21 of the Best Pubs in Milton Keynes [2023]

I’ve lived in Milton Keynes for five years now and I love living here. It’s a new city, with a lot to offer and that includes some amazing places to eat.

So I decided to pull together some of my favourite pubs in Milton Keynes to peruse, relax in and get merry…

Milton Keynes is often called ’roundabout city’ because of the number of roundabouts in the city and it has grown massively over the past 50 years and although technically a town, it is as big as a city due to its size. Milton Keynes also incorporates the existing towns of Bletchley, Wolverton, and Stony Stratford, along with an array of other villages in between.

There are so many things to do in Milton Keynes, but eating is my favourite. Here are my favourite pubs in Milton Keynes…

pubs in milton keynes area

1. The Swan at Salford

As the days lengthen and the sunshine returns, it’s time to set aside the heartier dishes of winter and look ahead to the lighter, fresher tastes of spring.

One of my favourite pubs to visit in my local area of Milton Keynes is The Swan Salford and this month they launched their spring menu.

I’ve been here many times before for Sunday lunch with the family, to blogger brunches for MK Blogger Network. The team at The Swan Salford asked me if I’d like to try out their new menu which of course I said yes to!

The Swan Salford is a great little pub located just outside Milton Keynes in a small village.

The pub is well-known across Milton Keynes for offering great food, a vibrant atmosphere and traditional pub experience. The pub also has a lovely beer garden to the side of the building where you can sit outside in the summer months and listen to live music and grab a bite to eat.

The Swan Salford is an attractive Edwardian pub in a lovely village setting, just 10 minutes from central Milton Keynes and just 1 mile from junction 13 of the M1. The Swan remains a real pub, where you’re just as welcome to enjoy a decent pint of bitter at the bar or a deli board as a fine three-course meal. 

Their Buckinghamshire gastropub is open every day from 10am with hot food available all day.

They take huge pride in serving the best ingredients they can find, from ethical producers, freshly prepared by their chefs. Whether you pop in for a pint, a business lunch or a special dinner, they promise you a friendly welcome at one of the best pubs in Milton Keynes.


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2. The Anchor at Aspley Guise

Last week we ventured over to the quaint village of Aspley Guise to try out the food at The Anchor. I love a good pub, and especially Epic Pubs, who own a few pubs in my local area, including The Wheatsheaf at Bow Brickhill and 185 Watling Street in Towcester, which I am visiting soon too!

Located just outside Milton Keynes, The Anchor is a wonderfully British pub, serving fresh food all day. I had been wanting to visit for ages, and we finally got to visit on a Sunday to try out their recommend Sunday roasts!

Dining is informal in a relaxed environment reflecting the best in British design with a warm friendly welcome, with seating areas both near the bar and out the back where there is a light and airy conservatory style seating area. Served between 12:00 pm and 9:00 pm, their Sunday roast is incredible. And even though Theo didn’t agree, I said it was one of the best Sunday roasts I’ve ever had.

We both began with the Wild Boar Scotch Egg, with Apple & Sage Salad, Pumpkin Ketchup, which was light but full of flavour. And the tang of the ketchup, with the rich yolk of the egg, was a perfect compliment. For mains, I then opted for Dry-aged Rump of Beef, whilst Theo went for the Garlic & Rosemary Leg Of Lamb.

Both were tender and full of flavour, perfectly aged, with just the right amount on each plate. Each plate is served with Roast Potatoes, Yorkshire Pudding and Braised Carrots.


3. The Swan at Woburn Sands

Set in the picture-perfect village of Woburn Sands, The Swan Woburn Sands offers the ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, where you can drink, eat and relax with friends or family.

I had heard great things about The Swan previous to visiting, so my expectations were high (sneak preview: I wasn’t disappointed!)

The Swan is located in the centre of the village and offers a great place for lunch, dinner, or drinks.

It’s a high-end gastropub, with bar at the front of the building, offering relaxed drinking environment, and then towards the back of the pub, and outside, there is seating where you dine on an array of food including burgers, Thai or even a scrumptious Sunday roast, with all the trimmings!

Set in the picture perfect village of Woburn Sands, The Swan offers the ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

A great place for lunch, dinner, or drinks, when you choose to dine at The Swan, you’ll be able to tuck into a tempting array of delicious dishes that have all been expertly prepared by their talented chefs, using only the freshest and finest ingredients.

