Mix royal heritage and shopping sprees in Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes

Enjoy a visit to the surprising new town of Milton Keynes for shopping parks, indoor ski slopes and those famous concrete cow statues.

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It’s easy to navigate around this Buckinghamshire town with its grid-pattern, American-style road layout. Stroll along the town’s central artery, Midsummer Boulevard, from the retail areas with shopping centres like to The Hub with its al fresco cafés and restaurants. Milton Keynes also has a plethora of green spaces, like leafy Campbell Park and Ouzel Valley Park. Easy day trips to other English gems include Oxford, just 50 miles away, with its soaring university spires.

Don’t miss

Experience a slice of the African Savannah and mingle with big game such as lions, tigers and elephants at Woburn Safari Park, 10 miles southeast of Milton Keynes. Budding spies can crack World War II codes at Bletchley Park, once home to the famous Enigma codebreakers also just south of the town centre. Towering 13-metre climbing walls and 170-metre real snow slope keep all ages amused at Xscape located in the centre of Milton Keynes, and petrol heads can get into pole position for the high-octane F1 and ‘superbike’ races at Silverstone grand prix circuit – nicknamed ‘the home of British racing’ – just half an hour away.

Great for families

At Gulliver’s Land theme park, families can drive around a miniature Lilliput Land on moon buggies and play pirates on The Buccaneer ship ride. You can swing from trees at the Aerial Extreme high ropes course, which gets you five metres up in the air, or try your hand at wakeboarding at Willen Lake with WakeMK

Go shopping

Bag international brands from Kurt Geiger to Swarovski in the huge, glass-fronted city centre mall, thecentre:mk while intu Milton Keynes next door is packed with high street fashion favourites such as Superdry, Hollister and Zara. Next to stadiummk is the MK1 Shopping Park so you can indulge in some retail therapy before or after the rugby match.

Explore the area

Less than 30 miles north of Milton Keynes is Althorp stately home, Princess Diana’s former family residence. Follow her life in the five-gallery exhibition, which includes school reports and that famous wedding dress. Also in easy reach of Milton Keynes are the Capability Brown Gardens and Georgian monuments of Stowe Gardens.

Get active

Experience the thrill of sky-diving without the long drop from an airplane in the indoor vertical wind tunnel at Airkix, and there’s watersports a plenty – such as power-boating and kayaking – surrounded by a peaceful nature reserve at 100-acre Willen Lake. To experience Land Rover’s legendary all-terrain expertise in safe, thrilling and true-to-life driving adventures you can visit Land Rover Experience Gaydon.

Did you know?

Milton Keynes has more bridges than Venice when you add up its many grid road bridges.

Where to stay

Budget: YHA Milton Keynes  
Moderate: Jurys Inn Milton Keynes    
Luxury: Whittlebury Hall    
Accessible: Travelodge Milton Keynes Central   

Where to eat

Budget: Nandos  
Moderate: Turtle Bay  
Luxury: Paris House  
Accessible: Brasserie Blanc 

Getting there and around

Air: the nearest major airport is London Luton Airport, a 35-minute drive away. Regular coaches take you to Milton Keynes Central railway station.

Rail: Milton Keynes Central Station is 30 minutes from London Euston Station.

Road: Milton Keynes is on junction 13 or 14 of the M1.

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