Following the war, Bestall finished his studies at the LCC Central School of Art and was hired to illustrate books by Enid Blyton. He also began doing paintings for The Amalgamated Press and did illustrations for Punch and Tatler, as well as for over 50 books.
Wraparound dustwrapper from the 1st edition, illustrated by Alfred E. Bestall
In 1935, Bestall was selected to take over the Daily Express’s Rupert Bear stories from Mary Tourtel. Bestall improved the stories and plots of Rupert, but more importantly, he created the most beautifully crafted illustrations in the Rupert Bear Annual publications. Much of the landscape in Rupert is inspired by the Snowdonia landscape of North Wales, notably around Beddgelert. He had first visited Beddgelert whilst holidaying with his parents at Trefriw in the Conwy valley in 1912 and 1913, where their holiday home was called 'Penlan'.
Bestall produced his last Rupert story on 22 July 1965. He retired from the Daily Express in July 1965, but continued creating Annual publication covers until 1973.
Bestall also drew illustrations for the Whitcombe's Story Book, a form of children's reader published in Australasia by Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd. These books were undated; but Bestall's work appears in the 500 numbers, possibly published in the 1950s.
Although living in suburban Surbiton, Surrey, after World War II, he regularly holidayed in Nantgwynant, near Beddgelert, and in 1956 bought a cottage at the foot of Mynydd Sygun, in Beddgelert, which he subsequently also named 'Penlan'.