Milton Keynes: Wikis


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Coordinates: 52°02′10″N 0°46′12″W / 52.036°N 0.770°W / 52.036; -0.770

Milton Keynes
Central Milton Keynes skyline.
Milton Keynes is located in Buckinghamshire
Milton Keynes

 Milton Keynes shown within Buckinghamshire
Population 192,250 (2007 estimate)[1]
OS grid reference SP841386
    - London  47.9 miles (77.1 km) 
Unitary authority Milton Keynes
Ceremonial county Buckinghamshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district MK1–15
Dialling code 01908
Police Thames Valley
Fire Buckinghamshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament North East Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes South West
List of places: UK • England • Buckinghamshire

Milton Keynes (pronounced /ˌmɪltən ˈkiːnz/ ( listen), MIL-tən KEENZ), often abbreviated MK, is a large town in Buckinghamshire, in the south east of England, about 45 miles (72 km) north-west of London. It is also the capital of the Borough of Milton Keynes. It was formally designated as a new town on 23 January 1967, with the design brief to become a 'city' in scale.

Its 89 km2 (34 sq mi) area incorporated the existing towns of Bletchley, Wolverton and Stony Stratford along with another fifteen villages and farmland in between. It took its name from the existing village of Milton Keynes, a few miles east of the planned centre.

At the 2001 census the population of the Milton Keynes urban area, including the adjacent Newport Pagnell, was 184,506, and that of the wider borough, which has been a unitary authority independent of Buckinghamshire County Council since 1997, was 207,063 (compared with a population of around 53,000 for the same area in 1961[2]). The Borough’s population is currently estimated to be over 230,000.[3]




Birth of a "New City"

In the 1960s, the Government decided that a further generation of new towns in the South East was needed to relieve housing congestion in London.

Population trend of Borough and Urban Area 1801-2001

Since the 1950s, overspill housing for several London boroughs[4][5][6] had been constructed in Bletchley. Further studies[7][8] in the 1960s identified north Buckinghamshire as a possible site for a large new town, a new city,[9] encompassing the existing towns of Bletchley, Stony Stratford and Wolverton. The New Town (informally, "New City") was to be the biggest yet, with a target population of 250,000,[10] in a 'designated area' of 21,850 acres (34.1 sq mi; 88.4 km2).[11] The name "Milton Keynes" was taken from the existing village of Milton Keynes on the site.[12]

The site was deliberately located equidistant from London, Birmingham, Leicester, Oxford and Cambridge with the intention[13] that it would be self-sustaining and eventually become a major regional centre in its own right. Planning control was taken from elected local authorities and delegated to the Milton Keynes Development Corporation (MKDC).

The Corporation's strongly modernist designs featured regularly in the magazines Architectural Design and the Architects' Journal. MKDC was determined to learn from the mistakes made in the earlier New Towns and revisit the Garden City ideals. They set in place the characteristic grid roads that run between districts and the intensive planting, lakes and parkland that are so evident today. Central Milton Keynes was not intended to be a traditional town centre but a business and shopping district that supplemented the Local Centres in most of the Grid Squares.[12] This non-hierarchical devolved city plan was a departure from the English New Towns tradition and envisaged a wide range of industry and diversity of housing styles and tenures across the city. The largest and almost the last of the British New Towns, Milton Keynes has stood the test of time far better than most, and has proved flexible and adaptable.[14] The radical grid plan was inspired by the work of Californian urban theorist Melvin M. Webber (1921–2006), described by the founding architect of Milton Keynes, Derek Walker, as the "father of the city".[15] Webber thought that telecommunications meant that the old idea of a city as a concentric cluster was out of date and that cities which enabled people to travel around them readily would be the thing of the future achieving "community without propinquity" for residents.[16] With both car ownership and ever more emphasis on e-commerce, his ideas, launched in the 1960s, have proved far-sighted.

The Government wound up MKDC in 1992, transferring control to the Commission for New Towns (CNT) and then finally to English Partnerships, with the planning function returning to local authority control (since 1974 and the Local Government Act 1972, the Milton Keynes Borough Council, which was subsequently made a unitary authority in the 1990s). Since 2004 a Government quango, the Milton Keynes Partnership, has development control powers to accelerate the growth of Milton Keynes.

Along with many other towns and boroughs, Milton Keynes competed for formal city status in the 2000 and 2002 competitions, but was not ultimately successful. Nevertheless, the terms 'city' and 'city centre' are widely used by its citizens, local media and bus services to describe itself, perhaps because the term 'town' is taken to mean one of the constituent towns.

Prior history

The area that was to become Milton Keynes encompassed a landscape that has a rich historic legacy. The area to be developed was largely farmland and undeveloped villages, but with evidence of permanent settlement dating back to the Bronze Age. Before construction began, every area was subject to detailed archaeological investigation: doing so has provided a unique insight into the history of a large sample of the landscape of south-central England. There is evidence of Iron Age, Romano-British, Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Norman, Medieval and Industrial revolution settlements. Collections [3] of oral history covering the 20th century completes a picture that is described in detail at the main History of Milton Keynes article.

When the boundary of Milton Keynes was defined in 1967, some 40,000 people[17] lived in three towns and seven villages in the "designated area" of 21,833 acre (88.4 km²).

Urban design

The concepts that heavily influenced the design of the town are described in detail in article urban planning — see 'cells' under Planning and aesthetics (referring to grid squares).See also article single-use zoning.

