Calling all outdoor enthusiasts!
Visitors to Milton Keynes will delight in the fact that no matter where your tastes or interests lie, there is always something entertaining to see and do. With Silverstone just a short drive away, the incredible Xscape centre and a wealth of stores for shopaholics to splurge in; Milton Keynes has something for everyone.
When you feel like grabbing a break from the city streets, enjoying the wonderful fresh air and the sometimes co-operative British weather, Milton Keynes has some beautiful green spaces to explore.
With a relaxing stay in our clean, comfortable Milton Keynes hotel and after our Holiday Inn Express free hot breakfast, you'll have plenty of energy to enjoy the outdoors. Here is a guide to our favourite places to visit in Milton Keynes.
V10 Brickhill Street
Even for the local's, a trip to Willen Lake remains a great day out!
The large parkland area is a beautiful place to enjoy a peaceful walk, a lovely jog, entertain the kids or simply sight back and admire the scenery. There are many different paths to explore, each dotted with fascinating modern art sculptures to stop and investigate.
The park is has a special gem to visit, a Japanese Peace Pagoda, built by Nipponzan Myohoji monks was one of the first of its kind to be built in Western Europe. It's a beautiful, tranquil spot and if you need more peace and quiet, dare the kids away to find their way through the maze.
Kids will also love the various climbing frames to play on and if they still have energy to burn, take them to Willens Lake's high-wire adventure park. If that doesn't suit, a friendly game of pitch 'n' putt might.
If you like a spot of bird watching, Willen Lake benefits from a bird hide from which to note the varied avian species that call this area home. For the casual bird-watchers, be sure to take some bread to feed the hungry ducks and geese, eagerly swimming in the wonderful lake.
If you feel like joining them on the water, why not hire out a pedaloe on a sunny day – it's a great way to spend time in Milton Keynes. When feeling adventurous you could take up water-skiing, with professional instruction and patient guidance, the time couldn't be better to try something new. Alternatively, just sit back on the boat and watch!
Once you've enjoyed the great surroundings of Willen Lake, stop by the Lakeside Fayre & Square for some delicious pub fare, a perfect way to cap of your day in Milton Keynes.
Roman Villa at Bancroft
Milton Keynes is also the site of one of the finest examples of Roman settlement in Britain. The Roman Villa at Bancroft is a stunning site to visit, great to imagine the life of wealthy Roman lords and explore the many treasures they possessed.
Inside the villa you'll be able to see incredibly beautiful mosaic floors in almost every room. What's almost amazing as their intricacy, is how well they've been preserved. The villa in one form or another has existed since the Roman conquest in AD 43 and with the on-site guide, you'll be able to discover the hugely interesting lifestyle that its inhabitants had.
On the same site of the Roman villa, a mausoleum stands, complete with the very burial vessels from those ancient times. The collection of Roman personal belongings, exquisite jewellery and pottery is simply stunning.
Grand Union Canal
One of the best ways to see the green spaces of Milton Keynes is to get on your bike and ride.
With lovely winding river routes to follow, lush meadows, quaint villages and friendly pubs to stop off at, Milton Keynes is perfect for cyclists. The majority of the routes are flat, which is perfect for families and better yet, most of the routes avoid busy roads.
One of our favourite routes is the 1-hour cycle route south to the small town of Leighton Buzzard. Beginning in beautiful Campbell Park, with its fun hill to whoosh down, continue onto the Peartree Bridge and stop for a snap at the Peartree Dinosaur. Following the Grand Union Canal south, try to spot the local wildlife or admire the boats floating on the river.
There are plenty of lovely pubs to stop at, including the Grand Union and the Global Inn. Both are perfect to enjoy a hearty meal and refreshing drink before continuing on your way. When you reach Leighton Buzzard you can either cycle back or if you want to save your legs, simply hop on the train all the way back to Milton Keynes Central.
Just a short trip from Milton Keynes is the old hunting ground of Henry VIII and also a brilliant place to explore. Salcey Forest probably has slightly less wild boars than it did in Henry VIII's day, however you will still be able to see your fair share of wonderful wildlife.
For animal lovers, squirrels, deer, woodpeckers and various birds of prey live within the forest so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that lucky sighting. There are plenty of colour-coded pathways to walk along. Each of which varies in length, great for a short stroll through the woods or a good forest hike.
If you'd like to explore the forest from a different perspective, make sure to take the great tree-top walk, winding through the woodland branches before taking you to the top of the forest and the spectacular vista.
There is even a kids' play area to let the little ones loose on and when the time comes to feed some hungry souls, Salcey Forest has plenty of picnic areas to settle down in.
For those with a sweet tooth, the forest café stocks lovely ice-cream – and who doesn't want to end a great day with a tasty treat!