Milton Keynes is a town between Oxford and Cambridge, that reminds me very much of Canberra.  It has large planned streets, 3 lane dual carriageways, cycleways and lots of roundabouts.  Buildings in central Milton Keynes have a large footprint, are modern and comes with lots of parking spaces.  Planning development started in Milton Keynes about 40 or 50 years ago, and the result definitely reminds me of the Australian (or US type) suburb with central shopping areas.  Though I couldn’t see the pavements and walkways on account of the snow, I’d imagine that it is quite easy to travel and cycle through the place. It definitely seems like a “sporty” kind of place with huge areas available for activites.

We went to Milton Keynes with relatives and to go to SnoDome (also known as Xscape).  The little one was off to have his first skiing lesson and given that we had not organised ourselves for skiing this year, but promised the little one a skiing experience, this seemed like a good compromise.  SnoDome is quite huge, and the incline from the very top is about 5 or 6 storeys.  I don’t know whether this means that it is “good” skiing (not being a skier myself), but it seems to do the job of making it challenging to get down the hill.

There were a lot of shops in SnoDome, especially the ski gear shops.  I’d imagine that many of those become surf shops in the summer.  Wow, I did not realise how many attractive ski outfits there are.  Given that it was very cold the weekend we were there, ski gear looked very good and I was very tempted to purchase an outfit.

We stayed at the Hilton Hotel in Milton Keynes. There was a cheap deal going and we got GBP58 for the 3 of us, including breakfast, which I thought was quite good value. They had a heated pool, sauna, spa and steam room which we used. I thought it was a bit surreal to be swimming and splashing about, and just outside the window, it was freezing and white with snow.  It reminded me of the vodka ad in Australia some years ago, when there was a woman who jumped out of the hot springs and chucked herself on the snow and finished off the ad with “So invigorating” in a Russian accent.  The thought did cross my mind as to whether I should partake in that activity, but I think drinking the vodka would be easier.

Train trip to Milton Keynes took about 2.5 hours to get there.  On the way back, it took about an hour and 15 minutes by car.