I lived in Milton Keynes for over a decade, but it has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up in a nearby market town, it was the place to go on the weekend. Friday evenings were spent driving through the countryside to the cinema, watching the cityscape grow above the horizon; in the 90s it was the red beacon of The Point that we all looked out for.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. As always all thoughts and words are my own!
Milton Keynes is an ever changing landscape, and as time went on that new, exciting landmark became Xscape: the huge indoor ski centre, or the grand extension of the shopping centre still to this day known by locals as ‘the new bit’, or the vibrant new drinking and dining scene at The Hub.
As once an outsider, one thing is noticeable as you get to know MK a little better: people from Milton Keynes really like Milton Keynes. There is this strange localised patriotism, and the city is showered with endearment from nicknames like ‘MK’, to hashtags like #LoveMK and even it’s very own day of celebration, ‘Love MK Day’ held in Spring.
The obsession among locals is real. I guess everyone loves an underdog and since its birth Milton Keynes has been just that. Known by many as the concrete jungle, the place with all the roundabouts. But to who call it home, known to be much more than its reputation lets on. Milton Keynes is a fantastic, one in a million place to live; here are just a few reasons why.
It’s Easy to Get Around
Just beyond the borders of your local housing estate you’ll instantly find yourself breezing along spacious dual carriageways to your destination. There is no confusion when driving around Milton Keynes; no weird one-way streets or pokey single lanes. Popping into the city centre for shopping, dining or leisure is fast and stress-free. And if you do take a wrong turn? No worries! The grid layout will have you back on track in no time. All those roundabouts come in handy you know.
You Can be Town Mouse and Country Mouse
If you’re torn between the buzz of a city and the calm of a village, then one of the most special and appealing things about living in Milton Keynes is that your home can feel like a peaceful country haven, despite its urban location. Milton Keynes has a staggering 22 million trees, over 6,000 acres of parkland and expansive grass verges bordering the roads. It’s all designed to disconnect your home from the hustle and bustle, whilst still having complete convenience on your doorstep – incredible!
It’s a Hive of Innovation
Milton Keynes ran with its reputation for being a bit odd until it became known as downright innovative. The city is a test bed for future technologies, and currently holds the title of most electric vehicle charge points of any city in Europe. It’s also home to the development of the autonomous vehicle. And, most excitingly, I can’t think of anywhere else where you can have a robot deliver a takeaway to your door. (Yes, really!)
Leisure for Every Lifestyle
As a city built from scratch, Milton Keynes has merged over time with many historic villages to create a totally unique blend of modern living pocketed with history. Chocolate box high streets, family run restaurants and quaint boutique shops can all be found within ten minutes drive of the lively city centre. Leisure activities in Milton Keynes are a spectrum of options, whether it’s downtown cocktails in a contemporary bar, or mulled wine by the fire in a 13th Century pub. And if being active is your thing, in addition to 200 mile network of scenic walking and cycling routes MK has indoor skiing, a premium go karting track, indoor skydiving, indoor rock climbing, an ice rink, a family theme park, an indoor trampoline park… and if you’re feeling adventurous, its very own annual marathon.
A recent campaign for the city was named ‘Unexpected MK’; a title which perfectly sums up this surprising little city. It didn’t take long after moving to Milton Keynes that I found myself joining the ranks of supporters, ready to tell any non-believer how much I #LoveMK.