Nestled in the middle to the south of England in Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes was founded in 1967 with the intention of relieving some of the housing issues in London. Its location, conveniently located an equal distance from London, Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, and Leicester, was the primary consideration.
Milton Keynes originally consisted of several existing towns including Wolverton, Bletchley, and Stony Stratford, all of which are constituent towns of Milton Keynes today. In addition to these larger towns, a number of smaller hamlets and villages were also absorbed, some of which can be dated back to the early Middle Ages.
The population of the area prior to the formation of Milton Keynes was less than 50,000. Since its founding, the town has experienced continuous growth, and today has a population of almost 250,000, which is a reflection of the success achieved by the town planners, having intended on the town providing a home for exactly that number of people.
One of the primary reasons for this success is its heavy emphasis on modernist design, and its use of the grid road system for its layout. All the main roads bear either an H or a V, depending on whether the road runs horizontally or vertically. Those with a vision for the future hope to also add D boulevards to the map, where D denotes diagonal roads.
Features that are so characteristic of Milton Keynes today, such as the intensive planting, lakes, and park lands, were key features of the original design for the town. The vision of the new town was so successful that in 2004 authorities announced an extension plan to enable the town to double in size by 2026.
Milton Keynes has been described as a perfect blending of ancient and modern design, which produces the unique character that has drawn so many visitors and new residents to the town. Though not as popular as an urban vacation spot as some of England’s other towns, its unmatched diversity and contrasts ensure that no visitor leaves disappointed.
The city has many attractions and amusements, including Xscape Leisure Complex, home of two 220 ft. high snow slopes which get topped with fresh snow every day. The MK Dons football club, originally called Wimbledon football club, was controversially relocated to Milton Keynes in 2003 from South London.
Milton Keynes boasts 220 public works of art, including the popular 1978 sculpture of three roughly half life-sized cows with their calves by Canadian artist Liz Leyh. Its industrial estates and homes are frequently hidden behind grassy banks or thickets of dogwood, willow, and pine. Milton Keynes is currently home to about 130 roundabouts, with more planned.
A wide range of industry has been moving operations to Milton Keynes, including Professional photographers, surveyors, builders, plumbers, electricians, dental surgerys, and even the Red Bull Racing Team, with other industries, such as WD-40, Ozenar Enterprises, and Ungp Oil and Gas Investments, have found their homes in Milton Keynes.
Although Milton Keynes is a relatively new city, it has some historical significance as the place where the British cracked the Enigma Code. Breaking the Enigma Code in Bletchley Park Estate enabled the Allies to decipher intercepted Axis powers communication during World War II, which played a significant role in its outcome.
Milton Keynes continued growth and expansion come as no surprise to those whose vision it was built upon. It’s a great city located right in the heart of England that many are already proud to call home.