Posted by: aboutalbion | August 16, 2015

A day out … to Milton Keynes

Yesterday, I spent a relaxing day in Milton Keynes [MK], and I reacquainted myself with its special appeal for me.

My encounter with this ‘new town’ began about twenty years ago with visits to Willen Lakes area on the eastern side.  I liked walking around the Lakes, and I appreciated the separation of pedestrians (and cyclists) from the roads and the cars.  In those days, I owned a car.  And when I visited MK, I don’t think I ever encountered a traffic jam.  Such was the attention to the needs of drivers at the original planning stage.

Yesterday, with fine weather, I took a different approach and walked from the railway station (on the western side) along the wide boulevard to the large indoor shopping mall in the city centre.  And in this shopping mall, I couldn’t help noticing a huge sandpit (about the size of two tennis courts) for the benefit of young children and ‘young at heart’ parents and grandparents (who were provided with deck chairs).  I would like to introduce my two pre-school grandchildren to this play area one day.

In the nearby extensive outdoor market, I was glad to find a couple of items for the kitchen. And beyond the shopping area lies Campbell Park.  How refreshing to have such an interesting open space so close to the centre of the city.  On my walk here, I paused to watch a few overs of a very competitive cricket match.  I concluded my walk with a meal, and I was pleased to find my favourite gastropub in the city centre – yes, the one that offers a free salad with every main meal.

I agree with those who feel that the office buildings have a ‘legoland’ appearance.  But I don’t mind that because my attention is always drawn to the wide boulevards between them, together with the provision of ample car parking, and hundreds (if not thousands) of trees everywhere.  I’m aware the MK has as many critics as supporters, but, for me, I appreciate this verdant spaciousness.

I’m glad I visited again MK yesterday.  However, if I had the responsibility of young children and I was thinking of living in MK, I would feel the need to explore the provision and performance of schools there.

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