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Milton Keynes

Arts and Heritage

Milton Keynes is a hidden cultural gem!

Photo Matthew Wall Mid and More main 3

If we hear the accusation that Milton Keynes doesn’t have any culture or that it’s too young to have any history…we may well just scream! It’s one of the biggest myths around MK and one that we whole-heartedly disagree with. You don’t even have to look very far to find five museums, a state-of-the-art gallery, one of the most popular theatres outside the West End and so much public art you practically bump into a sculpture around every corner.

So, what tickles your fancy in the cultural oasis that is Milton Keynes…

Museums

Bletchley Park, home of the codebreakers (Visit website)

  • The most well-known of our five museums is Bletchley Park, home of the WWII codebreakers and now a heritage site dedicated to telling their vitally important story. You can explore the atmospheric codebreaking huts, wartime blocks and absorbing exhibitions, all set within a former Victorian country estate.

The Silverstone Interactive Museum (Visit website)

  • Located just outside MK (about 20 mins drive) and is the new museum on the block. It takes you on a journey through the stars, stories and science of British motor racing and the history of the famous track, and is packed with hands-on interactives and immersive shows which is fantastic for all ages.

Milton Keynes Museum (Visit website)

  • Is a little closer to home and is one of the UK’s most family-friendly museums with re-creations and displays you can touch and try out. It celebrates the rich heritage of the area and brings history to life.

The National Museum of Computing (Visit website)

  • Based at Bletchley Park, it houses the largest collection of functional historic computers in the world.

The Cowper & Newton Museum (Visit website)

  • Located in Olney, (just to the north of Milton Keynes) is based in the house of celebrated English poet William Cowper, whose neighbour was John Newton, author of the hymn ‘Amazing Grace’.

Live Performance Venues

Theatre

Milton Keynes Theatre showcases the best West End and touring productions from across the UK. Offering a wide and varied programme including first class dance, drama, musicals, opera, comedy and children’s shows. Consistently being one of the most popular theatres in the UK, it attracts the biggest and best of the West End and touring productions, including Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked and War Horse. Their schedule of shows for this year and going into next is nothing short of spectacular!

Music Venues:

Live music is an important part of any town or city's cultural identity, and Milton Keynes has plenty to discover here are a selection of some of our favourites:

The Stables (See website)

  • One of the UK’s most popular music venues, founded way back in 1969 by legendary jazz musicians Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine. It rocks out to over 500 concerts and workshops each year and the music is set to play to packed audiences once again.

MK11 (See website)

  • Housed in a former barn and offers comedy nights, quizzes and sporting events alongside the live music and guest DJs.

The Craufurd Arms (See website)

  • One of Milton Keynes local legends, The Craufurd Arms, is a live music venue, theatre and pub located in the heart of Wolverton.

Public Art

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So much public art:

Most people don’t realise there are over 230 pieces of public art across Milton Keynes and this number is being added to all the time.

They include elaborate sculptures, art installations and, of course, the City's very famous Concrete Cows!

There are several pieces located in Central Milton Keynes - including three right here in Midsummer Place! - plus more in Campbell Park but there are many more in the other Milton Keynes parks and alongside the city's network of Redways.

More than just a gallery:

The all new, redeveloped MK Gallery opened in March 2019 and since then it has proved so much more than just a gallery. Yes, it brings world-class exhibitions to Milton Keynes, but did you know it also runs a cinema from its Sky Room, has live music and comedy nights, offers a family and learning programme to explore the artistic world and has a really good café.

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