Milton Keynes Arts and Culture

Milton Keynes is in Buckinghamshire, England and is just 45 miles from London. The town is frequented by tourists from across the globe looking to dive into the town’s art and culture. The town is filled with ample opportunity to enjoy arts and culture.

Historical Centers and Museums

Milton Keynes is famous for its vital role in World War II. The town is home to the Bletchley Park complex, which is where cryptography experts gathered and worked day and night to decipher codes sent from the Germans and their allies during the war.

Bletchley Park’s mansion is filled with relics from the past along with a museum of wartime cryptography.

Original huts where experts worked to break codes are still standing and can be explored.

Computing grew in Milton Keynes, with The National Museum of Computing housing many original pieces of equipment that was prominent in the 40s – 80s. The museum is located at Bletchley Park, so it’s a convenient stop while sightseeing.

The town has ample places to explore, including:

  • Milton Keynes Museum: The Milton Keynes Museum is fun for the entire family. Guests can play old parlour games, browse the High Street, take a seat in the stocks and even experience a WW2 air raid in the Anderson Shelter. The museum brings guests back into Milton Keynes past to relive the town as many people’s grandparents and great grandparents once did.
  • The Cowper & Newton Museum: The Cowper and Newton Museum is in the borough of Milton Keynes in Olney. The museum celebrates famous residents William Cowper and John Newton. The pair wrote one of the world’s most famous hymns: Amazing Grace. A collection of local artifacts exist in the Georgian-era building along with a detailed look into life during the era.

Milton Keynes offers a rich past to explore.

Art Galleries to Explore

The arts are very much a part of the vibrant lifestyle of Milton Keynes. The town is a historical and cultural oasis, yet the “newer” town has attracted artists from across Europe that display their works in local galleries.

MK Gallery is filled with masterpieces, and the venue is currently being renovated and expanded. Exhibitions will continue during the construction phase.

When the construction phase is complete, the gallery will offer double the space. There will also be facilities in place for performances and cinema.

MK Gallery has many sculptures, paintings and pictures that fill its interior.

A wide variety of works are on display, and with the contemporary gallery set for expansion, MK is sure to grow in popularity. The small gallery will grow into a mid-size gallery following the expansion, allowing for events and activities to entertain guests of all ages.

The gallery is free to enter, too.

Milton Keynes also includes public sculptures, which can be found scattered across the town. Lia Leyh’s Concrete Cows is one of the most prominent sculptures in the town. There are also works from Elisabeth Frink, Ronald Rae and Philip Jackson.

If you want to catch a glimpse of art in mid-creation, you can go to the Westbury Arts Centre. Located in the West end of town, the Centre is in a grade II Farmhouse from the 16th century. Spaces for professional artists are in the extended Farmhouse.

Music and Theatre Come to Life

Milton Keynes has ample opportunities to enjoy the finest music. Large scale events are put on in the National Bowl amphitheater. The amphitheater is an open-air venue that has a capacity of 65,000.

The National Bowl was renovated in 2012. Many popular bands and musicians have played at the amphitheater, with crowds filling the stadium’s capacity. Queen appeared at the venue in 1982 and included their appearance in Queen on Fire – Live at the Bowl.

Other big-named bands that have entertained crowds in the venue include:

  • Status Quo
  • Erasure
  • Metallica
  • Green Day
  • Linkin Park
  • Jay-Z
  • The Prodigy
  • Swedish House Mafia

Smaller, local venues also put on live shows featuring many local musicians.

When traditional concerts are not on the agenda, there are opportunities to enjoy musicals, plays and orchestras. A few of the more elegant shows include the Milton Keynes City Orchestra.

The orchestra offers live classical music with an international reputation for outstanding quality and over 30 years of existence.

Milton Keynes Theatre is the most prominent theatre outside of London’s West End. The theatre is home to world-known acts, and there are:

  • Leading opera singers
  • Pantomimes
  • Musicals

The theatre offers a retracting roof to accommodate crowds of 900 – 1400 people. The high-end theatre provides the right atmosphere for all levels of production, from amateur productions to the best in the world.

Classic dance, drama and comedy are often on the schedule.

Kid’s shows are included in the schedule, too, to allow for the venue to accommodate people of all ages.