Spanning everything from a fascinating insight into Bletchley Park and its codebreaking part in winning World War II, to immersing yourself in the Milton Keynes arts scene at one of the best public art galleries in the country, there is no shortage of museums, galleries and events in Milton Keynes.
Culture in Milton Keynes
One of the UK’s leading public galleries, the MK Gallery is partnered with The Tate gallery and has an amazing array of exhibitions covering local and international talent. The gallery is currently undergoing a significant expansion which will double the exhibition space as well as creating a cinema, a new café and shop, with work set to be complete by 2019. When it does reopen, you’ll find it next to the Milton Keynes Theatre and a short walk from our Milton Keynes Central hotel.
Part of Acorn Walk in The Centre: MK, the Castle Galleries are worth a visit for their store-front displays alone. As well as traditional paintings, drawings, sketches and fine art, they also host a range of contemporary exhibits including a recent Marvel Superheroes collection which paid homage to the classic comic book art.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for at Castle Galleries, try ARTfull which is also in The Centre. With more experimental, challenging art and exhibits, they stock everything from glass work to sculptures, masks, retro illustrations and more.
Just over the road in the intu Shopping Centre is the Whitewall Gallery. Displaying a wide range of international work from artists including Fabian Perez, Doug Hyde and Sherree Valentine Daines, the store is part of a chain with 40 branches across the UK, with the Milton Keynes branch on the second floor.
A fascinating part of the UK’s World War ll effort, head to our page on Bletchley Park to find out more about their infamous codebreaking, the National Museum of Computing and the National Radio Museum.
An independent museum, housed in a converted Victorian farm, The Milton Keynes Museum details the region since 1800 including its agricultural, domestic and industrial history. The museum has a wide range of exhibits including early telephones and switchboards and vintage Post Office and British Telecom vehicles.
A 10-day festival celebrating art, comedy, concerts and circus arts, the IF Milton Keynes International Festival is held every two years and is organised by The Stables, the excellent live music venue. The next festival takes place from July 20–29 2018, with the following event held in 2020. Nearly half a million people take part in the celebration which is held across a number of venues in Milton Keynes as well as in parks and public squares. Launched in 2010, the festival brings together over 300 artists and acts from more than a dozen countries and is well worth visiting if you’re lucky enough to be in town.
Held every September, MK Food Fest takes place at Linford Manor Park and is a one-day festival that showcases everything from street food, a farmers’ market, a beer and cider tent and cooking demonstrations. And, in a nod to local producers, all stallholders must come from within a 20-mile radius, making it a celebration of local food and drink.
The Festival of Running might sound like a bad dream for some, but the fleet-footed festival takes place every March at Xscape and encompasses a 5km family run, a 10km race, a half marathon and a 20-mile run for those who like to get close to a marathon.