With the hustle and bustle of centre MK taking up most of our attention, most of the time, we can sometimes overlook the hidden gems in the surrounding villages of Milton Keynes, writes Saffron Wilson.
Stony Stratford ticks all the boxes. This sleepy but thriving village is not only full of surprises, it also has a few tricks up its sleeves and a lot of history for visitors to get their teeth into.
You won’t find many chain shops along the High Street if you have come to shop. But even walking down the main drag, you’ll be passing a multitude of funky, different and cute shops which sell everything from elephant candle holders to a full set of furniture.
If you like your weird and wonderful, as well as your cute and high quality, then we recommend you come with your bags empty, a smile on your face and a lot of time too.
We should also mention that there are a few charity shops that are always worth a browse for a bargain too! You may be surprised what you can pick up!
Food and drink
Similarly to the shops, if you’re after a coffee then you have plenty of independently owned cafes to choose from, some with gorgeously interesting décor and even the tea too!
And if you’re after something a little more filling, then there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. There are curry houses, Chinese restaurants as well as Turkish and Greek, and if you take a stroll just off of the High Street, then you’re bound to find something you weren’t expecting.
Whatever you fancy, you’ll be able to find it in this small market town – and if you can’t choose, then you’ll just have to go back!
Along with food, drink and shopping, Stoney Stratford is also home to something a little different: the renowned English phrase – a cock and bull story.
This was all to do with travellers that visited the town and the two pubs there – The Cock and The Bull. Since the pubs were so close together, they tried to outdo each other with the weirdest and most wonderful travellers’ tales.
So much so, they may have had a little fiction. Not to mention that they have great beer on tap too.
A little something different
If you’re not into your coffee houses or quirky shops, then there is a little surprise in store for visitors in October.
With Halloween just around the corner, Stony Stratford is home to another, perhaps slightly peculiar tradition – the zombie bar crawl.
Along the length of the High Street, there are numerous pubs and watering holes dotted along just a few doors down from one another.
The event itself is free, and the pubs are all prepared. If you want to take part, you’ll have to dress, and act like a zombie all night!
Usually starting at the Duke of Wellington, participants start drinking (and groaning) together before creating an army of the undead to travel from pub to pub!
The event can attract 1000s of people, so be prepared for a bit of a wait at the bar, but it’s definitely something that will not only give you the spooks, but a laugh too.