There are plenty of things to do in Milton Keynes, one of the largest towns in the South East of England. Best known for its roundabouts and concrete cows, the vibrant town is characterised by plenty of green space like the Buckinghamshire countryside that came before it. 

    Milton Keynes is crisscrossed by redways, or a network of pedestrian and cycling paths. Add a generous helping of museums, cafés, shops and restaurants, a theatre, a concert hall and even a ski slope, and you have a town that’s proud of its heritage and happy to welcome you to join in the fun. 

    What are the best things to do in Milton Keynes?


    Bletchley Park

    Crack WWII codes and discover how intelligence helped the Allied cause

    • History
    • Photo

    Bletchley Park is an English country estate best known for housing the Government Code and Cipher School in WWII. Throughout the war, British Intelligence teams were based at the park, then known as Station X. They worked tirelessly to decrypt German communications, most famously the Enigma Code. Their efforts probably shortened the war by at least a couple of years and certainly aided the Allied victory.

    Bletchley Park is now a museum and heritage attraction. The information that visitors can browse was classified until the 1970s. Today, its interpretative exhibits offer a fascinating insight into the lives and work of those working for the British Intelligence agencies in the 1940s.

    Location: The Mansion, Bletchley Park, Sherwood Dr, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK3 6EB, UK

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1908 640404


    The National Museum of Computing

    Know your mainframes from your microchips

    • History
    • Photo

    The National Museum of Computing on the Bletchley estate has the world’s largest collection of working computers. Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman devised and refined the Bombe and Colossus as part of code-breaking efforts during WWII. These working reconstructions and other important computers are on display in Block H.

    The museum traces the history of tech from the days when computers filled a room to the handheld devices we now take for granted. There are exhibits about the development of programming and software, a nostalgic look back at computer games over the last few decades, and an airport simulator to train air traffic controllers.

    Location: Block H, Bletchley Park, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK3 6EB, UK

    Open: Daily from 10.30 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1908 374708


    Milton Keynes Museum

    Visit the iconic concrete cows

    • History
    • Photo
    • Unusual

    Milton Keynes Museum began in 1973 as the Stacey Hill Museum, a collection of farm and factory items set to be lost as Milton Keynes became UK’s newest city. The city’s development swallowed up existing towns and villages as well as much farmland. The collection expanded to incorporate exhibits on local and social history and is a popular local attraction.

    The concrete cows that became Milton Keynes’ mascot were made at Stacey Hill Farm in 1978. They’ve since become a ‘love ‘em or hate ‘em’ work of art. They’ve been modified several times throughout their lifetime – worn pyjama bottoms, acquired cow pats, turned pink, become zebras and they’ve even been kidnapped. The ones you’ll see in Bancroft Park are replicas – the originals reside at the Milton Keynes Museum.

    Location: McConnell Drive, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5EL, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1908 316222


    photo by Milton Keynes Museum (CC BY 2.0) modified



    Go skiing or try indoor skydiving

    • Families
    • Adventure

    Xscape is where you can get the adrenaline flowing in Milton Keynes. England might not have any ski resorts but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your snow fix. The Snozone has a real snow slope that recreates an authentic alpine experience. Whether you’re a beginner or have years of experience, strap on your skis or your snowboard and have some fun. Unlike the real thing, the snow’s a given, regardless of weather conditions.

    If you’ve ever wanted to try skydiving without the expense of booking a specialist flight, the folks at iFly can help. Experience the sensation of freefall and learn some pro skydiving tips just a few feet off the ground.

    Location: 602 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes MK9 3XS, UK

    Open: Daily from 6.30 am to 11.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1908 357025


    The Centre:mk

    Call in at Milton Keynes market in front of the mall

    • Shoppers

    The Centre:mk is Milton Keynes’ flagship shopping mall. It's anchored by High Street goliaths John Lewis and Marks & Spencer, with outlets by just about all the big brands. Other popular retailers include Next, The White Company, Waterstones and Oliver Bonas.

    You can find a selection of onsite eateries and cafés, including Costa Coffee and Nando’s. Outside the mall, you’ll find the Milton Keynes Market, an outdoor bazaar set up in 1979. Over 200 stalls offer the opportunity for savvy buyers to pick up a bargain.

