It’s been a long time coming!
So, I’ve lived in Milton Keynes for the majority of the past decade. During that time I have said to myself “I’d like to run/ride the Millennium Circular Route”, but until today, I never have.
Instead I’ve done lots of odd bits of it, as I’ve moved and lived around the city, through my past running efforts.
A couple of weeks back my other half decided to enter a 70-mile bike ride just 10 days before the race. Knowing about the Millennium Circular Route I suggested he do a few laps for training and so he did!!
Green with envy I moved the act of cycling it, up my to-do list!
Problem was my bike. It was stolen over 18 months ago and by chance I managed to be in the right place and time, to see it being sold by Thames Valley Police on their eBay site!
So after getting it back, I took it to a national bike firm who replaced all the gears but turned the handlebars sideways to store the bike until I could pick it up.
Try as I might, I could not fix the handlebars.
So a few days ago, my other half took the entire stem apart, cleaned it, and rebuilt it, and so today, I got back in the saddle for the first time in over 2 years (and my butt knows it!)
The Millennium Circular Route
I started recording my route, from my driveway in Downhead Park, down to the Grand Union Canal where I picked up the route.
This little extra both on the way out and back, plus my odd moments of getting lost and doing U-Turns, in my guesstimate makes the route around 13 miles long.
My Strava post will show just over 15 miles. Hopefully, I can get a more accurate mileage next time I try the Millennium Circular Route.
Armed with a trusty Red Way map, I set off!
(You can pick up a copy of the Milton Keynes Redway from the Destination Milton Keynes Information Centre in CMK (It’s near Next up by the side near John Lewis).
These Maps are free and highlight all the red-ways around Milton Keynes.
I’ve managed to find a pdf copy of the map below:[PDF] MK Redway Map: NORTH
[PDF] MK Redway Map: SOUTH
What’s a Red-Way?
(For those who don’t know what a Red-Way is, as Milton Keynes is the only purposed built and planned town (but we want to be a city) in the UK, a public foot and cycle path were built among all its suburbs and public area’s.
With underpasses everywhere, you can move about the entire city without hardly ever having to use a road!
Strava Route Map
You can follow/see my route (and the little wiggly parts where I lost the path for a bit) on my Strava profile.
All the photos I have taken are also linked to the locations on route, if you are interested!
About the little Red ‘M’ or Millennium Circular Route signs (and getting lost)
So, when you are near the Canal area (north and most of the east side), these signs are in abundance, you don’t need to use the Red-way Map.
However, bottom left part of MK (say between the 6 and 10 o’clock locations) the signs do go a little awol in places.
When passing the National Bowl, its miss leading as the path looks to be the “main” route going off in one direction, when in fact you don’t.
So keep the Bowl on your right and stick on the paths as close to its circumference as you can find. Eventually, the little blue signs with red M’s appear again.
Likewise, the top end of the Teardrop Lakes, I found it hard to locate the path again. You can see on my Strava I cycle up a short way and do a U-turn.
It’s around here I lost the path completely for around half a mile before I picked it up again.
I shouldn’t have had to, but I had to wheel my bike over the dual carriageway near the Ride High Equestrian centre as I had lost the path completely and needed to use my iPhone and Google Maps (comparing my location to the Redway Map) to regain my bearings to get back on track.
I will need to do the ride again soon, whilst it is fresh in my mind to learn the path in these areas.
The top left
So long as the brook is on your left side, follow the path that wiggles in and around the fields, public greens until you reach the Railway Path.