4 walks in Milton Keynes

While Milton Keynes is often referred to as a new city, it boasts an abundance of un-spoilt beautiful countryside.

When people think about Milton Keynes, they often think about concrete cows, grid roads, new housing developments and they don’t think about trees, open water, public art, historic monuments & temples. Milton Keynes has so many beautiful landscapes, often hidden away from the main thoroughfares.

Here are just a selection of walks around Milton Keynes that will show the hidden delights of this new town.

Bow Brickhill, Aspley Guise and Woburn Woods

Bow Brickhill, Aspley Guise and Woburn are all villages to the south of Milton Keynes and all back onto a huge woodland, much of which is owned by the 15th Duke of Bedford and his family. Woburn Woods is dominated by the famous Woburn Golf Club and from many of the footpaths, you can see the greens so do watch out for rogue golf balls! Bow Brickhill and Aspley Guise Woods are lesser known but probably more beautiful. Much of it is covered by tall Scots Pine and the sandy soil on the top of Aspley Guise hill makes it popular for horse riders and downhill mountain bikers. For refreshments after your strenuous uphill walking, Woburn Sands offers a great choice of cafes, restaurants and pubs. One of our favourites situated at the bottom of Church Road in Woburn Sands is Nonna’s, an award winning bistro perfect for brunch.

Howe Park Wood

Tattenhoe Lane, Tattenhoe, MK4 3GG

Ancient woodland probably doesn’t spring to mind when you think of Milton Keynes but one such site is Howe Park Wood, located to the south west of Milton Keynes, close by to Westcroft and Tattenhoe. It is thought that in medieval times, the woodland would have been an important source of firewood for neighbouring villages. The woodland has a cafe and toilets onsite and also a visitor and education centre which run events throughout the year. Several paths run around the woodland and through the middle, dogs are welcome but owners are asked to keep them on a lead to protect the wildlife there. Howe Park Wood has more than 200 plant species and English Nature has designated it a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its wildlife value. From badgers to deers, bats to green woodpeckers, the site is alive with nature. One sight not to be missed are the spectacular bluebells that come out in late March, early May and produce a vibrant blue carpet over the woodland floor.

Calverton, Upper and Lower Weald and Beachampton

If you’re looking for rolling hills, sheep grazing happily, a trickling stream, look no further than the footpaths in and around Calverton, Upper & Lower Weald and Beachampton. These villages are to the north west of Milton Keynes and still remain undeveloped and separate from the new city. There are many walks across farmland, beside river tributaries in this quiet and charming area of Milton Keynes. If you’re looking for refreshments after your walk, the historic grade II listed Shoulder Of Mutton pub in Calverton will tick all your boxes.

A rural road beside charming thatched cottages and lush greenery under a partly cloudy sky. - Home Instead

Willen Lake and Woolstone

Willen Lake was one of the original man-made balancing lakes created when the new city of Milton Keynes was built. Balancing lakes exist across the city, Caldecote and the Tear Drop Lakes in Loughton are just a few and help to collect and manage the water and rainfall run-off of the city. Willen Lake is the largest and has a north and south lake, both of which can be walked or cycled around. The River Ouzel also runs alongside the lake to the east and if you follow the river south you will reach the pretty village of Woolstone and the surrounding parkland. This whole area is a joy to walk in and you would never know you were in the middle of a city, housing a population of 300,000. If you’re after culture while you walk, the Milton Keynes Peace Pagoda is situated high up on a mound to the west of the north lake. It was the first of its kind in the Western hemisphere when it was built in 1980 by the monks and nuns of the Nipponzan Myohoji, a spiritual movement.

A wooden sign that reads "Welcome to Willen Lake, The Parks Trust" on a grassy field with a cloudy sky. - Home Instead