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Please tell me about the Milton Keynes area

(32 Posts)
wowfudge Wed 04-Nov-15 06:56:21

DP started his new job in London which means we need to relocate - they're paying his travel and hotel expenses for a few months. Anyway, house on the market, viewings underway and fingers crossed.

We are starting off looking around the Milton Keynes area. Can anyone give some info about various areas and villages/towns around and about?

What are Newton Leys and Bletchley like, for example? DP will commute to London from MK or Bedford if we end up in that area and I'll have to change jobs and would prefer not to travel into London for that. Good local amenities important. Living in the middle of nowhere does not appeal. Views and advice welcome!

wowfudge Wed 04-Nov-15 15:58:01

Hopeful bump

PingPongBat Wed 04-Nov-15 17:29:23

Hi wowfudge

I have no idea about Newton Leys - is that the new housing development? Personally I would avoid Bletchley as I prefer somewhere with an identifiable town centre & high street. I'm not sure if Bletchley has this. It's certainly got amenities including smart looking leisure centre tho' I've not been there. There are lots of big DIY 'sheds' there, Ikea & ASDA & the Stadium MK has a new Odeon IMAX next door to it, plus parade of restaurants (Pizza Express, Frankie & Bennies, Chimichanga etc), and a shopping 'centre' - Primark, Next, BHS, Top Shop, M&S. Bletchley Park is a great place to visit if you're into coding & WW2 stuff!

If you want a small town, then I know Leighton Buzzard/Linslade a bit, which is 10 mins south of Newton Leys. Linslade is the area to the west of the Grand Union Canal, Leighton Buzzard is to the east and is where the town centre is.

There's a fast train service to Euston (35 mins), station is about 20 mins walk maximum from Linslade side of town, but may be a lot further if you live on the Leighton Buzzard side, particularly if you go as far out as Heath Reach. LB is a small market town with a pretty good high street, twice weekly market, small Waitrose, big Tesco & Morrisons, WHSmith, Boots, Costa, Halfords, local specialist shops & cafes, local butcher, Pizza Express, some good pubs (esp The Black Lion), town centre park with a bandstand & splash & play park, canal towpath is nice for walks, lots of green space / country parks / woods around the town, golf club. It's 15 mins in the train or 20 mins drive to MK shopping centre or MK Stadium. There's a leisure centre with fitness gym & pool in LB, run by the local authority, which has just had a bit of a refurb.

Hope that helps a bit! Good luck smile

swillows Wed 04-Nov-15 17:30:45

Stony Stratford is lovely - worth checking out

somepeopledontknowthat Wed 04-Nov-15 17:34:58

Bletchley has an identifiable high street, it's full of poundstretcher-type shops and is a bit of a dive I woudn't move to Bletchley.

Don't bother with Newton Leys if you want to be near things.

As stated, Stony Stratford is lovely, so is Woburn Sands which is similar but on the other side of town. Woburn is also lovely.

Decent estates in MK itself tend to be on the Western Flank and the S/Eastern flank.

The estates around the centre are to be avoided - general rule of thumb is avoid any estates with straight roads (grid system) throughout the estate...have a nosey on google streetview at somewhere like Netherfield or Fishermead if you want to understand this.

somepeopledontknowthat Wed 04-Nov-15 17:37:51

Milton Keynes village (also known as Netherfield) is lovely - has an old village feel part, lovely pub, village green but also very central and you would be in the catchment for Oakgrove Secondary (outstanding) and the new Oakgrove primary that's being opened.

somepeopledontknowthat Wed 04-Nov-15 17:38:18

Oops, that should say Milton Keynes village also known as Middleton! Still focusing on my previous post there!

PingPongBat Wed 04-Nov-15 17:39:17

I've heard some pretty grim things about Fishermead, I remember a stand up comedian doing a gig at MK Theatre, reading out bits from the local paper & when Fishermead was mentioned the audience reaction was quite telling.

somepeopledontknowthat Wed 04-Nov-15 17:42:22

yy pingpong.

I live in Old Stratford. It's nice smile

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Wed 04-Nov-15 17:45:20

We live in Linslade and love it. Quick commute to London, small but nice town centre, beautiful countryside, good schools and house prices still reasonable (although that is changing).

We are a 15 minute drive from Milton Keynes so we use it for shops/cinema etc, but much prefer Leighton Buzzard/Linslade to live in.

reubensfriend Wed 04-Nov-15 18:00:34

Stony Stratford is fabulous! Woburn Sands is lovely too.

MsRinky Wed 04-Nov-15 18:00:38

MrRinky commutes by train from MK. We initially lived on the SE side, with him getting the train from Bletchley, but now live centrally so he can walk to MK station. The second commute between home/station was too much of a pain for him otherwise - which meant we had to rule out Stony Stratford etc, lovely though they are.