Since the radical plan form and large scale of Milton Keynes attracted international attention, early phases of the town include work by celebrated architects, including (Sir) Richard MacCormac, (Lord) Norman Foster, Henning Larsen, Ralph Erskine, John Winter, and Martin Richardson.[18] The Corporation itself attracted talented young architects led by the young and charismatic Derek Walker. Though strongly committed to sleek "Miesian" minimalism inspired by the German/ American architect Mies van der Rohe they also developed a strand of contextualism in advance of the wider adoption of commercial Post-Modernism as an architectural style in the 1980s. In the Miesian tradition were the Pineham Sewage Works, which Derek Walker regarded as his finest achievement, and the Shopping Building designed by Stuart Mosscrop and Christopher Woodward, which the Twentieth Century Society inter alia regards as the finest twentieth century retail building in Britain. The contextual tradition that ran alongside it is best exemplified by the Corporation's infill scheme at Cofferidge Close, Stony Stratford, designed by Wayland Tunley, which carefully inserts into a historic stretch of High Street a modern retail facility, offices and car park. The Development Corporation also led an ambitious Public art programme.

Grid squares

Milton Keynes Development Corporation planned the major road layout according to street hierarchy principles, using a grid pattern of approximately 1 km interval, rather than on the more conventional radial pattern found in older settlements. Major internal roads run between communities, rather than through them: these distributor roads are known locally as grid roads and the spaces between them – the districts – are known as grid squares.[19] Intervals of 1 km were chosen so that people would always be within walking distance of a bus stop. Consequently each grid square is a semi-autonomous community, making a unique collective of 100 clearly identifiable neighbourhoods within the overall urban environment. The grid squares have a variety of development styles, ranging from conventional urban development and industrial parks to original rural and modern urban and pseudo-rural developments. Most grid squares have Local Centres, intended as local retail hubs and most with community facilities as well. Originally intended under the Master Plan to sit alongside the Grid Roads, the Local Centres were mostly in fact built embedded in the communities and some are becoming unviable as a result of this and pressure from the new hypermarkets.[citation needed]

Roads and cycleways

Roundabout junctions were built at intersections because the grid roads were intended to carry large volumes of traffic: this type of junction is efficient at dealing with these volumes. The major roads are dual carriageway, the others are single carriageway. Along one side of each single-carriageway grid road there is a (grassed) reservation to permit dualling or additional transport infrastructure at a later date. The edges of each grid square are landscaped and densely planted, some additionally have berms. The purpose of the berms is to reduce traffic noise for adjacent residents; but traffic noise can be significant at many locations, even some distance from the grid roads.[citation needed] Traffic movements are fast, with relatively little congestion since there are alternative routes to any particular destination. The national speed limit applies on dual carriageway sections of the grid roads (70 mph) and most single carriageway grid roads (60 mph), although some single carriageway speed limits have now been reduced to 40 mph. Consequently the risk to unwary pedestrians and turning traffic is significant, although pedestrians rarely need to cross grid roads at grade, as underpasses exist in several places along each stretch of all of the grid roads. However, the new districts to be added by the expansion plans for Milton Keynes will depart from this model, with less separation and using 'at grade' crossings. Monitoring station data[20] shows that pollution is lower than in other settlements of a similar size. This can be partially attributed to the large number of trees, especially as trees line grid roads in most places.

There is a separate cycleway network (the "redways") that runs through the grid-squares and sometimes runs alongside the grid-road network. This was designed to segregate slow moving cycle and pedestrian traffic from fast moving motor traffic. In practice, it is mainly used for leisure cycling rather than commuting, mainly because the cycle routes include many underpasses beneath the grid-roads and because they take meandering scenic routes rather than straight lines. Despite what appears to be a desirable facility, rates of cycle commuting in Milton Keynes are well below the national average for urban areas. The detailed article includes a critical appraisal.


Two of the towers of the Hub:MK development, completed in 2008. The taller building is 14 stories high.

The original design guidance declared that "no building [be] taller than the tallest tree". However, the Milton Keynes Partnership, in its expansion plans for Milton Keynes, believes that Central Milton Keynes (and elsewhere) needs "landmark buildings" and has lifted the height restriction for the area. As a result, 14-storey buildings have been built in the central business district. Some of the pedestrian underpasses have been closed in order to 'normalise' the streetscape of Central Milton Keynes and the character of the area is set to change under government pressure to increase densities of development. These changes are being opposed by pressure groups such as Urban Eden and the Milton Keynes Forum.