Whether you pop in for a scrumptious Sunday roast, a cold pint after a long day in the office, or a celebratory three-course meal, you’re sure to find a dish on the menu that will satisfy your appetite.

READ MORE: The Swan at Woburn Sands


4. The Black Horse at Great Linford

On a dark autumnal evening in October, we headed down to reopening of The Black Horse Great Linford, a local pub with a wonderful atmosphere. One of the best Milton Keynes pubs, The Black Horse is a beautiful pub with lots of character. 

The pub has a long and varied history with it’s an ideal location along the Grand Union Canal, being one of it’s most well-known aspects. A summer’s day here in the sunshine is one of my favourite things to do!

I was invited along to The Black Horse Great Linford for their opening night, to sample their new seasonal menu and to see the refurb in its entirety before they properly opened on October 13th to the public.

From the moment we arrived, we felt incredibly looked after; we were welcomed on arrival by the lovely bar staff, who asked for our preference (of course G&T for us!) and we were then shown to their flavouring station, where you could add your own garnish. I opted for juniper berries, grapefruit peel and rose petals!

The decor within the pub has had a complete overhaul, with log fires, fluffy carpets, detailed furnishings, warm lighting and comfy chairs.

The colour scheme they’ve gone for is one of my favourites, reminding me of home instantly. I especially loved the patterned mismatched chairs dotted around the pub, which added an eclectic twist to the decor.

It still manages to retain its classic country pub feel but has added modern touches with stylish decor to really make the most of everything they’ve got to offer. Another of the best pubs in Milton Keynes.

READ MORE: The Black Horse at Great Linford

pubs in milton keynes area

5. The Birch at Woburn Sands

Like everything else around Woburn and the surrounding areas, The Birch raises the standard for great food with a relaxed atmosphere. The family-owned pub is in a great location, only a few moments walk from Woburn village, and a ten-minute drive from the centre and one of the best pubs in Milton Keynes..

From the outside on the road, the well-known restaurant looks like any other pub in Buckinghamshire, painted in a duck-egg green with cute flower arrangements dotting the windows sills.

However, step inside and you wander into something like the telephone box from Doctor Who. The front facade looks all very pleasant but as you go inside you are welcomed by a light and airy room, with conservatory ceiling and small outside area in the middle of the pub.

It is a welcomed delight from the dark main bar, where drinkers can be seen enjoying a pint or two. We were seated in the conservatory section the restaurant, where you could find colourful works of art, Venetian blinds and mirrors opening up space. Its made it one of the best pubs in Milton Keynes area.

We spoke to the owner and he told us the back story to the pub and how the pub has been run by the family for over 18 years.

He is proud and vocal when he says they are passionate about sourcing the freshest ingredients from farms and estates throughout the country, cooked by the team of talented and highly qualified chefs. They even get local Venison from Woburn Abbey, where they rear deer throughout the year.

READ MORE: The Birch at Woburn Sands


6. Nonnas at Woburn Sands

An exciting new opportunity to indulge in the very best of Italian and Maltese cuisine. Fronted by the Delicatessen offering freshly baked bread and produce sourced from Italy and Malta.

Additionally, there will be regional dishes cooked on-site by our Italian and Maltese chefs. The kitchen will offer authentic wood-oven baked Pizzas for takeaway or delivery.

These Pizzas will also be available on the restaurant menu with pasta and mouth-watering daily specials.

I have not actually been to Nonnas yet myself but I am going next month and I will update this section of my list then! In the mean check out my friend’s recent review of their amazing Sunday roast! Nonnas is one of the best restaurants in Milton Keynes!


7. The Wavendon Arms at Wavendon

The Wavendon Arms is located in the picturesque town of Wavendon and is a pub, bar, and restaurant with its very own courtyard and garden, centrally located in the heart of Buckinghamshire.

I was lucky enough to be invited to visit The Wavendon Arms a few days after it opened to the public with my friends and I was thrilled with what we uncovered at The Wavendon Arms.

The chefs here have trained at cookery schools in Spain and Italy, meaning the menus and dishes are modern signature recipes made using the finest available ingredients, as well as a daily-changing specials menu.

The Wavendon Arms is the perfect place to gather your friends or get the family together and join them on a Sunday afternoon, to enjoy an avocado brunch or an indulgent Sunday roast.

And their roasts are not to be missed, with an array of options and sides, including perfectly-plump Yorkshire puddings, fluffy goose-fat-roasted potatoes and fresh seasonal veg.