    Location: 24, Silbury Arcade, Milton Keynes MK9 3ES, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9.30 am to 8 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1908 678641


    photo by Lewis Clarke (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Willen Lake

    Enjoy water sports or cycle to Furzton Lake along dedicated bike paths

    • Families
    • Photo
    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Willen Lake is a fine example of one of Milton Keynes’ biggest strengths – its plethora of green spaces. A quarter of the town is parkland or forest, with Splash 'n' Play and Treetop Extreme among the many businesses based here. On the lake, learn to wakeboard or try other water sports such as water skiing, surfing, kiteboarding, sailing and boating.

    An easy bike ride away via the town’s traffic-free redways is Furzton Lakes. Many come here to fish or picnic, while others are drawn by the artwork here. Notable landmarks include the striking Triple Star Head by Paul Neagu and the weathered wooden Silhouetted Portals by Wendy Hitchings.

    Location: V10 Brickhill St, Milton Keynes MK15 0DS, UK


    Woburn Abbey

    Appreciate the art and gardens

    • History
    • Photo

    Woburn Abbey is the family seat of the Duke of Bedford. This imposing country home estate began life in 1145 as a Cistercian Abbey. It became a Palladian mansion after Henry VIII gave it to John Russell, Earl of Bedford, 4 centuries later. The abbey was demolished but the name was retained.

    Today, the landscaped gardens and adjacent deer park, established before 1661, form a popular visitor attraction in Woburn Abbey. The Duke’s extensive art collection, including works by Gainsborough, Holbein and Canaletto, is also a major drawcard. In the grounds, the Sculpture Gallery overlooks the serene Camellia House Lake. The exquisite space can be hired for private functions.

    Location: Milton Keynes, Woburn MK17 9WA, UK

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1525 290333


    Woburn Safari Park

    View exotic wildlife from the confines of your car

    • Families
    • Photo
    • Adventure

    Woburn Safari Park is home to around 1,000 animals, is one of Britain’s premier wildlife parks. Here, you can see a pride of lions, Rothschild’s giraffes, Amur tigers, southern white rhinos, North American black bears, and a herd of Asian elephants. 

    A road safari circuit from the comfort of your vehicle can take as little as an hour, but you’ll be keen to make multiple loops to see more of the animals. You can view smaller mammals and birds on a foot safari. Memorable VIP experiences, such as Big Cat Breakfast and Giraffe Encounter, get you up close to some of the park’s most magnificent creatures.

    Location: Crawley Rd, Woburn, Ridgmont, Bedford MK43 0TU, UK

    Open: Daily from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1525 290407


    Milton Keynes Theatre

    Secure tickets to your favourite type of performance

    • Nightlife
    • Couples

    The Milton Keynes Theatre is a 1,400-seater auditorium with a broad repertoire. This flexible space has hosted numerous touring West End productions, drama productions, operas, ballets, and of course the seasonal pantomimes.

    Not far from Milton Keynes in nearby Wavendon, you’ll find The Stables, founded by actress Cleo Laine, which often stages musicals. At the Milton Keynes Bowl, a former clay pit was reborn as a concert auditorium. Big names such as Take That, Queen, Michael Jackson and David Bowie have all performed here.

    Location: The Centre:mk, 500 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes MK9 3NZ, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)3330 096690


    photo by Edgar Jiménez (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Stony Stratford

    Learn the tale associated with the Cock and Bull pubs

    • Nightlife

    If you’ve ever heard the expression “a cock and bull story”, then a visit to Stony Stratford’s historic pubs is a must. During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, it was a popular stop for mail and passenger coaches as it lies on Watling Street, the old Roman Road linking London to the north. In those days, such travellers were the source of interesting news. They would stay at 2 coaching inns, The Cock and The Bull.

    Each establishment would compete to see who could share the most scurrilous piece of gossip or outlandish titbit of information. Such tales were often embellished and exaggerated; they gave rise to the expression, “a cock and bull story”, meaning something implausible that could be shared as an excuse. Pop in for a drink at the bar and you might just hear one for yourself.

    Location: 72-74 & 64 High St, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes MK11 1AH/1AQ, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1908 567733


    photo by Cnyborg (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    Julia Hammond | Contributing Writer

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