Recent large-scale building includes The Pinnacle MK on Midsummer Boulevard. The Pinnacle is the largest office building to be constructed in Milton Keynes in 25 years. Other developments in the pipeline include a 20-storey tower as part of the West End One development and a casino tower adjacent to the Xscape centre.[21]

Linear parks

Caldecotte Lake, Milton Keynes

The flood plains of the Great Ouse and of its tributaries (the Ouzel and some brooks) have been protected as linear parks that run right through Milton Keynes. The Grand Union Canal is another green route (and demonstrates the level geography of the area — there is just one minor lock in its entire 10 mile route through from Fenny Stratford to the "Iron Trunk" Aqueduct over the Ouse at Wolverton. The Milton Keynes redway system of cycleways and footpaths uses these and other routes. The Park system was designed by landscape architect Peter Youngman, who also developed landscape precepts for the whole town: groups of grid squares were to be planted with different selections of trees and shrubs in order to give them distinct identities. However the landscaping of parks and of the grid roads was evolved under the leadership of Neil Higson, who from 1977 took over as Chief Landscape Architect and made the original grand but not entirely practical landscape plan more subtle. A policy of creating "settings, strings, beads" for landscape features was introduced: 'settings' for historic villages and landscape features, 'strings' of landscape to make the linear parks hang together and 'beads' of public space where residents might linger. Higson also made the landscaping of the Grid Roads, one of the features of Milton Keynes, more subtle, with 'windows' cut into the roadside planting so that motorists travelling through had a sense of the major town they were in; early critics had said of Milton Keynes 'there is no there there', as the town could not be seen by the motorist just passing through. Now that the trees and shrubs have matured, the skill and lavish scale of the Grid Road planting makes a dramatic and welcome change from the monotony of many British towns and cities.[citation needed]

"City in the forest"

The original Development Corporation design concept aimed[15] for a "forest city" and its foresters planted millions of trees from its own nursery in Newlands in the following years. As of 2006, the urban area has 20 million trees. Following the winding up of the Development Corporation the lavish landscapes of the Grid Roads and of the major parks were transferred to The Parks Trust, a charity which is independent from the municipal authority and which was intended to resist pressures to build on the parks over time. The Parks Trust is endowed with a portfolio of commercial properties, the income of which pay for the upkeep of the green spaces, a maintenance model which has attracted international attention.[22]

Further development plans

In January 2004, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott announced[23] the Government's plan to double the population of Milton Keynes by 2026. He appointed English Partnerships to do so, taking planning controls away from Milton Keynes Borough Council and making EP the statutory planning authority. Their proposal for the next phase of expansion moves away from grid squares to large scale, mixed use, higher density development. The more detailed article expands on the details of their proposals. As the first stage in that plan, the Government expanded[24] the boundaries of the designated area, adding large green-field expansion sites to the east and west that are to be developed by 2015.

In June 2004 Milton Keynes Partnership Committee (MKPC), was created by the Government and is a committee of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the national housing and regeneration agency for England. MKPC was created to ensure a co-ordinated approach to planning and delivery of growth and development in the ‘new city’.

The Partnership brings together Milton Keynes Council, HCA, Local Strategic Partnership representatives from the health, community and business sectors and independent representation.The role of MKPC is to co-ordinate and implement the delivery of growth and ensure that homes, infrastructure, jobs and community facilities are provided as part of a joined up approach.

The day-to-day activities of MKPC are carried out by its staff of management, professional and technical experts, known collectively as Milton Keynes Partnership (MKP).


65,000 capacity by the Green Day Bullet in a Bible concert at National Bowl

The open air National Bowl is a 65,000 capacity venue for large scale events.

The 1,400 seat Milton Keynes Theatre opened in 1999. The theatre has an unusual feature: the ceiling can be lowered closing off the third tier (gallery) to create a more intimate space for smaller scale productions. There are further performance spaces in Bletchley, Wolverton, Leadenhall, Shenley Church End, Stantonbury and Walton Hall.

Milton Keynes Gallery, surface by Michael Craig-Martin

The town's public art gallery (Milton Keynes Gallery beside the main theatre) presents free exhibitions of international contemporary art.

In Wavendon, on the southeast edge of the town, The Stables provides a venue for jazz, blues, folk, rock, classical, pop and world music. It is closely associated with jazz artists Cleo Laine and John Dankworth. The venue also hosts an annual summer camp for young musicians.

Another music venue is The Pitz Club in the Woughton Centre, Leadenhall. It usually features a mixture of punk, alternative rock, and heavy metal.

There are two museums, the Bletchley Park museum of wartime cryptography, and the Milton Keynes Museum, which includes the Stacey Hill Collection of rural life that existed before the foundation of the new town.

The town also has a literature scene, with groups like Speakeasy meeting regularly and hosting performance events, and the town's only poetry magazine, Monkey Kettle coming out twice a year. In addition, two performance poetry groups exist in the town — Poetry Kapow!, an offshoot of Monkey Kettle though now independent of the parent organisation, specialising in live, multi-discipline, interactive poetry/ art/ music events, usually featuring slams; and Tongue in Chic, a regular open mic poetry event which features headline poets such as Rachel Pantechnicon and John Hegley. Between them, the two groups supply members of Bardcore, a semi-professional group of 4-6 poets who work collaboratively on performance poetry projects.

Milton Keynes also boasts several choirs — the OU Choir, the Milton Keynes Chorale, the New English Singers, the Cornerstone Choir, Quorum, and others, along with a variety of amateur drama groups, and amateur musical theatre groups.

Milton Keynes Forum is the registered civic society for the town.

Public sculpture

Liz Leyh's iconic "Concrete Cows"

Public sculpture in Milton Keynes[25] includes work by Philip Jackson, Nicolas Moreton, Ronald Rae and Elisabeth Frink.


The Open University's headquarters are based in the Walton Hall district, though as this is a distance learning institution, the only students resident on campus are approximately 200 full-time postgraduates. Cranfield University, another postgraduate school, is located just outside the town, in Cranfield, Bedfordshire. Milton Keynes College provides further education up to foundation degree level, however a Postgraduate Certificate in Education[26] course is available; run in partnership with and accredited by Oxford Brookes University.