The team have been hard at work to create show-stopping food & drinks menus that are truly divine, especially when enjoyed against the backdrop of our stunning interiors — there are few places better in Milton Keynes where you can sit back & unwind or kickstart what’s certain to be an amazing night out. One of my favourite pubs in Milton Keynes.

READ MORE: The Wavendon Arms at Wavendon


8. The Wheatsheaf at Bow Brickhill

One of the best pubs near me is The Wheatsheaf. Last month, I headed to The Wheatsheaf in Bow Brickhill, near Milton Keynes. Now under new management after substantial refurbishment, the Wheatsheaf at Bow Brickhill reopened its doors on April 27th to excited local people.

Situated in the small village of Bow Brickhill on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, The Wheatsheaf is perfect for getting away from the hustle and bustle.

The pub is focussed around being a pub & grill, offering great food, including prime reared steaks and fresh daily caught British fish.

They also love going local and have a large selection of locally sourced Beer and Ales courtesy of Hornes Brewery and the Leighton Buzzard Brewery Company.

Their Head Chef Lewis updates the menu continually, making sure that the menu is varied and exciting. They source their meat to ensure every steak has quality flavours, and they get their fish from supplier, Stickleback, who makes daily deliveries to The Wheatsheaf Pub & Grill. A lovely pub in Milton Keynes.


9. The George Inn at Maulden

One of my favourite things to do is eat! I love food, and I love spending time with friends and family when doing so. I often eat out in London, but this month I decided to head to a local pub just outside of Milton Keynes called The George Inn in Maulden to try out their Festive Menu with Theo.

Last month on a wet Friday evening, after a long week at work we headed over to Maulden to check out The George Inn, which had been highly recommending to us by many friends.

We love going out for dinner on a Friday evening, as it’s such a great way to slow down and talk about the week just gone.

The George Inn is a 16th-century pub in the Bedfordshire countryside that has been lovingly restored and offers restaurant-goers a modern menu with fresh and unpretentious dishes made fresh by their chefs.
You can expect to find dishes such as Honeyed Beer Battered Haddock & Chips and Roasted Butternut Squash & Avocado Salad, Classic Hearty Burger and of course their famous Sunday Roasts and delicious breakfasts served every weekend.

The George Inn Maulden is also home to a private dining and meeting space with 7 boutique-style hotel rooms and a walled outside courtyard and covered area. 

We loved the atmosphere, it was busy, with Christmas parties and they even have an outside area at the back of the pub during the festive season, with open fires, a bar and live music at the weekends.

READ MORE: The George Inn at Maulden

pubs in milton keynes area

10. French Affaire

OK, not a pub, but one of the best restaurants near me is French Affaire in Stony Stratford. I headed to the newly opened bistro café and restaurant French Affaire in Stony Stratford for pancakes and a giggle! French Affaire is an intimate French-inspired restaurant based just off the high street in the quaint Odell’s Yard.

Located just behind the High Street in the quaint town of Stony Stratford, French Affaire is well placed with its surroundings, but also delivers the town with a unique and fun place for Milton Keynes residents to brunch, lunch and dine.

The French-inspired restaurant has been open since late 2018, and they already have a name for themselves, as ‘the place’ to have brunch on a Sunday. When we heard they were also doing pancakes, the girls and I jumped at the chance to head to French Affaire ourselves to try their famous delicacies.

They wanted to offer a ‘home-like’ welcoming place where people can come in for a coffee, or enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch and even a romantic dinner or night out with friends.

They discovered the stunning glass-front building nestled off of the bustling high street was perfect for French Affaire. 

READ MORE: Pancakes at French Affaire

11. Brewhouse & Kitchen – Milton Keynes

12. The Cock Inn

13. The Kingfisher Newport Pagnell

14. The Warbler On The Wharf

15. The Dolphin

16. Craft & Skewers – Newport Pagnell

17. BrewDog Milton Keynes

18. The Old School House

19. H Beauty Champagne Bar

20. Bucks Star Brewery Tap House

21. Midsummer Tap Milton Keynes


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Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! 

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Sophie X

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  • Lynn
    01/13/2020 at 12:10

    Daventry is known as the town of roundabouts. Fitting!

  • Lauren
    01/15/2020 at 07:01

    These pubs all seem so fancy! Think I need to arrange a road trip up to Milton Keynes asap