Milton Keynes was one of the ‘New Towns’ built in the 1960s to address the considerable housing shortage created by the post-war baby boom. As such, its layout was planned and designed for growth from the start, unlike many other towns and cities in the UK that have grown organically over centuries from old settlements and market towns. If you’re thinking of moving to Milton Keynes, there are several good reasons to do so – it’s not just a commuter town...
1. It’s easy to commute from and within
...Okay, so the main reason that people move here is because it’s so darn easy to commute from. Just because it’s “not just a commuter town” doesn’t mean that its location isn’t a big selling point.
As a New Town, the infrastructure is well thought out, with excellent rail and road links. There are over 200 miles of cycle routes and ‘redways’ (paths shared between cyclists and pedestrians) and Milton Keynes is a largely flat area, meaning that if you chose to work in the town you could easily cycle there and back without having to tackle any major hills. Parking is well-designed and integrated into the town’s overall design so commuting by car is also entirely feasible.
If you chose to settle in Milton Keynes with a view to commuting to work in another city, the town is in a well-placed location, roughly in the middle of Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham
. Thanks to its rail and road connections, you could easily commute as far north as Manchester. The big reason many people settle in Milton Keynes, though, is because it is within commutable distance of London: you can get to Euston station in about 35 minutes on a direct line whilst taking advantage of the cheaper-than-London house prices.
2. House prices are still affordable
The cost of buying a home has risen considerably over recent years as more people have sought to live there and commute to London, but overall Milton Keynes’ house prices are still amongst the lowest in the county of Buckinghamshire. Many young professionals choose to rent apartments in areas such as The Hub (see below), the Theatre District, South Row, Vizion Development and Charter House, which are all in high demand for those seeking serviced or unserviced apartments; the rent tends to be higher for these executive-style apartments but they are central to much of the town’s entertainment centres and ideally placed for people wanting to socialise.
For families, there are a number of different housing developments and estates separated by a planned road network – to find which area is the best fit for your family, check out the local school catchment areas and any of the chat forums about where’s best to raise a family in Milton Keynes. As a rule of thumb, if there are curves in the roads in the area, it’s a nice place to live.
3. There’s loads to do!
In the town centre you’ll never be short of somewhere to eat, shop or be entertained. One of the biggest developments is The Hub
which has high street shops, bars, big name restaurants, a cinema and gym. Or you can head to the Xscape
complex and use their Snozone indoor ski slopes or try indoor skydiving with iFly
; there’s also another cinema and bowling alley as well as more shops, bars and restaurants. For outdoor sports, there are plenty of parks such as Caldecotte Lake which offers a variety of activities from abseiling to zorbing. If history’s your thing, go to Bletchley Park, once home to the code breakers in World War II and learn about Alan Turing. Theatre lovers don’t need to go into London for a West End fix – Milton Keynes Theatre frequently hosts touring productions.
4. There are plenty of job opportunities
In a growing town with solid retail and entertainment sectors there are plenty of job opportunities; Milton Keynes, but it also has one of the highest start-up rates in the country – plenty of people create their own successful businesses in this booming town. Investment by UK and international companies across numerous sectors (notably accounting and motor) has also brought growth to the city.
5. You can meet zombies
Just in case you thought that Milton Keynes was too ordered and planned, the town throws in an annual zombie pub crawl on Halloween. This is just one of numerous one-off events throughout the year – Milton Keynes does like to entertain its residents with open air cinemas, world food fairs, funfairs and circuses. These events give you the opportunity to get to know just how friendly and open the residents of Milton Keynes really are – it’s a welcoming town where you’ll all bond over a mutual, stoic tolerance of roundabouts.
If you plan to move to Milton Keynes and need somewhere safe and dry to store your belongings during the move (or if you need somewhere to keep your zombie costume between pub crawls) there’s a Safestore
within easy reach of the centre. Give us a call if you decide you like the sound of living in this fab town!