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Milton Keynes

Type:Towns & Villages

Olney, Buckinghamshire, MK46 4AJ


Olney, a quiet market town and a short drive from the heart of Milton Keynes, was once a centre of lace-making and more recently the boot and shoe industry. It is a thriving, bustling community with plenty to offer visitors and best known for its annual Pancake Race established 1445.

The Cowper and Newton Museum on the Market Place, was home to William Cowper from 1768-1786. Together with John Newton, ex-slave trader, curate and author of Amazing Grace, they wrote the famous Olney Hymns.

The 14th Century church of St Peter and St Paul, with its 200ft spire dominates the entrance to the town. Emberton Park and Clifton meadows are near by offering river and lakeside walks, canoeing, fishing and many other activities.

Best Kept Village

Olney with its sense of community shows its pride with its winning tradition of Britain in Bloom and the Bucks’ Best Kept Village competition. In spring and summer the town is decorated with stunning floral displays to be enjoyed and savoured by all.

Olney’s wide High Street (one of the widest in England) offers a mix of restaurants and pubs and an interesting collection of delightful shops. It invites you to explore the side alleys to discover more shops and walkways without taking you away from the main town. The weekly market on Thursday and local Farmers’ Market on the first Sunday of the month add a buzz to the activities of the town. Free parking throughout and easy access from the M1 make Olney a great place to visit.


Olney, on the river Ouse, hosts raft and duck races in early July with family entertainment and good old fashioned rivalry and fun. The firework display in November is spectacular and provides easy parking and access to the event.

Dickens of a Christmas, now an established event, takes place on either the first or second Sunday in December. The whole town comes to life with a traditional Victorian Christmas market with live entertainment and Father Christmas.


Map & Directions

Road Directions

From M1 - Exit J14 take A509 signed Olney.  Olnay lies about 8 miles north. Fromm Oxford and the west - take A421 to Milton Keynes.  Then turn left onto A4146 and join A509 at the M1.  Follow signs to Olney.

Public Transport Directions

Local bus servies to:  Milton Keynes, Bedford, Northampton and Lavendon.  Onward connections by rail and express coach.

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