When tourists flock to England, they always visit the same major cities: London, Birmingham and Manchester. All offering a similar experience, undoubtedly a mixture of world-class restaurants, shopping and iconic landmarks, makes these destinations quickly more alluring. But there’s certainly more to the UK than these three cities.
An up-and-coming town that combines the best of a ‘city vibe’, alongside rural countryside and culture, is Milton Keynes. Situated in Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes is home to a wide range of sights, making for a really fun day (or weekend) out – whatever your age or interest. Here we run-down the four must-do experiences for next time you’re in town.
If you’re travelling as a family, there’s nowhere better than Gulliver’s Land. It may not be on the same scale as some of the other theme parks in the UK, or even across Europe; but it caters to children of any age (2-13 years-old) and if you don’t fancy a day pass, you can always make a few days of it. A wide range of accommodation includes Gulliver’s Meadow Campsite, Beach Dens and Lost World Lodgings; and stay-and-play passes are also available.
Younger children will love the Dinosaur Park & Farm, with over 30 life-like animatronic dinosaurs. While, should we be experiencing ‘Great British weather’, don’t fear, as there’s an indoor splash park, which can be enjoyed by all ages – even the adults!
With over 70 rides and attractions, including the Jungle River Ride, Dragon Siege, Tree Tops Swing and The Whirlwind, there’s plenty to choose from – dependent on your age, height and how daring you’re feeling.
Opening times will vary, depending on season, but you can find out all the relevant booking information, here.
Thrill seekers will be in their element with a 4×4 off-road driving experience at Mud Mayhem. Just outside of Milton Keynes in nearby village, Newton Longville, you’ll be driving amidst 800 acres of Buckinghamshire countryside in your choice of vehicle: Land Rover Defender, ex-army DAF lorry or converted Land Rover Discovery. Claims have been made that Defenders are the best off-road vehicles, so you’ll be able to overcome any obstacle thrown your way: steep mountainous hills, deep mud-filled pits and treacherous bends and corners.
With a range of experiences to choose from, that vary in price from £19.99 for the Crazy Car Challenge (based on four people sharing), to £119 for the three-in-one package including 4×4 driving, Segways and quadbikes, you’re sure to have a day out to remember. There are age restrictions and you will need to be a minimum of 17-years-old, while drivers will need to hold a full UK driving licence. The best way to overcome that hurdle is to book an intensive driving course and pass as soon as possible. Guests should also be able to drive a standard manual vehicle.
Explore the home of the Home of the Codebreakers, at Bletchley Park, which is open to the public daily. Codebreaking at Bletchley Park first took place in September 1938 and today, visitors can go inside restored Codebreaking Huts; visit a number of fascinating exhibitions, including The Life & Works of Alan Turing; and be sure to find out more about radio communications technology at the National Radio Centre.
For those who like a more interactive experience, enter Block C’s Visitor Centre. Opened in 2014, here you’ll find the café and gift shop, as well as an engaging multimedia exhibition.
Throughout the year, there are a number of special exhibitions, which are also included in the admission price. More information about those can be found, here. More importantly, while four to five hours is recommended per visit, should you be unable to see everything you wanted to, don’t worry. Tickets are valid for a year from date of purchase, allowing you to return as many times as you like.
Milton Keynes is blessed with parks and green spaces and The Parks Trust is an independent charity that cares for over 6,000 acres of park-land in Milton Keynes, including Linford Wood, Campbell Park, Furzton Lake and Caldecotte Lake. But no park is more popular in MK than Willen Lake.
Their Instagram feed shows off what there is to do and see. But if you’re into watersports, you’re in luck. From wakeboarding and sailing, to windsurfing and kayaking; there’s even a splash ‘n’ play zone to keep the kids entertained. Away from water, if you’re feeling brave, head for new heights with the Treetop Extreme high ropes course, with general sessions starting from £10. The miniature railway is great for families, but be quick as it only runs until the end of October.
If you’re not planning on packing a picnic, don’t worry as there are numerous cafes and a family-friendly pub. And if you don’t fancy exploring by foot, there are bicycle and Segway hire so you can see everything the area has to offer.