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MNHQ here - can you share your best tips about Milton Keynes family life?

(3 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 08-Mar-18 15:08:31

Hello lovely Mumsnetters of Milton Keynes - can we ask you a favour? We're hoping to compile the Mumsnet guide to Milton Keynes, containing all the things that parents would want to know if they were considering moving over this way. We were wondering if you might chip in some of your vast and hard-won local knowledge to help us (and your fellow parents) out?

Here's an idea of the kind of info we had in mind:

Childcare availability - for example, does everyone have to get their names down at birth to have a hope of getting any? Do people commute or work in town - and if the former, where to and what level of hellish is it?!

How would you describe the overall ambience of the place, or rate it's relative friendliness to children and the adults who grow them? Are there lots of pregnant women to smile at if you're pregnant too? Which are the 'best' roads and why? Conversely, which are the bargain (well, you know... relatively) parts of town? Is there a lot of choice for renters, or is it really tough to find a family home? Is there lots to do if you're looking after small kids, or are you doomed to a certain amount of aimless buggy-pushing to while away the hours?

Are their markets - and if so, are they fancypants ones or standard and useful? What about coffee shops/ department stores/ supermarkets... clothes?

What local facilities are there - clubs, leisure centres, pools and the like? What the schools are like for bigger kids - are there some which are improving, or others which are perceived to be resting on their laurels a bit? What's going on in terms of community action, and is it easy to get involved? What's planned for the future - are there any roads about to plough through the historic centre, for example, or is the local community centre under threat?

Finally, what do you think the best and worst things overall about living here? What are the issues that are really exercising parents right now? And what about its quirks and hidden corners - things you really do have to be a local to know about.

But: we know that there will be loads of other stuff that we haven't considered - so please don't limit yourself to the ideas above. Any and all info, however, brief, will be very gratefully received - as a mark of which, we'll put all your names into a hat and pick one to get a <drumroll> exclusive Mumsnet mug. Not available in shops!

Thanks so much all

MNHQ

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 12-Mar-18 12:07:35

Small bump.

bunbunny Thu 19-Apr-18 00:31:33

Sorry, missed this at the time it was posted (obviously I don't come over here frequently enough!) and I need to go to bed now so am not going to sit and write a long post as I've made that mistake before and all of a sudden I find myself going to bed at 2am instead of midnight grin

However, I have written many times before on MN how it's a great place to live or visit with kids, so if you're still looking for info and need it asap, then if you search through some of my old posts for Milton Keynes you'll find lots of info.

The other thing that's worth mentioning is the Milton Keynes International Festival that happens every other year - and this year it's going to be their 5th festival (known locally as IFMK:fest), usually in late July around the first week of the summer holidays and it's always a great start to the summer. It's over 10 days, attracts loads of amazing events and happenings all over the city but centre on the main site (previously it's been at Campbell Park and at Willen, I believe this year it's back to Campbell Park) which is large, has a spiegeltent and big top and lots of foodie trucks and things going on. I can't begin to explain how wonderful all the different things are, and how the whole city gets a different festival feel for those 10 days, lots of fun and the kids in particular always have a ball.

The other great thing that MK has that very few other places I know of have is its Play Association - which runs free play and craft sessions throughout the city during the holidays. They also have an amazing scrap store that is a treasure trove of wonderful crafty bits and bobs, all donated by local companies that would otherwise have thrown them away. They do lots of other stuff too, but it's a great charity that really benefits the local kids.

A local mum runs a facebook page and blog called Milton Keynes Kids that reviews all the local free and cheap things to do - she doesn't take any freebies or offers, just writes up what she does with her dc and virtually every mum I know locally refers to it to see what's on and what's available, and to check out different parks and places to go. There are hundreds of parks here from great big ones to tiny little ones, ancient woodlands, brand new playgrounds, even a Tree Cathedral, as well as 56 lakes, most run by the local Parks Trust, which do a fantastic job (and apparently until recently they we were the only place in the UK that had a set up like this that enabled parks and nature to flourish locally, a couple more have been set up in places like Sheffield(?) based on their example as it's worked so well).

@Katemumsnet - let me know if you want more stuff - I could bore for England on MK grin For what it's worth - I get some local stuff pop up on my main active conversations list - and I do try to check them out, but I hadn't realised that I wasn't seeing everything, I just assumed there wasn't much traffic (it's quite a quiet board!). If I had realised that I only got occasional local posts rather than all of them I would have actively visited the board more. I also thought I had this set as my local board but it asked me to set one - and I do sometimes get all sorts of weird and wonderful different local posts that ping up - but wondered if it was in the same way that Facebook seems to welcome me while I am in Anglsey/Liverpool/Truro/anywhere that I'm not/etc - I don't know if that's all a connected issue?

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