One of the largest towns in England’s southeast, Milton Keynes is a purpose-built settlement that’s home to great community facilities, abundant green spaces and (famously) concrete cows. In this article, discover some of the top tourist attractions in Milton Keynes and the surrounding area to help plan your next adventure.
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Not only does the town offer plenty of things to do but some great accommodation options. At Rentola UK, you’ll find a diverse range of listings in Milton Keynes, including central apartments and spacious houses in the leafy suburbs. With the town’s extensive network of walking and cycling trails, you are never too far from all the action.
Explore the top tourist attractions in Milton Keynes
During World War II, this beautiful country estate became a critical hub for Allied code-breaking. It was originally constructed in the late 19th century for Sir Herbert Leon and elegantly combines Gothic, Tudor and Baroque architectural styles. Today, it is open to the public as a fascinating museum that details the role of the Government Code and Cypher School. While browsing its interpretive exhibits, learn about the talents of Alan Turing and other codebreakers in deciphering the Enigma machine, which was being used to protect Nazi military communications.
National Museum of Computing
Housed within Block H of Bletchley Estate is the National Museum of Computing, which illustrates the ever-evolving history of computers. It includes a rebuilt Colossus computer that was located at the site during World War II, as well as a replica Bombe used by British cryptologists. Other highlights of the museum include the world’s oldest working digital computer and a collection of electronic calculators, as well as plenty of hands-on machines. Not to miss is the gallery dedicated to the development of the Internet and how it has changed our lives forever.
Milton Keynes Museum
Occupying a Victorian farmstead is the Milton Keynes Museum, which explores the history of the local area. In addition to agricultural and everyday household objects illustrating rural life in the region, it details the development of Milton Keynes as the UK’s newest city in the 1960s. Get up close to railway memorabilia from Wolverton and historic telephones, some of which are still in working order. The Milton Keynes Museum is particularly famed for its concrete cows, which were constructed at the Stacey Hill Farm in 1978.
Sprawling to the east of Milton Keynes is Willen Lake, which is a vital recreational area for the local community. It’s home to waterfront walking trails and dedicated bike paths that connect south to Ouzel Valley Park. While the northern end is more tranquil and relaxed, the southern end is a hive of activity, with a variety of water sports on offer. You can challenge yourself on the high ropes course and take advantage of the outdoor exercise equipment while the kids run loose in the children’s playground. Don’t miss the Milton Keynes Peace Pagoda or the Circle of Hearts Medicine Wheel.
Part way between Milton Keynes and Luton is Woburn Abbey, a large country estate that was once home to the Duke of Bedford. It was originally established in the 12th century as a Cistercian abbey and is now a popular visitor attraction due to its extensive art collection and stunning gardens. Join a guided tour to explore its opulently furnished rooms where works by Thomas Gainsborough and Canaletto are on display. In the surrounding parkland, you can stroll to Camellia House Lake while spotting some of the 10 deer species that roam free.
Woburn Safari Park
Combine your visit to Woburn Abbey with a stop at the Woburn Safari Park, which is home to around 1,000 animals from all corners of the globe. On a self-drive safari, you can observe Rothschild’s giraffes, Asian elephants and North American black bears, as well as lions, tigers and bison. During a “Foot Safari”, there’s the opportunity for up-close encounters with meerkats, otters and lemurs, not to mention African crested porcupines. Keeper-led talks are held throughout the day and highlight species such as capybaras, red pandas and Humboldt penguins.
Comprising two adjacent shopping malls, this bustling retail hub originally opened in 1979 as the “Shopping Building”. It’s home to Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Waterstones, as well as Primark, Next and Sports Direct. Once you’ve built up an appetite, you can feast on hamburgers at Five Guys or Chinese cuisine at Panda Woo before relaxing over cake and coffee at Cafe W. Adjacent to the shopping mall is an outdoor bazaar with more than 200 stalls, plus an entertainment complex with a cinema, a bowling alley and an indoor skydiving facility.
A modern hub on London’s doorstep
Since it was established in the 1960s, Milton Keynes has grown to become one of the UK’s most economically productive localities. Aside from its diverse attractions, its energised atmosphere and thriving culture contribute to it being such a great place to visit, without having to travel too far from London.
Which of these top attractions in Milton Keynes have you visited, or do you have other favourite spots in the area not mentioned here?
*Disclosure: Collaborative Post
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