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Milton Keynes is far more than just a favourite detour from the M1 motorway; this exciting family destination features an excellent array of shopping opportunities, in addition to a good selection of amusement and entertainment options. Whether you’re looking to get lost in the expansive Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre or are planning to spend a day on the indoor ski slopes of Xscape, ‘MK’, as its affectionately known, is easily explored via car hire and offers good connections to London, Birmingham and other points of interest around Britain.
Who to Book With
Car hire providers with operations in and around Milton Keynes include Thrifty, Hertz, National Car Rental, Avis, Alamo and Europcar. Hertz, Alamo and National are situated close to the centre of town, whilst Thrifty operates near Wolverton rail station. Meanwhile, Avis is located near the south end of town, close to Bletchley rail station. Alternatively, several more options are available at Luton airport, about 30 minutes away from Milton Keynes.
Best Time to go
MK is a popular weekend destination all year round, but sees its biggest numbers in the summer travel season as well as during the shopping-frenzy weeks leading up to Christmas. Advanced online booking for those planning on renting a car is essential during these periods.
Need to Know Essentials
Bring the following to the rental pick-up counter in Milton Keynes:
- A valid driving license
- A second form of picture ID
- A credit card in the primary driver’s name (the one used to make your booking)
- Your reservation number
Milton Keynes is among the UK’s most car-friendly destinations thanks to its modern grid-like layout and expansive car parks. However, that’s not to say driving here is always a breeze; major shopping weekends, particularly at Christmas, create a more complex situation in terms traffic and parking. During such times, its best to arrive early and plan ahead; click here for a detailed parking map with prices.
Getting in and away by car is quite easy, as the centre of MK action is just a few miles from the M1 and less than one mile from the A1, which provides a good alternative route for those heading toward the capital.
If you’re not planning to buy a carload of goods during your visit, there is a decent range of alternative transport options for getting around town and to points outside of Buckinghamshire. See below for a summary of the public transport options in MK.
Milton Keynes is easily reachable via Virgin Trains and London Midland services. Milton Keynes Central station is located adjacent to the A5 to the west end of the city centre. Frequent direct departures head to London and Birmingham, as well as to Northampton, Liverpool, Manchester and numerous other destinations. Visit National Rail for detailed information on ticketing and schedules.
There are nearly a dozen taxi firms operating in Milton Keynes, including Skyline Taxis, Milton Keynes Taxis, Speedline Taxi and MK City Cabs. Click here for official information on meter rates from MK City Council.
Formerly known as the MK Metro, public bus services in Milton Keynes have improved somewhat over the years and have been recently taken over by Arriva. Be sure to check the helpful online route map and schedule information provided by the council. Additionally, a wide variety of coach services are also available from the MK Coachway via National Express and other providers.
Although Milton Keynes proper features a good array of activities to keep most families busy for a few days, there are a number of great daytrips available that provide a different kind of fun in the way of history, culture and outdoor opportunities. See below for a few ideas.
The Spencer of Althorp estate - Located about 30 minutes to the northwest of MK, and is among the region’s most popular daytrips. The stable area of this astounding countryside location is the final resting place of Princess Diana.
Blenheim Palace - Another great option is the captivating Blenheim Palace, located near the village of Woodstock in Oxfordshire. This well-kept treasure of English Baroque architecture features a great selection of stunning paintings, sculptures and impeccably manicured grounds. The drive should take just over an hour and will take you through lovely patches of scenic farmland and the cities of Buckingham and Bicester.
Woburn Golf Club - Finally, cruise a few minutes to the south of town to Woburn Golf Club for a relaxing day on well-kept greens enshrouded by beautiful wooded areas. The clubhouse is located about 15 minutes from central MK, just off of the A1.