Due to the housing congestion in London in the 1950s and 60s, the British government felt moved to develop a solution.
Several “new towns” were to be designed, and the largest among them would eventually be called Milton Keynes, named for the village that was originally on the site.
The town was deliberately located equidistant from London, Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, and Leicester. It was hoped it would become self-sustaining and a major regional centre in its own right. And while it has perhaps taken a little longer than hoped, it now looks like Milton Keynes (MK to the locals) is on the up.
Ranked 97th best place to live in the UK 2015, it was also recently named the 5th best place to make a living in the UK, playing host to the headquarters of Domino's, Marshall, Argos, Suzuki, Volkswagen, and Mercedes, among others.
The thriving arts scene, postmodern architecture, mix of quirky period homes and new-build apartments, and the infamous Concrete Cows give this town an offbeat atmosphere that you’ll either love or hate. A definitive Marmite town.
Ready to give MK a go? Here are a few of our favourite places when it comes to living and renting in Milton Keynes.
Location, Location, Location
As mentioned, relocating to Milton Keynes places you near to a number of major towns and cities. You’ll be just over half an hour from London Euston, an hour from Birmingham, and 90 minutes from Leicester.
Milton Keynes Central railway station will also get you around MK and its surrounding areas, while regular buses connect every corner of the town.
And if you’re travelling by air, the nearest international airport is London Luton Airport.
An Ancient Village
Located around one mile from the centre of Milton Keynes, the modern district (and ancient village) of Loughton is a green and pleasant counterpoint to the hustle and bustle of this large and growing town.
With a number of parks, including Loughton Valley Park, plenty of leisure facilities, and a handful of eateries and pubs, there’s a little something for everyone here.
And for young families with school-aged children, you’ll find a couple of primary schools (Loughton School and Loughton Manor First School) and a secondary school (Denbigh School), which was recently rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
Meanwhile, commuters will be heartened by the proximity of Milton Keynes Central Station, which is only a few minutes walk away and puts you within 30-35 minutes of London Euston.
A Town in Its Own Right
Separated by the M1 motorway from Milton Keynes, the town of Newport Pagnell is still close enough to feel part of MK, even if it technically isn’t
It is popular with young professionals and families alike due to its excellent housing options and terrific schools, although be forewarned that the average house price here is above the national average.
Like Loughton, there are plenty of parks in which to get your fix of green and open space, while the town centre plays host to an incredibly popular farmers market, held on the third friday of every month.
Newport Pagnell’s high street is home to a number of pubs (seven in total) and restaurants, with brightly painted facades and hanging baskets overflowing with beautiful flowers. And if you need to nip into MK for more comprehensive shopping options, you are but a ten minute drive away.
Thinking of moving to Milton Keynes? Make sure you check out Loughton and Newport Pagnell.
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