In the early-1990s a purpose built polytechnic was opened at Kents Hill in Milton Keynes, opposite the Open University's Walton Hall site. At around the time the existing Polytechnics converted to Universities, "MK Poly" merged with the former Leicester Polytechnic, De Montfort University and the site was rebranded the DMU MK site. However in recent years, DMU closed the MK site and the Open University has expanded to take over the buildings.

Although the town does not yet have its own conventional local university, its founders hope that the new University Centre Milton Keynes will be the seed for a future 'Milton Keynes University'. It is currently the UK's largest population centre without its own university proper.

Like many parts of the UK, the state secondary schools in Milton Keynes are Comprehensive schools, although schools in the rest of Buckinghamshire still use the Tripartite System. Results are above the national average, though below that of the rest of Buckinghamshire – but the demography of Milton Keynes is also far closer to the national average than is the latter.

Communications and media

Milton Keynes has one major commercial radio station, Heart 103.3 (formerly Horizon Radio), part of the Global Radio group of radio stations, which provides local programming for 10 hours a day (4 hours at weekends), with other hours being provided by network programming. The local BBC radio station is BBC Three Counties Radio, which covers Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, but has different programming from the Bow Brickhill transmitter at breakfast. CRMK Online is a voluntary station broadcasting on the Internet.

For television, the area is in the overlap between the Oxford and the Sandy transmitters and so receives BBC South and BBC East, and ITV Central and Anglia. Signal quality is weak in many areas due to distance and "terrain shadow". It was for this reason among others that Milton Keynes has one of the first Cable TV networks in the UK. However, the cable network is now ageing and in need of modernisation to cope with the imminent digital TV switchover due by 2012; many residents have already opted for roof-top aerials and satellite dishes.

Milton Keynes has two free-to-residents local newspapers, the Milton Keynes Citizen, which is twice-weekly in some areas, and the MK News, a weekly.

Parts of Milton Keynes have poor or no broadband internet access.[27][28] Possibly to counter this (at least in part), BT Openreach announced on 1 October 2009 [29][30] that they plan to trial fibre to the premises (FTTP) in the central area of Milton Keynes,[31] one of only two places in the UK to get such a trial, with the first connections available from mid-2010.


The Milton Keynes Xscape seen from across Secklow Gate
The East Stand of the new stadium:mk

Milton Keynes has professional teams in football (Milton Keynes Dons F.C.), ice hockey (Milton Keynes Lightning), and in basketball (Milton Keynes Lions), and the Formula One motor-racing team (Red Bull Racing) is based in the town. It is represented at amateur level in many sports, some at national level. For details see Sport in Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes is also home to the Xscape indoor ski slope.

Senior football was a relatively late arrival in Milton Keynes. There had been several non-league teams based in the area over the years, but it wasn't until the late 1990s that it looked as though Milton Keynes would have a senior side. Local Businessman Pete Winkelman approached several clubs in and near London about a move to Milton Keynes. He got his wish in May 2002 when Wimbledon FC were given permission to relocate to Milton Keynes — 62 miles away from their home borough of Merton. Wimbledon moved into the National Hockey Stadium in September 2003 as a temporary home until a new, larger stadium could be built. A year later, Wimbledon FC became Milton Keynes Dons, and three years after that they moved into a new 22,000-seat stadium:mk in the Denbigh district of south Milton Keynes.

In December 2009, the English FA awarded 'Candidate Host City' status to Milton Keynes, as part of the English 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bid. If England should win the bid, stadium:MK will host some games. For this to happen, the stadium capacity will need to be increased to 44,000


The Point in CMK

As a key element of the New Town vision, Milton Keynes has a purpose built centre, with a very large "covered high street" shopping centre, theatre, art gallery, two multiplex cinemas, hotels, business district, ecumenical church, Borough Council offices and central railway station.

Other amenities

Part of the Blue Lagoon

Original towns and villages

During World War II, British, Polish and American cryptographers at Bletchley Park broke a large number of Axis codes and ciphers, including the German Enigma machine.
The 1815 windmill near New Bradwell village, beside the playing fields
Stony Stratford high street in festive mood
The Peace Pagoda

The remainder of the designated area outside the four main towns (Bletchley, Newport Pagnell, Stony Stratford, Wolverton) was largely rural farmland but included many picturesque North Buckinghamshire villages and hamlets: Bradwell village and its Abbey, Broughton, Caldecotte, Fenny Stratford, Great Linford, Loughton, Milton Keynes Village, New Bradwell, Shenley Brook End, Shenley Church End, Simpson, Stantonbury, Tattenhoe, Tongwell, Walton, Water Eaton, Wavendon, Willen, Great and Little Woolstone, Woughton on the Green. The historical settlements have been focal points for the modern development of the new town. Every grid square has historical antecedents, if only in the field names. The more obvious ones are listed below and most have more detailed articles.

Bletchley was first recorded in the 12th century as Blechelai. Its station was a major Victorian junction (the London and North Western Railway with the Oxford-Cambridge Varsity Line), leading to the substantial urban growth in the town in that period. It expanded to absorb the villages of Water Eaton and Fenny Stratford.

Bletchley Park was home to the Government Code and Cypher School during the Second World War. The famous Enigma code was cracked here, and the building housed what was arguably the world's first programmable computer, Colossus. The house is now a museum of war memorabilia, cryptography and computing.

