Milton Keynes: From The Inside Out
Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire is a small town on the banks of the river Ouse, which flowed through present-day Milton Keynes. This is a largely overlooked section of the town due to its limited road network. As a result, it is often overlooked by visitors. Milton Keynes has a lot to offer: from the beautiful Royal Forest to the beautiful River Ouse. And though its history is relatively young (its origins date back to the tenth century), it is emerging as a world-class centre of academic and research activity.
A vibrant and thriving centre of learning, business and commerce, Milton Keynes has a lot to offer. In fact, it is fast emerging as a major UK cultural centre. For many years, it has been home to one of the largest architectural empires in Western Europe. Over the past couple of decades, numerous landmarks have been built – some new and some older – that make this city unique. Its mix of modern and old buildings is gradually starting to attract a diverse range of tenants.
A relatively new addition to the design scene of this tranquil town, is its ‘Aylesbury House’. This Grade II listed building was designed by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1930. The building is focused on the public good: its site hosts an annual public ceremony in August, dedicated to King Aylesbury. In addition to the King’s birthday celebrations, the Aylesbury Underground Theatre comes alive each year. This venue also accommodates conferences, exhibitions and events: in 2006, it staged an exhibition devoted to music appreciation, organised by the House of Fame.
Other notable new developments include the Milton Keynes Railway Station. This new station offers easy access to Milton Keynes and surrounding areas, as well as the existing rail links. The station is scheduled to open for the journey between 6th April 2010 and 6th July 2010. In addition, there is to be a tramway and bus link from Grosvenor Square to the town centre.
In terms of culture and design, Milton Keynes has recently welcomed a number of prominent architects. Frank Lloyd Wright was born in this town, whilst Architecture Victoria graduate John Lloyd Wright is responsible for many of the buildings that can be found around the Street, including the iconic Buckingham Palace. Peter Eisenman is another talented young talent with previous work to his name, including award-winning buildings in London and Dubai. Whilst these names are not covered in depth within this article, you will find a wealth of information and photos online, which will enable you to gain a better insight into the town’s architecture and creative scene.
Milton Keynes’ status as a popular shopping area is supported by a mixture of businesses. Whilst the traditional ‘high street’ shops can still be found throughout the area, there are a large number of outlet stores and boutique-style locations emerging, such as Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer. This has been made possible through a combination of regeneration in the area, combined with an influx of highly reputable retailers, which has seen the popularity of the area skyrocket.
As mentioned previously, Milton Keynes’ transport links are relatively poor, and this presents an opportunity for those living in the surrounding area of Barking to benefit as well. Many of these new developments feature the ‘New Towns’ initiative, where a designated route is provided for the benefit of residents and their families. Whilst this route is not exactly regular, it has proved a hugely beneficial and welcomed development for those residents who would otherwise struggle to get to work or shop in the surrounding areas.
Milton Keynes is undoubtedly a bustling, thriving and lively town. Being surrounded by the River Nene, it provides excellent access to the rest of Liverpool and the surrounding area. With housing development constantly being announced, it is clear that this town is set to become a booming market place for years to come.