure Hotel on the left. Special deal for John Bunyan guests park for £5 and get the parking discounted from a meal/snack/drinks.


  • Harpur Shopping Centre Car Park

  • Post Code: MK40 1TJ

    5 – 7 min walk to Sovereign Quay mooring. 

    Directions: come out of the car park on Horne Lane, cross the road walk towards the Riverside Car Park, through the car park to the river path Queens Walk, turn right and walk towards County Bridge away from Town Bridge past Star Rowing Club to the blue John Bunyan Community Boat notice board. Wait here for the John Bunyan Boat cruise.

    Car Park access from Horne Lane.

  • Lurke Street Car Park

  • Post Code: MK40 3HZ

    7-10 min walk to Newnham Steps for cruises from Newnham Steps

  • Riverside Car Park

  • Post Code: MK40 1NY

    Riverside Car Park

    Note that this is EV users only with a small number of disabled parking bays.

    Short distance from the Sovereign Quay mooring point, walk past Star Rowing Club on Queens Walk and wait by blue John Bunyan Community Boat notice board.