The Benedictine Priory of Bradwell Abbey at Bradwell was of major economic importance in this area of north Buckinghamshire before the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The routes of the medieval trackways (many of which are now Redways or bridleways) converge on the site from some distance. Nowadays there is only a small medieval chapel and a manor house occupying the site.

New Bradwell, to the north of the medieval Bradwell (Abbey) and just across the canal and the railway to the east of Wolverton, was built specifically for railway workers. It has a working windmill. The level bed of the old Wolverton to Newport Pagnell Line ends here and has been converted to a Redway, making it a favourite route for cycling.

Great Linford appears in the Domesday Book as Linforde, and features a church dedicated to Saint Andrew, dating from 1215. Today, the outer buildings of the 17th century manor house form an Arts Centre, and Linford Manor is a prestigious recording studio.

Milton Keynes Village is the original village to which the New Town owes its name. The original village is still evident, with a pleasant thatched pub, village hall, church and traditional housing. The area around the village has reverted to its original name of Middleton, as shown on old maps of the 1700s. The oldest[34] surviving domestic building in the area, a 14th century manor house, is here.

There has been a market in Stony Stratford since 1194 (by charter of King Richard I). The Rose and Crown Inn at Stratford is reputedly the last place the Princes in the Tower were seen alive.

The manor house of Walton village, Walton Hall, is the headquarters of the Open University and the tiny parish church (deconsecrated) is in its grounds.

The tiny Parish Church (1680) at Willen contains the only unaltered building by the architect and physicist Robert Hooke. Nearby, there is a Buddhist Temple and a Peace Pagoda. The district borders the River Ouzel: there is a large balancing lake here, to capture flash floods before they cause problems downstream on the River Great Ouse. The north basin is a wildlife sanctuary and a favourite of migrating aquatic birds. The south basin is for leisure use, favoured by wind surfers and dinghy sailors. The circuit of the lakes is a favoured "fun run".

The original Wolverton was a medieval settlement just north and west of today's town. The Ridge and Furrow pattern of agriculture can still be seen in the nearby fields and the Saxon (rebuilt in 1819) Church of the Holy Trinity still stands next to the Norman Motte and Bailey site. Modern Wolverton was a 19th century New Town built to house the workers at the Wolverton railway works (which built engines and carriages for the London and North Western Railway).

Economy, demographics, geography and politics

Data on the economy, demographics and politics of Milton Keynes are collected at the Borough level and are detailed at Economy of the Borough and Demographics of the Borough. However, since the urban area is predominant in the Borough, it is reasonable to assume that, other than for agriculture, the figures are broadly the same. For the borough as a whole, the service sector (including energy and construction) is the largest, followed by manufacturing (which includes hunting and forestry).

Milton Keynes is one of the more successful (per capita) economies in the South East, itself the economic powerhouse of the United Kingdom, with a gross value added per capita index that was 47% higher than the national average (2005 data).[35] Service industries dominate the economy, making it susceptible to economic downturn.

The population is significantly younger than the national averages. According to 2005 estimates, the ethnic makeup of the Borough is 88.0% White, 4.7% South Asian, 3.5% Black, 2.1% Mixed Race, 1.7% Chinese or other.[36]

Modern parishes and districts

The Borough of Milton Keynes is fully parished. These are the parishes, and the districts they contain, within Milton Keynes itself. For a list of parishes in the Borough, see Borough of Milton Keynes (Rest of the borough)

Closest cities, towns and villages

Notable people


the Grand Union Canal passes over Grafton Street at Bradwell via the modern Bradwell Aqueduct

The Grand Union Canal between London and Birmingham provides a major axis in the design of Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes is served by five railway stations, with a sixth just outside the town. Wolverton, Milton Keynes Central and Bletchley stations are on the West Coast Main Line, whilst Fenny Stratford and Bow Brickhill are on the Marston Vale Line. Woburn Sands railway station is just outside the urban area in the small town of Woburn Sands, and is still within the Borough of Milton Keynes.

The M1 motorway runs to the east of the town, and is served by junctions 13, 14, and 15A. The A5 road runs through the west of the town. Other main roads include the A509, which links Milton Keynes with Wellingborough and Kettering, and the A421 which goes west to Buckingham and east to Bedford.

Many coaches stop at the Milton Keynes coachway, normally beside M1 Junction 14, near a park and ride car park, about 3 miles (5 km) from the centre (3.5 miles from Milton Keynes Central station). At present, the original Coachway site is being renovated. Meanwhile, there is a temporary station on Silbury Boulevard, opposite the Cricket Pavilion. The project is expected to be completed during Spring 2010.

The main bus operator is MK Metro, providing a number of routes which mainly pass through or serve Central Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes is also served by Arriva (who own MK Metro but run Arriva-branded services from Aylesbury) and Stagecoach Group who operate routes to Oxford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

Milton Keynes is served by routes 6 and 51 on the National Cycle Network.

The nearest international airport is London Luton Airport which is accessible by route VT99 from MK Central station, this service runs with wheelchair accessible coaches. There is a direct rail connection to Birmingham International Airport. There is an aerodrome at Cranfield, 6 miles (10 km) from the centre.

