Milton Keynes: moving to a new town
Created by specific design in the 1960s, Milton Keynes was originally considered the original ‘New Town’, created to help with the baby boom housing need and overspill from London. Situated just 50 miles north-west of the capital, in Buckinghamshire, the town is home to over 250,000 residents.
The new town was designed with growth in mind, so the space is well designed along a grid system. The town covers over 119 square miles of space and thanks to green space being included in its design, is home to 22 million trees. Due to its popularity, it’s estimated that the population will double and reach half a million in the next 20 years.
The town has grown since the 60’s and is now a home to a number of large international businesses: Mercedes-Benz, Red Bull Racing, The Open University, Argos and Domino’s Pizza all have large headquarters here. The town offers great job opportunities, both within Milton Keynes and by commuting into London.
A brief history of Milton Keynes
Despite its ‘creation’ beginning in the 1960’s, the site of the town is stepped in impressive history. From historical monuments, contributions to winning the Second World War, to being the home of Aston Martin, Milton Keynes has a lot to discover.
Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes was home to the work of over 10,000 code breakers, who hid and communicated in secret during World War II. Their efforts were instrumental to winning the war.
While much of the residential buildings are modern, there are also some remarkable historical landmarks. Bradwell priory, founded in 1153, was built by Benedictine Monks. Today it’s listed as a monument of national importance.
The city is also home to some impressive sporting success: from being home to the training space for Torvill and Dean before their Olympic Gold Medal success, home to Greg Rutherford who also won Gold in 2012 for Long Jump, and hosting record breaking numbers of visitors during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Milton Keynes: highlights and culture of the ‘new town’
This ‘new town’ has a warm, welcoming culture, with a surprising number of things to see and explore. Living in Milton Keynes, you are certain to be kept entertained: there’s everything from an annual Zombie Run, to weekly local markets, world food fairs, open air cinemas, and funfairs.
Thanks to the American road system, and meticulous planning, there is an organised feel to the place. The roads and travel systems work efficiently, and travel in and out of the city is a breeze. Just make sure you’re adept at driving on roundabouts – there are over 130 here!
Additionally, if you move to Milton Keynes, you’ll benefit from the bountiful green space. As outdoor space and tree planting were part of the plans for the new town, there are more parks here than in most towns and cities in the UK (over 200 in total).
There’s a great shopping culture, with a mix of independent retailers and two huge shopping malls right next to one another. The Centre MK shopping centre is over 120,000m2 of mall, packed full of a wide variety of high street and designer brands. And due to its unique design, its completely lit by sunlight. Then there’s the Intu Milton Keynes mall, which is set for further expansion to include a multi-screen cinema and restaurant complex.
Milton Keynes is also, unexpectedly, a hub for pioneering tech innovation. The ‘new’ town is home to some of the most advance tech testing in the country, including robot testing for deliveries and GPS mapping. It’s also home to the advanced self-driving pods, which will be available for the public to use.
Things to do in Milton Keynes
This is a bustling town, with a long list of ‘must do’ things. To help get you started, here’s our list of top things to do for new movers:
• Get adventurous – the Xscape complex in Milton Keynes is home to indoor skydiving and indoor ski slopes. This is the perfect day out (or regular activity) for a thrill seeker.
• Visit The Hub – situated in the heart of the town centre, this is your one stop shop for all things entertainment. Packed with high street retailers, restaurants and bars, as well as a cinema and even a gym.
• Search for the Concrete Cows – the 6 cow sculptures are something of a local phenomenon. Created in 1978 by artist Liz Leyh, these sculptures have become something of a cultural phenomenon.
• Go Otter spotting – and herons, owls and deer, at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve. Or visit Willen Lake South Park in Milton Keynes for high rope course and waterpark. Or Campbell Park for a relaxed stroll along the cricket pitch. The parks are many, vast, and varied.
• Catch a gig – The Stables, a leading local live music venue, attracts incredible artists in an intimate setting. The Milton Keynes Bowl is where you’ll find international music stars at their arena best.
• Theatre, on your doorstep – considered one of the best theatre spots in the UK, there’s no need to head to London to see the stars tread the boards. The Milton Keynes Theatre attracts touring productions straight from London, including the Royal Shakespeare Company and English National Ballet.
• Ride the miniature railway – Caldecotte Lake is a hidden gem. With a large lake, huge park and a miniature railway that you can take a ride on, this is the perfect family day out.
Where to live in Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes is a very popular home destination for young professionals and families. The strength of the transport links and excellent outdoor space here is very attractive to those looking for great amenities.
Fortunately for those looking to move to Milton Keynes, average house prices here are very reasonable. They are the lowest across the county of Buckinghamshire, with a detached family home selling for an average of £465,000 as of April 2019.
Where are the best areas to live?
• The Hub – very popular large development, popular with young professionals looking for the convenience of lively bars, restaurants and shopping.
• The Theatre district – a lively area, perfect for those looking for an apartment with convenience for entertainment and socialising.
• Loughton – for a village feel, this is perfect for families or those who like a strong sense of community.
• Bletchley – a great suburb of Milton Keynes, with a mix of properties from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
• Walnut Tree – the ideal family location, with excellent schools, a community feel and large family homes on offer.
• Stony Stratford – the jewel in the crown of Milton Keynes. This small market town is a stone’s throw from Milton Keynes and offers village feel and period properties.
• Newport Pagnell – commutable to Milton Keynes via the M1, this town offers a more rural feel but retains great amenities.
If you would benefit from some expert help to find your ideal home in Milton Keynes, let us help. At Santa Fe Relocation, our Home Search Service matches excellent homes to your exact needs. Let us create the short list, saving you time and stress. We make moving home easy for you.
Family life and education in Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes was designed with families in mind. In the Milton Keynes area, there are currently nearly 45,000 students attending one of the 110 schools. With 30 Ofsted rated ‘Outstanding’ schools, and another 66 rated ‘Good’, there are plenty of schools to choose from.
The schools available are a range of primary schools, secondary schools and grammar schools. As well as a handful of well-respected independent schools. For those looking for higher education, Milton Keynes is also the home of the Open University.
To help you with every aspect of your family move we provide a School Search Service, where we shortlist schools that meet your exacting requirements. We can even help with the application process. It’s just another way we make moving home easy for you.
Milton Keynes: travel information
Thanks to its uniquely planning and design, Milton Keynes benefits from easy to navigate internal travel, along the American ‘block’ system. There are also over 200 miles of cycle paths around the town.
For travel outside of the town, Milton Keynes is conveniently located in the middle of Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham.
By train, there are excellent rail links to London from Milton Keynes Central train station. It takes just 35 minutes on a direct line to Euston station, making the city an easily commutable location. There are also great direct lines to a number of other towns and cities: Birmingham, Watford, Rugby, and Coventry to name a few.
For international and domestic flights, you are just 20 miles away from Luton airport.
How can Santa Fe Relocation help when you relocate to Milton Keynes?
We believe that no move should be stressful, so we take care of everything. At Santa Fe we can help with finding your ideal home or school, offer a full removals service (including valuation, storage and unpacking), and even a local area orientation. We make moving home easy for you.