Milton Country Park
- Go wildlife-spotting around the lakes and woodland areas, where you can find deer, rare birds and even snakes.
- Kids can run wild in the huge newly-renovated outdoor adventure playground.
- Learn a new skill on the water, with classes in everything from canoeing to stand up paddleboard yoga!
- Get involved with the many community events, and head to the park in September to check out the famous Autumn Festival.
Located just north of the famous and historical city of Cambridge, Milton Country Park is a huge, 95 acre expanse of parkland with pathways, lakes and family activities aplenty, ideal for a day out with the kids. Before the site became Milton Country Park as we know it today, it was originally used almost 2,000 years ago by Romano-British people to harvest clay. The Romano-British came about after the Romans invaded and settled in the UK, creating a combination of Roman and British culture. Following their use of Milton Country Park for clay, it eventually became farmland, and remained like this for hundreds of years until the 20th century, when gravel and other materials were taken from the area to build houses. After becoming overgrown and falling into a state of neglect, the decision was made to develop the land, and Milton Country Park was opened in 1993. Now owned by Cambridge Sport Lakes Trust, there has been a focus placed on developing the facilities on site, as well as creating play areas and places for water sports. Now, with so much to experience and discover, Milton Country Park is one of the top places to go in Cambridge as a family.
Due to the manner in which the gravel was collected from the site in the past, the pits left behind formed the perfect place for lakes to be formed, which in turn attracted all manner of wildlife to Milton Country Park. Throughout the year there is plenty of seasonal wildlife to spot, from kingfishers in spring and lizards, grass snakes and butterflies in summer, to roe deer in autumn and rare birds such as bitterns, ospreys and garganeys in winter. There are plenty of great ways to experience the wildlife at the park, with over 2 miles of pathways to explore and woodland, lakes and meadows to discover. The Milton Country Park Circular walk is a popular free activity for families, and will take you on a 2.4km long loop around the park, where you can check out wildflowers, look for birds and fish at the lakes, and enjoy the local area. As a nice flat walk, this is the perfect way to spend an hour exploring one of the most fascinating parks in Cambridge.
As well as lots of beautiful wildlife, Milton Country Park also has plenty of fantastic facilities and activities that are perfect for kids. With family events, sports facilities and more, there is no shortage of things to do once you've had a walk around. Todd's Pit lake is specifically dedicated to water sports run by Cambridge Sport Lakes, and you can try your hand at paddleboarding, canoeing, and even 'Stand Up Paddleboarding Yoga' on the water! Since Milton country Park is an official British Stand Up Paddleboarding Association school, there are plenty of classes and courses on offer in the spring and summer months for kids and grown-ups alike. There are also open water swimming sessions put on from April-October, with winter sessions also on offer for more experienced swimmers. There are also designated fishing spots at both lakes, with the opportunity to fish for carp, bream, roach, pike, and much more.
As well as the brilliant water sport facilities, you'll also find a fantastic outdoor adventure playground at the park, complete with a zip wire, climbing frames, swings, and much more. With lots of equipment designed to promote independent play and plenty of space to run around, the playground is certainly not to be missed. Another unique spot at Milton Country Park that is perfect for visits in the warmer months, is the orchard. Located in the south area of the park, the orchard is filled with local heritage trees, and is even home to a wildflower bed. An ideal place for a picnic or to see how fruit is grown, the orchard area is created and run by volunteers, and is an important area of the park for encouraging wildlife to flourish.
There are lots of top Milton Country Park events on year-round, with something for each member of the family. With many weekly sessions focusing on health and fitness, such as the Walking for Health initiative, as well as running, cycling and orienteering clubs for both kids and adults, there are lots of community activities to get stuck into. For those with an interest in nature, the Outdoor Learning and Forest School is the perfect place for kids to learn survival skills at The Wild Place, or teens aged from 14-17 can head to Wild Minds, an outdoor activity group with a focus on boosting mental health. There are Welly Walks and a Wild Beginnings group for toddlers, as well as an after school club. And, one of the most special events that takes place every year is the Autumn Festival. Taking place in September this huge community event involves everything from pond dipping, to renting family bikes and enjoying some street foods, local crafts and seasonal produce.
Once you've had a chance to explore Milton Country Park Cambridge, there are plenty of places to go for some lunch or dinner. If the weather is good, one of the best free options is to pack a picnic, to enjoy on the park grounds. Or, the Milton Country Park Cafe & Cycle Centre has everything you need from cakes and tea to bike repair. The café serves hot paninis, sandwiches, tea and coffee and even artisan gelato, while the Cycle Centre is the place to go for bike hire or anything else you might need for a cycle in the park. Alternatively, Milton Country Park is just a 15 minute drive from the centre of Cambridge, which is home to a whole host of restaurants, cafes and pubs, depending on your taste.
If your family had a wonderful time exploring and learning at Milton Country Park, Cambridge, why not add some of our favourite local days out to your list of places to go? If you have a keen eye for wildlife, Cambridge University Botanic Garden with its beautiful glasshouses and plant collections is the place to go. Or, for a unique day involving miniature railways and wildlife galore, head north to Peterborough to check out Railworld Wildlife Haven, a nature reserve with a distinctive railway theme.
What to know before you go
- Milton Country Park Cambridge is open 24 hours all year round. The Grounds Café is open from 9:30am-4pm during the week, and 9am-4:30pm on weekends. The rest of the facilities and toilets are open from 8am and have seasonal closing times.
- There are accessible toilets available at the café, as well as a Changing Places facility. There are also baby changing facilities available on site.
- The park is widely accessible for both wheelchairs and buggies, with flat smooth paths around the park. The café also has level access. There are two wheelchair accessible platforms at each lake for fishing.
- If fishing at the lakes, you must have a permit from the Angling Club.
- Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a lead, and there are designated areas of the park where you can let your dog off the lead.
- To get to Milton Country Park by car, take the A14, or the A10 if coming from the north, and then the Cambridge Road exit from the Milton Interchange roundabout, then follow the signs for the car park, which is in the south east area of the park. Milton Country Park parking is available for a small fee, and Blue Badge parking is free.
- If travelling by bus, take the Citi 9 from Cambridge which will bring you opposite the entrance of the park.
- The nearest train station is Cambridge North, which is a 5 minute taxi ride away.
- You can also drop your car off at the Park & Ride in South Cambridge, then take the bus through Cambridge to Milton.