People seem to have a very poor image of Milton Keynes. I am often told that Milton Keynes is just concrete. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. We walked for just over 6 miles and it was all lovely and green.
We started out from Willen Lake. The car park we used was across from Gulliver’s Land. From that car park we walked under an underpass toward Gulliver’s Land. Once under the underpass you will see Gulliver’s Land on your right bordering the path toward Campbell Park. Walk up to the canal and turn right with the canal on your left.
Keep straight on with the canal to your left. This is a towpath, the Grand Union Boardwalk, and cycle route 6. We stayed on this path for quite a ways. At the end of the boardwalk turn left.
We continued on this path with the canal still on your left.
On the other side of the canal you will see the entrance to Pennyland Marina. Continue along and you will find a brick arch bridge. There is a sign for Great Linford Village. Turn left toward the village.
We walked straight on up the path toward the village. There will be a field on the right and houses on the left. The field is for ponies. There will be a junction. A path on the left perpendicular to your path and another path parallel. Turn right onto the parallel path with the pony field on your right. This path goes back down toward the canal. When you reach the park turn left.
Again we are heading toward the village with the park on the left. The path continues on into the village right up to the high street where we turned right. There are some lovely old houses on this street along with a pub called The Nag’s Head.
In the picture above you can see white gates at the end of the road. This is the entrance to Linford Manor Park. People love to say that Milton Keynes has no history. That it is too new of a town but they are wrong. Milton Keynes was built from several smaller towns and villages. The family that built this Manor House dates back to the 11th century. pretty sure that count toward history.
We got a bit curious here and wondered around the park a bit before starting the head back with the canal on our left. The path runs along with the house on your right. There is a car park and hall on the right and we reach a minor road. Cross over the road and up to the path diagonally on the right. This path leads back to the park you walk3 through before. Keeping the canal on your left continue following this path. It is again the towpath, canal south, and cycle route 6.
There are works of art along the way both north and south on the path. Look out for them.
At Downbarn Park turn left toward Willen Lake and the Peace Pagoda. You will see Campbell Cafe on your right and come to a bridge over Brickhill Street. After the bridge you come to the zig zag. This also features in one of th local parkruns and it a nightmare for me. This time I walked up the stairs but the zig zags are an option if stairs are not an option. At the top turn to your left and head down the hill in from of you.
As you head down the hill you will see the Peace Pagoda on your right. I will admit that we made a wrong turn so I don’t have good pictures of the Peace Pagoda. We thought there would be a path on the right but it didn’t lead anywhere so we went off-road to just get back down to the path. You can be sensible and keep the pagoda on your right to the bottom of the hill and turn right. When you reach a fork bare left with the mini Stonehenge style sculpture on your left.
Continue under the underpass and bare right at the next fork and head back to the car park.
This was a perfectly family and disability friendly walk. No stiles or gate to get through and all the paths were well maintained. It was very flat on the whole with the most challenging hills being bridges over canal or road. It was a total of 11k including wondering around in the Linford Manor Park for a little while. So a rough estimate is about 6 miles in total if you just wal the route without extras.
This route is by far not unusual for Milton Keynes. There are so many parks that wind throughout the city that you can find yourself in nature with only a few minutes walk. Sometime soon we will start from the manor park and head farther north but for today this was enough.
I hope you all give this walk a try and enjoy some downtime in the greenery of Milton Keynes.