What's your budget?

zipzap Wed 04-Nov-15 18:39:40

Another one who lives in MK and loves it - but would avoid Bletchley and don't know anything about the NL bit...

I'm in Loughton which is close enough to walk to the station - parking there can be quite expensive I think so it's worth considering if you can pay a bit more to be a bit closer but save on the parking costs... If you're going to pay out, it might as well be going into your house value rather than being lost to car parking! Best thing is that I am in the middle of parks and a nice area but in 5 mins walk I'm at the station.

I have dc so tend to drive to the supermarket, schools, lots of amenities etc but none of them take very long to get to.

I've got to go and make supper so can't type at length - but have done so previously - do an advanced search on here for Milton Keynes and my user name and there are quite a few threads where I've put lots more info.

Or shout if you have other questions!

wowfudge Wed 04-Nov-15 18:52:17

Thank you so far folks - I am so used to being a 20 minute drive from IKEA, the Trafford Centre for shopping and central Manchester that I feel reassured! Not that I am always shopping, far from it, but bring able to nip to places instead of planning a day out is more my thing.

Budget - we think up to £450k, but we don't want to go that high if we don't have to. Min 3 beds, garage or other storage, kitchen diner and separate utility room. We currently have a house with full size cellars and a huge garage so we are used to space.

I will have a look at the places suggested when I am supposed to be studying

HeyMicky Wed 04-Nov-15 18:59:31

What's your budget, OP? Do you have kids? What age?

Bletchley is good to be near (as PP said, lots of big shops, a range of supermarkets) but not great to live in.

North of MK, Olney is lovely but pricey.

My recommendation is the villages between Bletchley and Leighton Buzzard, where I live - the Brickhills, Stoke Hammond, Soulbury, Stewkley. Easy to get to LB for the train (28 mins to Euston) and access to both LB and MK for shopping, amenities and activities. You're also in Bucks, not Beds, so grammar school catchment if that's a requirement.

PM me for details if you'd like

HeyMicky Wed 04-Nov-15 19:00:59

Sorry, cross post.

For £415k we got a 4 bed semi detached with playroom and study, big garden, loft and garage. You'll be fine with your budget

wickedwaterwitch Wed 04-Nov-15 19:08:00

I don't live in MK but have done a London to MK commute and I agree with a pp about parking at the station - it's expensive and packed and so if you can live near the station to avoid that, do.

Trains are 36 mins to Euston but when it goes wrong it really does! I paid to go first class when I did the journey and it was worth it (you still have to be quick to get a seat) but the last Virgin train (coffee, papers, larger first class, better trains) goes fairly early, before 7am, unless that's changed.

Is in Loughton

wickedwaterwitch Wed 04-Nov-15 19:09:06

In MK you'll be near Ikea, John Lewis, it's a big shopping centre.

wickedwaterwitch Wed 04-Nov-15 19:10:19

I think you'll get more house in Bedford but a longer commute iirc

wowfudge Wed 04-Nov-15 19:14:17

Are you the developer wicked? wink. That's a blank canvas if ever I saw one!

somepeopledontknowthat Wed 04-Nov-15 19:52:50

Just to say - when we moved to MK we first lived in Great Holm, which is walkable to the station and I was commuting to London when we first moved there.

However, once winter came around the walk from Gt Holm to the station was quite creepy, not very well lit, the redways are horrible after dark. Loughton is closer and I'm not fully sure what the walk is like in the dark these days, but I remember having to cross a deserted footbridge in the dark to get back to Gt Holm and I think there's one for Loughton, too, though possibly busier as more people commute from Loughton I think.

I just remember making friends with a lady at toddler group who lived in Loughton and it both turned out that we only walked to the station in the summer months and were paying for carparking/taxis in the winter months so worth bearing in mind.

wowfudge Wed 04-Nov-15 20:05:24

What are the redways, or did you mean roadways? Good info thank you somepeople.

wickedwaterwitch Wed 04-Nov-15 20:09:25

Good lord no, I'm not the developer! <shudder at thought>

somepeopledontknowthat Wed 04-Nov-15 20:18:42

Basically, the cars and the pedestrians are the grid roads are for cars and then there are pedestrian paths that run separately, called redways..

The redways have big pluses and also some minuses:

Pluses: redways can be used by pedestrians/bikes scooters etc so kids can scoot and cycle safely away from the road mostly, they're great for running etc.

Minuses: because the redways are separate from the road they can be quite isolated, you get from estate to estate either by a bridge or an underpass, deserted underpasses can be quite scary in the dark. Also - see my earlier point about bikes and scooters, a small minority of cyclists think that the redways are cycle paths first and foremost. They aren't!

wowfudge Wed 04-Nov-15 20:33:51

Ah - I see somepeople. I'm liking the sound of it the more I find out!

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