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John McBurney

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March 2021

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TAKE A RIDE ON THE WANDERBUS (OCTOBER 2021)

Welcome to our brand-new monthly feature where John, our editor, catches the Wanderbus!



THE ROUTE

I decided to catch the W3S service to Biggleswade. The W3S picks up at various bus stops in Stotfold, including the A507/Hitchin Road, Regent Street, The Green and then also in Astwick. The W3S then heads up the A1 and drops off at the A1 Retail Park, the town centre (bus station), Asda, and finally Sainsbury’s at the north end of town.





THE JOURNEY

I jumped on the bus at Regent Street, which arrived on time at 9.46am. I paid my fare and took my ticket, but please note, if you are entitled to a bus pass then your journey is free of charge. This makes Wanderbus a fantastic way for retired people to travel to a whole host of destinations.


Our friendly driver, called Geoff, was very helpful assisting elderly passengers with their bags and walking aids. Sitting at the back of the bus (of course), I got chatting to Barry (Geoff’s mate) and Budgie, both regulars on this service. It was interesting to discover that pre-Covid, two buses were required to fulfil demand for the Biggleswade service, it is hoped that demand will return once again. Our main conversation was about the levels of new-build housing developments popping up not only in Stotfold and Biggleswade but across all of Central Beds. An impassioned conversation ensued, and I am sure we could have discussed the topic for hours.






THE DESTINATION

Biggleswade has lots to see and do and has a thriving town centre, and on a lovely sunny day it was a pleasure to visit. With a host of cafes, coffee shops, pubs, and independent shops, there’s lots to see and do. I headed over to the Surfin Café, in the Market Square, and treated myself to a delicious coffee and cake, sat in the outside seating area, watching the world pass by.


Next, I popped into a wonderful DIY / Hardware store called JR Goldthorpe & Son. A delightful store with so much variety for a small shop, If you ever need those odd bits-n-bobs, you’ll almost certainly find it quicker and easier than endlessly clicking around online or trawling through a huge DIY store.


It is well worth a visit to the Church of St. Andrew, its grounds are peaceful and tranquil, and from here it is a short walk to Mill Lane where you can access the Kingfisher Way which runs along the River Ivel. It’s worth noting that it is only a short walk (1.25miles) to get to Jordan’s Mill where you can dine at the riverside café and explore the gardens.


Many passengers alighted at the A1 Retail Park, which is perfect if you fancy some retail therapy with a host of big-name stores including M&S, Next, Boots, H&M and TK Maxx plus many more. There is also the option visiting the recently opened LIDL store if you need to do a bit of grocery shopping.


For the return journey home I caught the bus from the ASDA car park which departed at midday.


So, why not come and visit Biggleswade on the Wanderbus, you will have a fantastic time!





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