A wintery walk through Milton Keynes

13 December 2017

We woke on Sunday to a garden full of snow!  Now looking back we haven't had snow like this for quite a few years.

The initial response was to go back to bed (which indeed I did, with a hot cup of coffee and my laptop to do a bit of writing and photo organising etc.)

But then we ventured out because dogs need walking whatever the weather (though I did wonder if Brandy would refuse to come. As far as I knew this was her first snow and she might have thought better of the idea.)

Brandy a little hesitant for a fraction of second but then she decided snow offered all sort of opportunities for hi jinks.

We met doggy friends out.

This is my regular morning dog walk. It takes on a completely different atmosphere when covered in snow. 

This is a little river that runs right through the middle of Milton Keynes. It links a number of lakes. I have seen Kingfisher but never been able to photograph one.  There are plenty of ducks, heron and small white heron and rumour has it there are otters.

Below is Bradwell Abbey - this was a medieval abbey that was never one of the great abbeys of England. It actually shut before the reformation when the crown seized much church land. More recently it was a farm and this was the farmhouse. The end you see in the photo below really is an old part of the abbey. The little chapel (out of shot of this photo) was used as the tool shed for years. Now its a listed monument because of the rare wall paintings on the wall. Not that I have ever seen them. They chapel is kept locked.

And here is the other side of the farmhouse.

The scaffolding on the end is a permanent fixture. I think the place needs a lot of work to make it useable again. It is a long time since it was a house. More recently it was used as offices though i suspect not very good ones.

Then onto the concrete cows. Oh I do love the concrete cows.  These in Bancroft are not the originals. Instead they are replicas, but this does not mean they have lost any charm. After all, they are concrete too!

Some ingenious takes on the traditional snowman.

I think the one below is supposed to be a snow rabbit. 

 Then back through Bradwell Village. This is one of the original villages of MK. Bradwell was listed in the Domesday book and actually predates the neighbouring Abbey,which was founded in the 1100s.

There are some victorian cottages in the village as well as some older stone cottages.

Very picturesque.

Once, Bradwell even had a castle. Nothing grand, really. Just a mott and bailey, but nevertheless a castle.  Consequently, there is not a lot to see now. Just a lump in the ground really.

But Bradwell has a lovely church.

And this tree was in the churchyard. I think it is a sort of plum. Whatever, the birds were having a feast. And it was like a tree bedecked with golden jewels.

Through the churchyard and you see these little houses, that are right against a wood. So much so that the one at the end feels as though it is in the wood.

Over the railway line. Even the trains were affected by the snow.

And home again. (thats not my house, by the way. Just a view up the road.)

And then I shovelled snow!


  1. I don't know how you had the energy to shovel snow after that lovely walk, Hilary. It certainly was a winter wonderland. We had a good covering of snow, though less than you, and this morning it's like it never was. Completely gone!

    1. Julie - it was a case of needs must. I knew if I didn't the car would be stuck on the drive. So P,eased I did this forward planning because Monday the office was half empty. People were stuck. The gritters did not get out at all. Yesterday it warmed up and it all melted. No it's just very soggy underfoot.

  2. What sort of bush/tree was it with the red berries?
    Sandy in Bracknell

    1. Sandy - I confess I don't know. The leaves are long and thin. And the birds don't seem to touch the berries. It's round the corner on one of the red ways.

  3. What lovely photos!
    And the snow rabbit is adorable! X

    1. One of my colleagues has a picture of the most amazing snow cat! Rather fun to build alternatives to the usual snowman. We didn't build anything. My gloves are not waterproof so it was not so appealing. We threw snowballs for the dog instead.

  4. I found your photos fascinating. I worked at the OU for some years so know MK quite well. We lived in Blakesley in South Northants then and before that in Oxfordshire where we were snowed in on one occasion. I made good use of the time making a quilt 'sandwich'. We have now been in Penzance for twelve years and we have really only had snow once. This morning there is a lot of hail, though. I don't like snow as I grew up in New Zealand where we never had any.

    1. I'm glad this took you on a little trip down memory lane. I don't know Blakesley - must look it up, but I do love Northamptonshire. The snow has all gone now, by the way.

  5. Just now getting a chance to revel in this lovely post. I didn't realize you had these beautiful woods to walk in - although it may be as you say, that I don't recognize them because the snow has transformed them - and also a stream to follow along that delights you with various birds. This looks very much like right here where I hang out. I particularly loved the pops of red in some of the photos, the snow rabbit, and the various buildings. As a snow lover, I am happy to see you get your own blanket of white, even if it DOES mean a bit of shoveling. ;-)

    1. Thanks Sheila. The amazing thing about this walk is that it is right in the middle of the city. Milton Keynes is only 50 years old - a new city - and has retained old villages and some woods etc. So there are fabulous walks literally in the middle of the city.



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