Twin towns

Flag of Germany.svg Bernkastel-Kues, Germany[37]

See also


  1. ^ Milton Keynes Population Bulletin 2008/09, Milton Keynes Council, p. 2,, retrieved 2009-08-31 
  2. ^ Vision of Britain: historic census populations for modern Milton Keynes UA Accessed 11 October 2006
  3. ^ - pg. 5. Accessed 31-08-2009
  4. ^ [1] Accessed 10 October 2006
  5. ^ [2] Accessed 10 October 2006
  6. ^ Need for more planned towns in the South-East.The Times. December 2, 1964 Accessed 2006-09-21
  7. ^ South East Study 1961-1981 HMSO 1964, cited in The Plan for Milton Keynes. Accessed 25 September 2006
  8. ^ Urgent action to meet London housing needs. The Times, February 4, 1965. Accessed 2006-09-21
  9. ^ Volume 1 of The Plan for Milton Keynes (Milton Keynes Development Corporation March, 1970 ISBN 0-903379-00-7 begins (in the Foreword by Lord ("Jock") Campbell of Eskan): "This plan for building the new city of Milton Keynes ..." (page xi) Accessed 25 September 2006
  10. ^ Area of New Town Increased by 6000 acres (24 km²). The Times. 14 January 1966. Accessed 21 September 2006
  11. ^ "MK Council General Statistics.". Milton Keynes Council. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  12. ^ a b Llewelyn-David et al. The Plan for Milton Keynes 1968. Accessed 2007-01-11
  13. ^ The South East Study 1961-1981 HMSO London, 1964: "A big change in the economic balance within the south east is needed to modify the dominance of London and to get a more even distribution of growth". Accessed 2006-11-27
  14. ^ Jeff Bishop Milton Keynes – the Best of Both Worlds? Public and professional views of a new city. University of Bristol School for Advanced Urban Studies 1981. Accessed 2007-02-13
  15. ^ a b Walker The Architecture and Planning of Milton Keynes, Architectural Press, London 1981. Accessed 2007-02-13
  16. ^ M Webber (1963) 'Order in Diversity: Community Without Propinquity, in L Wingo (ed.) 'Cities and Spaces Hopkins, Baltimore. Accessed 2007-02-13
  17. ^ Subsequent census data is 1971:46,500; 1981:95,800; 1991:144,700; 2001:177,500. Accessed 21 May 2006
  18. ^ Jef Bishop Milton Keynes – the Best of Both Worlds? Public and professional views of a new city. University of Bristol School for Advanced Urban Studies. Accessed 2007-02-13.
  19. ^ Walker, Derek (1982). The Architecture and Planning of Milton Keynes. London: Architectural Press. pp.  8.  cited in Clapson, Mark (2004). A Social History of Milton Keynes: Middle England/Edge City. London: Frank Cass. pp.  40. 
  20. ^ Accessed 16 August 2006
  21. ^ Milton Keynes Partnership
  22. ^ Accessed 30 October 2006
  23. ^,11200,1116879,00.html?=rss Accessed 27 March 2006
  24. ^ Accessed 2006-12-08
  25. ^
  26. ^ Milton Keynes College, UCMK. Postgraduate Certificate in Education, in partnership with and accredited by Oxford Brookes University Retrieved August 6th, 2009
  27. ^ BT Questions & Answers about long distance ADSL availability in Milton Keynes
  28. ^ The Broadband Problem... Milton Keynes Broadband Action Group
  29. ^ article on fibre optic broadband trial in Milton Keynes - Milton Keynes Citizen
  30. ^ BT Openreach press release on brownfield fibre optic broadband trials
  31. ^ Trial is to use the "Bradwell Abbey" exchange in Fishermead only. No other exchanges are in the initial plan
  32. ^ Miles, Stuart (2006-08-18). WiMax in MK "Milton Keynes to get blanket WiMax coverage". WiMax in MK. Retrieved 2007-04-03. 
  33. ^ Head, Will (2006-10-19). "Milton Keynes sets Wi-Fi free". Retrieved 2007-04-03. 
  34. ^ Accessed 11 March 2006
  35. ^ Regional Gross Value Added pp 240-253 pub. Office of National Statistics
  36. ^ Milton Keynes Ethnicity
  37. ^ Milton Keynes Council. "Town twinning".  Retrieved on 29 October 2008.

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Milton Keynes [1] is a very large town in the South East of England.

Concrete Cows, Milton Keynes
Concrete Cows, Milton Keynes

When people mention Milton Keynes, nine times out of ten, they will be met with either "Ugh, it’s a soulless new city" or "What, is that the place with the concrete cows?" Most irritating is that often, the people that make those dispassionate comments are those who have neither lived nor indeed spent much time there. Yes, it is a new city and yes, the centre of that city could be described as a little soulless with its chain restaurants and large shopping centre, but it was built on 150 million years of history and dotted around the 22,000 acres of countryside it resides in are many things to do, see and explore. Sites dating back to 2000 BC have been unearthed along with the remains of a major Roman villa, then dispersed amongst the city, itself built amongst many old towns. Also are numerous green spaces, a plethora of indoor and outdoor activities, and fabulous shopping opportunities. The Ministry of Housing and Local Governments brief in 1967 requested a new town that could accommodate an incoming population of 150,000 Londoners over a period of 20 years. Now Milton Keynes is a thriving city of contrasts; from innovative new business and entertainment hubs, to theatre, cinema, walks in natural parkland, pub lunches and peaceful canal trips; it really does have something on offer for everyone--and yes, it really does have concrete cows!

