Race for Life 2018

The Park hosted the Race for Life events again this year which are in aid of Cancer Research UK. This was on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July and attracted huge crowds. We opened earlier on those days.

Ice Cream 2018

If you have yet to do so, why not try our Award Winning ice cream on your next visit to the Retreat. We have received numerous good comments since serving a range of these products from the beginning of April this year.

Additionally whipped ice cream is available from our mobile trailer on days when it is parked outside our main door.

Autumn 2017

This autumn has been substantially busier than last autumn and peaked during the kids half term holidays which was the week beginning 23rd October 2017.  At times we were full to capacity! We thank all our customers for their increasing support.

Summer 2017

The opening of the outside decking area in late June 2017 gave rise to a very busy Summer at the Retreat.  The decking is a great success and very popular to a wide range of visitors including dog owners.

The busiest day to date at the Priory Country Park was on 2nd September when the Bedford Half Marathon took place.  The Retreat opened extra early at 7.30am to serve pre-booked customers.

New Decking

We are excited about the new decking area which is coming soon at the Retreat.  It will be about 125 square metres and elevated above the grass by 0.5 metres in order to be level with the internal floor.

Work is scheduled to start in early June.  There will be direct access via a new front door and alternative access and exit via external steps and a ramp.

During fine weather we should be able to seat up to 130 customers inside and out.

Spring 2017

As we progress through the Spring the number of Park visitors has rocketed.  The Retreat has been very busy and we acquired more picnic benches in March.  We noticed that they were all filled up during the fine weather in early April and hope to acquire more before the Easter weekend.

Winter 2017

After a well-deserved Christmas and New Year Holiday break the Retreat staff are back at work.  We are opening from 10am to 3pm.  However, subject to the weather, we will extend the opening time to 4pm.  We are delighted to extend the opening times as a result of public demand.  Do not forget we are open 7 days of the week.  You can expect further extended opening hours as we approach the Summer of 2017.



A Halloween event took place at the Retreat on Friday 28th October 2016 from 1pm to 3pm.  This included a Ghost Hunt, a Fancy Dress Competition, Facepainting and a Picture Competition.

Our thanks go out to the children who took part.

Food Hygiene Rating


Following a surprise visit by the location Environmental Office on 12th October 2016, we received the maximum score of 5 for food safety management.  The owners of the Retreat (Cloverdale Catering) now have a total of 5 certificates allocated by 5 different Councils all with the maximum score.  The Council line-up is as follows:- Bedford, Northampton, Wellingborough, Corby and East Northants.

Official Opening

Official opening

Official opening

On Tuesday 6th September 2016 the Retreat was official opened by the Mayor of Bedford, Dave Hodgson.


There was a good turnout of well-wishers on the day.  As well as customers, several Town Councillors attended as did various Council employees.


We thank all those who came and for their kind compliments and encouragement.


Open day

Open day