Top on everyone’s list of things to see in Milton Keynes is Bletchley Park. The cornerstone of British code-breaking, this Victorian estate is where men and women worked throughout World War II to crack German codes, playing a huge role in ending the conflict. It’s full of fascinating historical tidbits and interactive exhibits that appeal to every age – so allow plenty of time to explore. Want to learn even more about the computing machines used to decipher German secret messages? Head over to the nearby National Museum of Computing and check out the reconstruction of the world’s first electronic computer: Colossus.
Milton Keynes has more than 200 works of public art, but the best known is a 1978 sculpture by Liz Leyh of six cows made from concrete. The cows have been moved about, kidnapped, repainted with pajamas and much more through the years since they first appeared, and are now a beloved city icon. Stop by to get a photo of these quirky bovines, which are one of the weirdly wonderful things to see in Milton Keynes.
It’s easy to while away an afternoon or even an entire day in the sparkling and modern The Centre:MK, a sprawling shopping mall with more than 100 stores selling everything under the sun. The centre holds fantastic events too, including garden shows and the blockbuster MK Handmade and Vintage Fairs, where 128 market stalls offering everything from vintage fabrics to homemade brownies and restored jukeboxes are collected together in the enormous Middleton Hall.
What to do in Milton Keynes if it’s raining? Go skiing, of course. Snozone is an indoor winter sports complex with two 220-feet-high slopes covered in real snow. Instructors give skiing and snowboarding lessons, or you can just rent equipment and hit the powder if you already know what you’re doing. There are classes for kids too, as well as sledging and freeform “snow play” for the youngest ones. Cold weather sports not your thing? Snozone is in the Xscape Leisure Complex, which offers indoor sky-diving, bowling, shops and a cinema. Or, if you’d rather just enjoy a snack or a drink, there are more than a dozen restaurants where you can relax.