Discover England’s most modern city during the world’s biggest rugby championship!
A new town created in 1967, to the north of London, Milton Keynes is booming. With a big focus on culture, what sets this huge town apart is its futuristic and colourful architecture. Stroll through its parks, explore its quirky places and head to Stadium MK to watch a rugby game.
Essential Milton Keynes
Green Walks and Shopping
Having arrived from London by train, set off from Milton Keynes Central to explore the town. There you’ll find architecture that is very different from traditional English cities. Designed as a modern town when it was built, Milton Keynes is remarkable for its huge, tree-lined “American-style” streets.
You can walk along them to reach one of Milton Keynes’s many green spaces: Campbell Park. Considered to be the local Central Park, it’s a little oasis of green just a stone’s throw away from the town centre. If you’re feeling fit, try an impromptu game of rugby…
Keep walking to reach the famous shopping centre, Centre MK, to stock up for the matches to come. Whether you’re a shopaholic or not, you can admire its futuristic design, conceived by the architects Derek Walker, Stuart Mosscrop and Christopher Woodward. This building, consisting of mirrors and arcades lined with tropical trees, was opened in 1979 by Margaret Thatcher.
Culture and Thrills
After Centre MK, you have two options. If you fancy a good dose of culture, head for the MK Gallery. In this contemporary art gallery, which is simultaneously minimalist and extravagant (a large white, yellow, green and red cube!) you’ll find changing and surprising works…
If you’d prefer sport no matter what, then head for Xscape, the town’s huge entertainment centre. Experience a simulated parachute jump, climb 13-metre-high walls at the EllisBrigham Climbing Walls or do a spot of skiing or snowboarding in the SNO!zone!
In the evening, head for the Hub or the theatre district to sample the nightlife in Milton Keynes. Visit the bars for a terrific post-match atmosphere!
A Bit of History and Plenty of Sport!
History and Science
Early in the morning, head south to the town of Bletchley. Having become part of Milton Keynes when the town was created, Bletchley is home to some of the most historic sites in the town, and even in the country and the world!
Behind its splendid Victorian architecture and green spaces, Bletchley Park was home to England’s secret code-breaking base during the Second World War. There, over 9,000 cryptologists intercepted the secret messages of Nazi Germany and saved millions of lives throughout the war. By developing a code-breaking machine, the mathematicians of Bletchley Park invented the world’s very first computer: Colossus.
A remarkable step forward, the full significance of which you can appreciate during a visit to the National Museum of Computing. Explore the origins of computing and the gigantic machines without which your computer or smartphone would have never existed!
After your visit, have a walk around the park and enjoy a picnic before getting back on the road…
The Famous Stadium MK
Not far from here, head for one of the town’s main attractions: Stadium MK. With a capacity of 30,500, this modern stadium built by Populous (creator of the O2 Arena in London) hosts rugby matches and home games of the MK Dons, the local football team. Book your ticket and enjoy a unique atmosphere on the terraces!
The Rugby Clubs of Milton Keynes
The town of Milton Keynes boasts no fewer than three different rugby clubs, all of which play in the Rugby Union. They include Milton Keynes RUFC, Bletchley RUFC and Olney RFC. The latter two teams also have women’s teams: Bletchley Ladies and Olney Women’s team.
Milton Keynes According to Mark Clapson
A 1970s new town, Milton Keynes was built to better meet the needs of its inhabitants. A Social History of Milton Keynes: Middle England/Edge City by Mark Clapson reveals that the town was built with the idea of including numerous green spaces so that rugby could be played, as well as football and cricket. Forming part of the urban landscape, even today they allow the town’s inhabitants to play their favourite sports in the heart of the town.
Milton Keynes in Brief
When to come:
Between September and October, make the most of the last days of summer and the arrival of autumn by strolling around the town’s many parks.
How to get here:
Take a flight to London, then the train to Milton Keynes. Be sure to check our page on flights to London to take advantage of flight offers.
How to get around:
From London, take the M1 motorway by car, or take the train from London Euston to Milton Keynes Central. Once there, you can use the bus network to travel around the town.
Where to stay:
One of the town’s many hotels. All you have to do is choose one.
Where to eat:
MK Social: 499 Lower 12th Street, Theatre District, Milton Keynes, renowned for its quality steaks and craft beers. Food from €8 to 35*
MK11 Sports Bar & Live Music: Keller Close, Milton Keynes, bar specialising in live music and showing live sporting events. Wide choice of street food, from €3 to 8*
Lone Star Grill: 1 c Benbow Court, Wolverton, Milton Keynes, great choice of burgers and side dishes. From €3 to 23*
Middletons Steakhouse & Grill: 434 Midsummers Boulevard, Milton Keynes, steakhouse with a great selection of burgers and grilled meats. From €8 to 35*
* Prices are indicative and subject to change