Get in

Milton Keynes is conveniently located on both the M1 motorway (at junction 14) and the West Coast Main Line, and as a result there are many ways to both enter and leave the town.

The M1 motorway connects London with Birmingham, before continuing north to Liverpool and Manchester. Milton Keynes is approximately half-way between London and Birmingham. There are also links east and west on the A421 to Bedford, Cambridge and Oxford.

Coach services to many cities (including Oxford and Cambridge) can be taken from either the train station, town centre or the Coachway, which is located near the motorway junction.

Rail connections are maintained by Virgin and London Midland, and frequent trains connect to London, Northampton, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, and farther north.

The Park and Ride service has service 200 buses run every 30 minutes from Central Milton Keynes to MK Coachway Sunday to Friday and every 15 minutes on Saturdays, see National Park and Ride Directory

Get around

Public transport within Milton Keynes has never been great, but it is getting better all the time. The bus operator, MK Metro, has recentlly been purchased by Arriva, and standards are improving. Buses in Milton Keynes are more frequent, and all estates are quite well covered. There are regular buses from most places to the city centre, train station, and Bletchley. Travelling by car is usually preferable as one of Milton Keynes's saving graces is its road network, although during rush hour, it can get somewhat congested in some areas.

The dominance of the car is greatly helped by the road layout - the main roads of the city are laid out in a grid system with roundabouts at the intersections, so getting about is quick, although predictably less so in rush hour. The grid is formed of numbered 'H' roads running horizontally on the map and 'V' roads running vertically. Visitors who drive to Milton Keynes often get lost on these roads because they all look the same-- the main roads are in tree-lined linear valleys to reduce road noise so there are few landmarks visible to navigate by. A map is recommended for people who are new to the town.

Pedestrians and cyclists have their own network of 'redways' - paths made of red tarmac that broadly follow the grid roads but never meet them, either crossing over or underneath. The redways are a good way to get about during the day, but at night some of the underpasses can be dangerous places. You will generally be okay in more populated areas, and most are well lit. As with any place you are unfamiliar with, caution is advised, and as many of the redways cross minor roads cyclists and those with children should beware of traffic!

Be warned that the redways are often not well signposted, and that traversing them without a map can lead to you getting lost quite quickly!


A must is the concrete cows (just off the H3, in Bancroft) for which Milton Keynes is famous/notorious.

Another feature is the giant Xscape dome, home to a sixteen screen cinema and the largest indoor ski slope in the United Kingdom.

The Peace Pagoda in Willen Park, the first example in the Western world, is also worth a visit for a more tranquil experience.

  • Milton Keynes has a number of attractions for the adventurous. Willen Lake has a wakeboard tow rope system; the Xscape has an indoor snow slope, a climbing wall and an indoor skydiving tower; the central bus station has a skate park' and the town has also a BMX track at Pineham.
  • Families with younger children might like to head for the Gulliver's Land theme park or Eco Park next door or take a stroll and have a picnic at the nearby Willen Lake.
  • Milton Keynes Dons F.C. play home games at the Stadium:mk, on the south of the city.
  • Because of the local value of the car culture, a growing car cruise and meet is staged in the car parks around the Hockey Stadium on Sunday nights, and it is popular both with modders and the police.
  • The Milton Keynes Theatre is billed as the country's "most popular" since it has the most people attending for any theatre in the country. Travelling shows and longer running productions are staged here, often large productions will come here as a final dry run before they take their shows to London's West End.
  • Stony Stratford is worth a visit to experience the more tranquil and traditional side of Milton Keynes. About 10 mins from the City Centre by car, you will find a quaint high-street with some quirky independent shops, lots of pubs where you can get good old-fashioned British grub, a pint of beer and warm yourself by a real fire during colder months. If you feel like taking a stroll, you can walk out of the town and take a pleasant stroll along the river.
  • Woburn Village is about a 15-minute car journey from Milton Keynes and is well worth a visit.
Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes
Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes

The Centre: MK is the main shopping centre for the surrounding area and is where most of the shopping in Milton Keynes is to be had. It features branches of many high street chains, with over 230 stores. The centre is undercover with good disabled access. The High Street in Stony Stratford offers a pleasant but small alternative. Most residential areas have their own convenience store.

There are various retail parks with the larger DIY, carpet, furniture and warehouse-style clothes shops.


Milton Keynes has a wide variety of restuarants both in the City Centre and in the outlying areas.

In the city centre the restaurants are centred around the the theatre district, Xscape and the new area the hub.

  • Taipan, 5 Savoy Crescent, tel 01908 331883. This is a excellent Chinese restaurant in the heart of the Theatre district
  • Jaipur, 599 Grafton Gate East, tel 01908 669796 - This place serves good Indian food in a purpose built building and claims to be the largest purpose built curry house in Europe.
  • The Plough at Wavendon, 72 Walton Road, Wavendon, Milton Keynes, tel 01908 587576 - This excellent new restuarant is on the edge of Milton Keynes in the village of Wavendon. It is aiming for Michelin stars and, as a such, serves excellent food although a bit pricey.

