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Living in Milton Keynes

An image to illustrate living in Milton Keynes.

Milton Keynes is a vibrant, modern city with exceptional facilities for learning, business and recreation. It is one of the fastest-growing urban areas in Britain with approximately 250,000 people living in the borough. Outside of study, there are many leisure opportunities including walking, cycling, sporting activities, arts and culture. 

However, if you do want to travel further afield, we are only 50 miles from London, Oxford and Cambridge and 70 miles from Birmingham. For international travel, London Luton Airport (served by a number of budget airlines) is only 25 miles away.

The Destination Milton Keynes website is full of information about what’s on, where to go, and what the city can offer.


Milton Keynes has a wide variety of residential accommodation, and plenty within easy reach of the campus. Although we have no student accommodation on campus, we have an accommodation advisor who can help you navigate the rental process; please contact the research degrees team if you would like to be put in touch with them.

Cultural life

A theatre and gallery complex houses bars and restaurants enhancing Milton Keynes’ social and cultural centre, hosing productions from the West End, ballet, opera, orchestral concerts and popular comedians. The Stables at Wavendon is a more intimate venue offering top class musical acts and comedy. Bletchley Park, home of the Second World War code-breaking centre, is now a museum. The UK’s first Peace Pagoda can be found at Willen Lake, and the National Bowl is one of the UK’s largest outdoor venues, hosting a wide range of top acts.


From lively pubs and clubs to sophisticated wine bars, there are places to suit you whatever your preference. The Hub Milton Keynes caters for all tastes from Italian and French cuisine to flavours from South America and Asia. Xscape in the city centre offers bowling, indoor skiing, a comedy club and nightclub. The Theatre District is packed with restaurants and is a lively place to ‘people-watch’ in the evening.

If you prefer a more traditional setting try the historic coaching town of Stony Stratford. This stretch of the old roman road houses more than its fair share of pubs, and apparently gave rise to the phrase ‘a Cock and Bull story’.

Parks and waterways

Enjoy 4000 acres of parks and 20 million trees in MK, including a ‘cathedral of trees’ based on the layout of Norwich Cathedral. A specialist cycleway – the Redway – weaves through the city making it one of the safest places to cycle in the UK.

There are 15 lakes and 11 miles of canals, and the Blue Lagoon in the south of the city has at least 28 species of butterfly, as well as being the site of rare British orchids.


Centre:mk is one of the biggest undercover shopping areas in Europe, and one of the best retail experiences in the UK. For independent boutiques, head to Olney, Newport Pagnell, Woburn Sands or Stony Stratford. There are a number of large shops within 10 minutes’ drive of the campus, at Kingston Retail Park, MK1 Shopping Park and Bletchley.


With indoor skiing, climbing and sky-diving you can exercise whatever the weather, or go outside to surf, sail, wake-board or test your mettle on the aerial rope course. Milton Keynes is home to the National Badminton Centre and the state-of-the-art 30,000 capacity MK Dons football stadium. Whatever your sporting interest, you are likely to find it somewhere in the city. To find out more about sports in Milton Keynes visit DestinationMK.

Useful local links


The Hub Milton Keynes

The Parks Trust

Milton Keynes Theatre

Bletchley Park

The National Bowl


The Stables




Your questions

For advice about applying for a research degree, or sponsoring a research student, send us an email or call +44 (0)1908 654882.