I haven’t talked much about where I live recently after moving from Cambridge to Milton Keynes last year. But it is about time I did, and with LoveMK Day setting the city alight today I thought there was no better time!
Milton Keynes is a town which everyone knows about but no one really has opinion on. It is often associated as ’roundabout city’ or the ‘new town’ because of its relatively new representation and growth over the last 50 years. The town is also often referred to as a city because of its size at 89 km2 (34 sq mi), incorporating the existing towns of Bletchley, Wolverton, and Stony Stratford, along with another fifteen villages and farmland in between.
It is a place I also visited as a child and as a teenager I came shopping here on the train from Northampton. Now I live here! After moving from Cambridge last year, I opted for Milton Keynes both due to work and because of family links for both me and Theo.
I love living in Milton Keynes, it is a great place with lots going on, a million and one shops and activities to keep you going till Christmas. You’ll never be short of something to do in Milton Keynes; it offers some of the most exciting activities and some of the best entertainment experiences in the UK.
Here are my top things to do in Milton Keynes:
This has got to be one of MK’s biggest draw and brings in thousands, possibly millions of people each year. It is the ski and snowboard centre with lessons for newbies, slope passes for the confident and freestyle evenings for those with balls. There is also fun for the family with a sledging area!
Choose from a wonderful range of activities at Xscape, including skydiving, skiing and climbing, as well as galleries, nightlife, and a casino. With an abundance of shops and dining options, it’s ideal for a day out with family or friends.
3. Go Rock Climbing
One of two climbing centres in the UK, Big Rock Climbing Centre offers an incredible indoor climbing experience. Boasting the best-in-the-country expertise and facilities, with climbing walls from a kids bouldering area to roped courses 11 metres high, the Big Rock Climbing Centre provides fun for the whole family.
4. Have a drink on me!
The Hub is a great place to spend the night too and with three major hotels nearby you really can. There’s an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars here and it’s worth checking out.
5. Go to the Theatre
A world-class theatre designed and built specifically for the people of Milton Keynes, the Milton Keynes Theatre auditorium can adapt to a wide and varied range of theatrical or musical productions. Here you’ll find everything from intimate dramas to booming musicals onstage.
6. Go to the races
If you prefer your excitement to run on four legs, Towcester Racecourse offers traditional horse and greyhound racing – as it has since 1876. A day at this picturesque racecourse for any regular race is exciting enough, but be sure to check their website for seasonal events like the Beer Festival.
7. Shops galore!
Whilst MK1 Shopping Centre doesn’t boast the most comprehensive list of shops they certainly have some of the biggest outlets. The list includes H&M, M&S, New Look, Next, Outfit/BHS, Primark and River Island. Basically if you’re looking for clothes…look here.
8. Family fun at Gullivers Land
Gullivers Land is one of the only theme parks in the UK that caters specially to the younger members of your family. That doesn’t mean everyone else will be bored – with 10 stage and theatre shows and new attractions added every year, everyone will be happy with this day out.
9. Bouncey bounce
Bounce is the first Indoor Trampoline Park centre in the UK! With over 22,000 square feet of interconnected indoor trampolines, including a foam pit, dodgeball court, basketball zone, cafe and more. Bounce is suitable for ages 3 and above and all levels of fitness.
10. Watch the racetrack
Every road runner will have a pick of options between Silverstone, Santa Pod Raceway, and even Rockingham Speedway – all top-notch racecourses for witnessing or experiencing everything from drag racing to the fastest formula one races. It only makes sense: Red Bull’s formula one racecars are built and developed in Milton Keynes with the most futuristic technology.
11. Music to your ears
Of all the things to do in Milton Keynes The Stables is a favourite. Check them out for some fantastic music and sets. Some pretty big names in music of most genres and probably some of the best comedy sets outside of London.
12. Go the extra mile, literally!
In the towns and villages around Milton Keynes there is also plenty of shopping to be had if you’re willing to go the extra mile. Worthy of a mention is our very own town of Olney and Newport Pagnell, Woburn, Stony Stratford and Wolverton. These towns all have farmers markets each month and a range of boutique shops.
13. Break the code
Bletchley Park was the central site for Britain’s codebreakers during World War Two. Run by the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), it regularly penetrated the secret communications of the Axis Powers – most importantly the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers. The official historian of World War II British Intelligence has written that the “Ultra” intelligence produced at Bletchley shortened the war by two to four years, and that without it the outcome of the war would have been uncertain.