Milton Keynes stands out in England as a bold experiment, contrasting starkly against the higgledy-piggledy nature of a thousand years of British urbanism. But, while winding roads and archaic buildings are the norm across the UK, in Milton Keynes – built in the 1960s to relieve London’s congestion – the future is now, with gridded streets and roundabouts galore. So what about the best dog walks in Milton Keynes?
The city has been a fantastic success, but what’s less appreciated is its role as a forest city. Around 25% of the urban area is covered in parks, lakes and green spaces, and as of 2018, 22 million trees and shrubs call the city’s public spaces home. As such, Milton Keynes is a dog-owners dream, with a park at practically every doorstep.
Here are some of the best picks to check out.
Bletchley Blue Lagoon
Bletchley’s Blue Lagoon was birthed from the mouldering remains of former brickworks that was flooded and repurposed into a local nature reserve. The name comes from the pure blue colour of the pit, now concealed by the calm water. If you head down at the weekend, you might see Milton Keynes Sub-Aqua Club. They use the lagoon for diving, as the under the surface has been planted a bus, two cars, and a light aircraft for divers to discover.
The old brickworks have also become a sanctuary for local wildlife, including the common spotted orchid, Great Crested Grebe, ducks, geese, woodpeckers, as well as the curiously fanged muntjac deer.
If your dog is a little over-eager, to keep them away from the deer, you might want to pop your pooch in a Julius-K9 dog harness. It is sturdy and easy-to-use, made from premium quality material, it’ll hold-up to even the most energetic dogs.
Local car park available.
One of my favourite dog walks in Milton Keynes is Linford Wood. The woodland is one of the more historic locations in Milton Keynes, dating back to 1284 when it was enclosed as a deer park. Since then the site, which lies 1 km north of Central Milton Keynes, has been managed by the Great Linford Manor Estate.
At 39.3 hectares, your dog can run and roam the semi-natural ancient woodland, until they’re thoroughly tired. Plus, with plenty of sticks around, you’ll never struggle for a game of fetch.
Keep your eyes peeled for the wooden sculptures poking out the undergrowth!
Car park available off the V7 Saxon Street.
Stanton Low Park
It might be a newly created park, developed in recent years from the old pastoral fields, but Stanton Low has heaps of history. The remains of the former Stantonbury Manor, including the impressive earthworks of the now-forgotten gardens, are fantastic for your dog to explore. While the more prominent ruin of St Peter’s Church – which dates back more than 1,000 years – is found nearby the site of the manor. From up high, you can even the furrows in the ancient fields, where medieval farmers practised their open field system.
Today, the park has new inhabitants. On a sultry summer’s evening, you can see Barn Owls hunting for their prey amongst the thick bushy grassland, as well as finches in the autumn.
There is also an amazing adventure playground that’ll tire out your kids, while your dog runs wild across the open grass.
Car park available off the Newport Road next to the Oakridge Park Local Centre.
Situated near Bletchley, Waterhall Park is something of a hidden gem. The grand circular walk around the park takes in avenues of majestic Lombardy poplars, quaint bridges over babbling brooks, and a verdant undergrowth that’s quintessentially English.
As you stroll around, look out for the cows near the banks of the River Ouzel, and admire the rich and bountiful reedbeds and willows. There have even been reports of otters moving into the area!
There are also some picnic benches near the river, so bring a pack-up and make a day of it.
Car park off Mill Road.
Back in the early days of Milton Keynes, the Development Corporation bought a dank and tangled woodland. Over the years, due to active management, it was transformed into the wildlife haven of Howe Park.
Whether it be badgers or foxes, the strange Muntjac deer – listen out for the unusual barking -, woodpeckers or sparrowhawks, Howe Park has some of the best wildlife England has to offer. In the summer there’s also over 30 different species of butterfly that’ll have your dog leaping into the air.
You’ll also want to check out the newly created ponds. There are so many species jam-packed into the park that it has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
There’s even a café that serves a range of foods, including a fabulous selection of cakes.
Car park located at the wood’s main entrance, off the H7, opposite the Westcroft Centre.
While Caldecotte Lake serves an essential purpose in managing the floodwaters from the River Ouzel, it’s also become a popular spot for water sports and dog walkers. So, wander around the lake with your pooch, as you watch the aquatic adventures, from surfing to water zorbing. There’s also a miniatures railway, run by the local M.K. Model Engineering Society every Sunday from April to October.
Also, head over to the windmill, which houses the Caldecotte Arms. Order yourself a refreshing Beveridge, and take in the lakeside view.
Free car parks available.
A short drive from Milton Keynes, Rushmere Country Park, one of the most popular dog walks in Milton Keynes. It is a vast 400-acre estate of woodland, heathland and meadows. Several trails wind their way through the lush landscape, passing under the shade of the leafy canopy, or heading down to the long lake at the park’s centre.
The park also houses a fantastic collection of wooden sculptures, whose organic shapes are unlike anything else in the area. The Oak Wood Sculpture trail is not one to miss!
Given the size of the woods and range of landscapes, it makes a fantastic location to train your dog. Take along Lily’s Kitchen Dog Treats Scrumptious Duck & Venison Sausages – to provide your dog with a delicious reward to help them train. (They’re also handy for rewarding your pooch when they stay out of trouble.)
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