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Milton Keynes

Hiking around Milton Keynes

Hiking

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Photo: WoolyMatt

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Walks around Milton Keynes explore a modernist town designed with ‘Garden City ideals’. The largest settlement in Buckinghamshire, the town wasn’t even built until work began in the late 1960s to create a new urban area to ease the housing pressures in London. 


Fast forward to today and Milton Keynes has clearly stood the test of time. By design, it’s a notably green settlement, around a quarter of its area is made up of parkland or woodland. Linear parks, miles long, meander through valleys carved by the region’s rivers and streams, providing gorgeous greenspaces that are intricately woven through the town. The parks are adorned by lakes, reserves and woodland, providing havens for wildlife.


For nature lovers, the finest hiking around Milton Keynes is found to the north, where the town is bounded by the River Great Ouse and its floodplains. Successive nature reserves and parkland follow the river’s course, providing many miles of trails and plenty of glorious wildlife spotting opportunities.


Top 20 best walks and hikes around Milton Keynes

    Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    1
    1
    Easy
    01:42
    4.15 mi
    2.4 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    2
    Intermediate
    01:36
    3.89 mi
    2.4 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
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  • 3
    Intermediate
    01:38
    4.00 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    4
    Easy
    01:11
    2.90 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    5
    Easy
    00:43
    1.74 mi
    2.5 mph
    25 ft
    25 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    6
    Easy
    01:51
    4.22 mi
    2.3 mph
    325 ft
    325 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    7
    Intermediate
    02:30
    6.00 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    8
    Easy
    01:11
    2.86 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    9
    Easy
    01:54
    4.61 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    10
    Easy
    00:56
    2.30 mi
    2.4 mph
    25 ft
    25 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    11
    Easy
    01:26
    3.50 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    12
    Easy
    01:57
    4.73 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    13
    Easy
    01:38
    4.01 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    14
    Intermediate
    01:52
    4.51 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    15
    Intermediate
    02:14
    5.13 mi
    2.3 mph
    350 ft
    350 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    16
    Intermediate
    01:41
    4.01 mi
    2.4 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    17
    Intermediate
    03:40
    8.35 mi
    2.3 mph
    650 ft
    650 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    18
    Intermediate
    01:20
    3.10 mi
    2.3 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    19
    Difficult
    05:36
    13.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    725 ft
    725 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    20
    Intermediate
    01:29
    3.61 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View

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More Information

Exploring a modern ‘Garden City’


Before the 1960s, the town did not even exist, though archaeological discoveries made in the years before the foundations were laid revealed a long-history of human settlement. Eight Roman farming estates were discovered in the region, including Bancroft Roman Villa, one of the most extensively excavated in the UK. Today, its remains form part of the Loughton Valley Linear Park.


It’s easy to find picturesque walks around Milton Keynes thanks to the way it was designed. Central Milton Keynes features a grid square structure, with wide roads and shared paths for cyclists and walkers. Large areas of linear parkland were created alongside the Great River Ouse’s tributaries, within easy reach of the centre. Balancing lakes were manufactured as flood defences, notably Willen Lake and Caldecotte Lake in Ouzel Valley Park, now two of the town’s most popular beauty spots.


Discovering Milton Keynes’ linear parks


The most accessible hikes around Milton Keynes are found along its two principal linear parks: Loughton Valley Linear Park to the west and Ouzel Valley Park to the east. Both feature miles of trails, lakes, woodland and historic sites. Ouzel Valley Park in particular was designed with an interesting ‘string, beads and settings’ ideal, where the strings are the paths and trails, the beads the cultural sites and activity areas and the settings the larger areas of woodland, lakes and such. 


There’s plenty to explore in the surroundings around Ouzel Valley Park too. To the west of Willen Lake is Campbell Park, a lovely Grade II-listed greenspace with flower-rich meadows. Next to the park is the meandering Grand Union Canal, yet another corridor of green that weaves through the town. The most extensive area of woodland in the region can be found in Aspley Woods (also known as New Wavendon Heath) to the southeast of Caldecotte Lake. 


Vibrant wildlife along the Great River Ouse


Perhapsthe best hiking routes around Milton Keynes are those that explore the River Great Ouse and its floodplains. The Ouse Valley Way long-distance footpath snakes its way alongside the river, exploring the beautiful Ouse Valley Park and visiting the nature reserves of Stony Stratford, Floodplain Forest and Linford Lakes. As well as gorgeous scenery, the wealth of birdlife found here is astonishing. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars.

Milton Keynes's best walks and hikes on the map

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