There is a wider range of smaller independent restaurants in outlying areas such as Stony Stratford, Wolverton, and Fenny Stratford. There is also decent pub food (and somewhat better beer) at The Plough in Simpson, and Ye Olde Swan in Woughton on the Green. Pub grub at the Old Beams in Shenley Lodge can not be beaten.

The Salford Swan, while not strictly within Milton Keynes itself, is well worth a look for some excellent pub-restaurant food with a delightful atmosphere.


On a summer evening a trip to the theatre district / Xscape almost transports you to a Spanish holiday resort, such are the number of bars and clubs with people walking between them. Not much for a CAMRA member here though, as its more for the bottle of Bud or Smirnoff Ice crowd..

More traditional pubs can be found along the Stony Stratford high street, popular for pub crawls at weekends. Newport Pagnell, a few miles from the city centre, is also a good option with many good pubs and a good atmosphere


Youth Hostel

A youth hostel can be found in the district of Bradwell. The house itself dates from the seventeenth century (an oddity in Milton Keynes) and is in very pleasant surroundings. There are rooms and dormatories available. A bed in a dormatory normally costs around £13 a night. he house and facilities are kept nice and clean, and secure lockers are available at no additional cost to store valuables.


Milton Keynes offers a variety of chain hotels, including Holiday Inn, Hilton, Ramada, Jury's Inn, Travelodge, and Holiday Inn Express. Some are located in the bustling town centre and others in more peaceful spots, including the Holiday Inn Express adjacent to Willen Lake.

Get out

The night life The nightlife (pubs and clubs) in Milton Keynes are focussed around the theatre district and snow dome areas.

Alternative venues

The Pitz: Woughton Leisure Centre, Rainbow Drive, Leadenhall. A 500 capacity venue catering mainly for rock based acts, large supporter of local music.

Sabotage Refurb, Margaret Powell Square Theatre District Central Milton Keynes (Friday) & Station Square Elder Gate Milton Keynes (Mondays). City based alternative promotion with a wide range of music from DJ's to live bands

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:


Milton Keynes


Milton Keynes (abbreviated as MK)

  1. a purpose-built city in south-east England, containing the towns of Bletchley, Wolverton and Stony Stratford and many smaller villages

Simple English

 Milton Keynes (info • help) is a large new town in ceremonial Buckinghamshire, England. People began to build houses, shops and factories there in 1967. More and more houses are built every year. There are about 275,000 people living there now.

Milton Keynes looks strange to people from other towns. Aeroplanes flying over ordinary towns can see roads that look like a spider's web. But when they fly over the city, they see that its big roads look like a net or a grid. The people who live in Milton Keynes call the spaces between the busy roads grid squares and that is where they live. Nobody lives right next to the big roads, so there are no trucks going past the front door of people who live there. So really, Milton Keynes often seems more like a 100 little villages than a big city.

People do not have to cross a busy road to get from one grid square to the next one, because the roads go over bridges and people can cross safely under them. The paths that go under the roads and between the houses are called Redways because they are red in color. Only people on bicycles and people walking are allowed to use them. Cars, lorries and motorbikes are not allowed to go on them. So people could cycle all the way across the city and never have to go on a busy road.


What was it like before the builders came?

[[File:|thumb|The windmill near Bradwell village, beside the playing fields]] Before the builders came, there were many fields and a lot of villages. People can still see the old villages because the houses look different. There are many rivers and streams and lakes and a canal. There are no houses on the fields beside the rivers. Nobody can build on these fields because sometimes they get flooded when it rains a lot. But nearly all the time, they are just monster parks.

When the builders dug up the ground to build on, they found some strange things. The oldest was the fossil of a dinosaur fish, called an Ichthyosaur. They also found a Roman farm - people can still see bits of it because they decided to leave it alone. They also found some buried treasure and gave it to the museum.

What is there to do?

There is one big theatre and four small ones. There are only two cinemas but each one has ten sections, so there are twenty movies on at a time. There is a ski slope with real snow, even in summer. That is because it is indoors, with a giant fridge to keep it cold. There are four big swimming pools. At the National Bowl, people can see their favourite bands and artists. Not very far away, at Silverstone, they see Formula 1 motor racing. There is a football stadium, where they can see the local football club, Milton Keynes Dons F.C., play. They can see barges going past on the canal. Near the station, there is a covered skateboard place. There is also Planet Ice where there is leisure skating available and the MK Lightening ice hockey team plays. This is also where they train figure skaters and ice dancers at national competition level. Professional skater, Vicky Ogden who has skated internationally and nationally for Great Britain for over 12 years is the head coach.

What are the concrete cows?

[[File:|thumb|right|Liz Leyh's "Concrete Cows"]] In about 1980, an artist thought it would be very funny to make some cows out of concrete and put them in a field. People from Milton Keynes thought that this was a strange thing to do, because they can see real cows nearby. People who are not from Milton Keynes decided that it must mean that everywhere is covered in concrete and that we would forget what a cow looks like. But we know that we have loads and loads of green space, and thousands of trees, bushes, flowers. We have birds and small animals. There is actually more wild life in the city than there is outside it! So we just laugh and think - "silly people, they believed the artist's joke".

Where is it?

It is in England. It is about half way between Oxford and Cambridge. It is about half way between London and Birmingham. They can get here on the train because we have five railway stations - the biggest one is Milton Keynes Central. They can come on the M1 motorway - get off at Junction 14. It takes less than an hour to get here in the train from London, maybe half an hour if they take an express train.

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