Midland Road in Bedford is one of the main thoroughfares running into the town centre.
Jump off the train, come out of the station, hang a right, then a left at the roundabout and you’re on Midland Road.
This end of it is just a bog-standard road lined with shops and stuff, fairly old.
Used to be a really thriving and vibrant part of the town, but now so many businesses have closed down or surrendered to charity shops and other cheapie retail outlets that its actually quite depressing.
(As an aside… I find all these cheapie shops (Poundstretcher, Lidls, Cash Xchange, charity shops etc etc) to be really depressing, and avoid them as much as I can. Reminds me too much of my poverty-stricken childhood maybe. And a precursor of what may lie in the future. Grim!)
But five minutes’ walk or so and you reach the intersection with Greyfriars (a part of the town long scheduled for redevelopment, when the Council finally gets its act – and money – together) and River Street.
Crossing over at the traffic lights then and you find yourself in the other part of Midland Road, pedestrianised, modernish, and on market days full of shoppers and folk just chilling out. This bit runs right into the heart of the town centre, linking with the High Street via Silver Street, and with St Paul’s Square via Harpur Street.
A reasonably pleasant place to be with coffee shops where one can sit outside enjoying coffee and nibbles and watching the world go by.
The main access to the town’s indoor shopping mall, The Harpur Centre, is also along this bit of the road.
Neither part of Midland Road is a place I’d particularly recommend for ambling during the evening or at night though.
The older section has a few takeaways and stuff and seems to act as a magnet to the denizens of the various side streets, one of which is quite notorious as a hangout for druggies and other unsavoury types. Been the location of murders and stuff in the not-too-distant past.
Whilst the pedestrianised section gets to be a bit spooky after about seven in the evenings, virtually deserted apart from the odd dodgy hoodie-types hanging around here and there.