The Ormiston Families team is based in the visitors centre at HMP Bedford to the left of the prison on St Loyes Street. We provide support, information and a personal welcome for first-time visitors to help them access the services available to them.
Booking a visit
All visitors to HMP Bedford must book their visit in advance. Visits can be booked online here, by calling the Visits Booking Line on 01234 273196 or completing a form when you visit.
- Monday - Thursday: 13:45 - 15:15
- Saturday: 13:45 - 14:45 and 15:15 - 16:15
- Sunday: 13:45 - 14:45 and 15:15 - 16:15
There is disabled access to the centre and the prison. If possible, please inform staff of any additional needs prior to arrival. You can contact the visitors’ centre on 01234 373219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is no parking at the prison. The nearest car park is at Allhallows, a 2 minute walk away. The cheapest car park is in Queen Street, a 5 minute walk.
By public transport
Trains from London St Pancras arrive at Bedford Train station. There are taxis at the station or it is a 15 minute walk.
The Bus station is about 100 yards from the prison.
Local taxis: 01234 328888 or 01234 346666.
When you arrive
When you arrive at HMP Bedford, you will need to check in with our staff in the visitors’ centre. You will need to bring ID, up to £20 per person in coins to spend in the tea bar and a £1 coin for your locker. ID for adults should be photographic, but otherwise a birth certificate and bank card, 2 utility bills or bus pass or citizen card can be used. Under 18 years need either a birth certificate, red health book or a passport.
Once checked in you will be given a coloured number card and when called, you can then swap that card for a white card you can make your way to the gate area. All mobile phones and unauthorised articles must be left in the visitors’ centre. There are secure lockers available for this.
Once inside the gate area you will be searched by a member of staff. A sniffer dog will also be in attendance. You will be asked again if you are carrying any unauthorised articles. Once cleared, you will be given your table number and can enter the visits hall.
Inside the visits hall there is a snack bar providing hot and cold drinks and a variety of hot food, snacks and sweets.
Children are your responsibility at all times inside the prison and the visitors centre. A play area is provided inside the prison where children can spend time with the Ormiston Families play workers. Activities are provided and the children can dip in and out of the area – but no food is allowed.
Concerns about a prisoner
Ormiston Families staff understand that prison can be a very difficult time, for both prisoners and their families. If you have any concerns about a prisoner at HMP Bedford, feel free to contact the Safer Custody team on 01234 373000 or speak to a member of staff at the visitors’ centre.
- Children's visits - special visits for children on Wednesday mornings from 10.00 until 12.00. These are booked by the prisoner and are for his children/grandchildren/ step children under 16 years of age.
- Stories With Dad - Prisoner dads can apply to record a story on to disc for their child(ren). This is open to dads, step-dads and granddads
- Parenting courses for dads or stepdads in prison.
- Craft box activity – for Dads to send home a craft item in a box to his children.
- Family liaison – information, guidance and support on a wide range of matters affecting prisoners’ families offered to prisoners on their wing and families.
T: 01473 724517
E: Click here to email