It’s not all about concrete cows and roundabouts

I went in search for an alternative to Saturday morning football for my son in Milton Keynes. What I discovered was an overwhelming choice and variety of ‘activities’, right on our doorstep in Milton Keynes. And not just for children — walking, cycling, running, but also skiing, rock climbing, sailing, rowing, hockey and rugby to name a few.

As a family we had considered joining one of the many gyms we have in Milton Keynes, but I wanted to look at alternatives — clubs and activities that were outside taking advantage of our envied ‘green spaces’ in Milton Keynes.

So, what has Milton Keynes to offer, apart from the (in)famous roundabouts and concrete cows?

As I share a 50th birth-year with Milton Keynes, I wanted to find out what makes the town (yes, it’s still a town we haven’t reached City status yet) such a popular place to live, attracting such a “young and diverse population”. It’s Britain’s fastest growing urban centre outside London with a population of over 250,000 people, and half of them under 35 years old.


The original plan was inspired by the garden cities in Hertfordshire and covered 34 square miles of countryside in North Bucks. Milton Keynes was to be the “city in the forest”. But planners also had in mind the dominance of the car — the ‘green spaces’ were to be even more important to the town’s success.

Did you know — Midsummer Boulevard in the centre of Milton Keynes is laid out to ensure the rising sun shines straight down it at midsummer, similar to Stonehenge.

Milton Keynes is now considered an “urban eden” with 22 million trees and shrubs and 5,000 acres of extensive parks, lakes and rivers. It has 186 miles of ‘redways’ designed for walking and cycling. And thanks to its well-planned roads, traffic jams are rare and you can usually travel from end-to-end in 10 mins. Pretty sure you couldn’t say that about many other towns.

Willen Lake

Sail, row, climb, fish, run, cycle or walk, it’s all there to be discovered…

  • Need motivation? Join one of a number of boot camps that operate in and around Milton Keynes. Or maybe the Redway Runners who hold beginners courses. And Parkrun every Saturday morning at Willen Lake.
  • Not really into running and jumping? What about walking? The Parks Trust have devised “50 walks for MK50”, a 25 mile route through the parkland of Milton Keynes in a day. Don’t feel daunted, you can split the route over several days if you prefer #mk25milewalk.
  • Boats maybe? Dragon Boat Festival is coming to Willen Lake on 25 June
  • Walk and raise money for Willen Hospice at the same time with the MKMidnightMoo on 15 July.
  • The Canal & River Trust have put together a “50 things to do” based around the Grand Union Canal and River Ouzel, in celebration of its 50th birthday, which you can download.

…and so much more planned for 2017, find out more details at Destination Milton Keynes


So, from its acres of parkland, rivers, lakes and ancient woodland, the River Ouzel as well as the Grand Union canal which cuts through the middle of the town, find out what is out there — with the help of Get Active in Milton Keynes! Start spreading the word on the amazing benefits of a 50 year old. Let MK50 inspire you this summer, but more importantly get out, Get Active and see what the town has to offer. I look forward to hearing and seeing what you do to!

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