A Ouzel Valley Park Walk

During our walk at Wendover Woods, Flyfour and I were walking and talking together at one point whilst both children had gone on ahead and we were talking about how we loved being outside, enjoying the sunshine, the open air and just being with family without any distractions. Basically, we were reminded of how much we enjoy walking and how yes, we might bring our mobile phones with us, but we're not plugged into Consoles or Tablets and Computers and it does us good as a family to just get out and about and so we decided that we would walk together as a family more often.

Which is why on Saturday afternoon, he and I went out for a date and Flyfour picked for us to walk around part of the Ouzel Valley Park in Milton Keynes. 

PippaD and Flyfour on a walk at the Ouzel Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Despite having lived in Milton Keynes for 16 years and in the local area since I was eight, I realised I had NEVER been in the Ouzel Valley Park! Flyfour used to work on the edge of the park, as he worked at The Open University and I think he may have walked there a couple of times and he's pretty certain he has cycled a couple of times around various parts of it too. However, it was really a walk of discovery as neither of us were that sure about where we were going, just that the walk was about a 3-mile circular route.

Luckily at the start was a lovely map (Thanks, Parks Trust!), so I grabbed a quick picture of that and Flyfour opened up a map on his phone so we could track where we were walking and not end up in one of the neighbouring estates.

The map of the walk at the walking routes at Ouzel Valley Park, Milton Keynes

At first, it seemed we had stumbled upon a dog park, there were a lot of people walking their dogs, which was nice as I've decided that Dogs are really just children who can't answer back! This was especially apparent after watching a pair of dogs play in a shallow part of the Ouzel whilst their owners watched on. You might think that there were a lot of dog messes around, but we actually only saw one that hadn't been picked up or hadn't been bagged, but there were a few bags surrounding one bench which confused Flyfour and I as it was only a couple of minutes away from two different car parks.

As we continued walking around the park, we came across lots of different beautiful scenes, there were plenty of bridges which were nestled into the greenery and we saw a few people riding their horses too.

A bridge across the River Ouzel at Ouzel Valley Park, Milton Keynes

We were looking out for grazing cattle, but we didn't see any despite the plentiful signs warning us that parts of the park were used for grazing cattle.

There were also plenty of families riding bikes, the paths are smooth and practically flat and apart from the cattle grids and gate systems that you occasionally have to manage, it's a nice park to cycle round for inexperienced cyclists, or for a mixed ability group of cyclists.

We were walking against the flow of the River Ouzel which has several natural beautiful bends and leads to some lovely scenes and as you can hear it even when you're a short distance away from the river. It gives a pleasant background babble, which almost counteracts the noise from the grid roads.

The River Ouzel at Ouzel Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Flyfour and I soon came across a children's play area and of course had to stop and have a play together. Our favourite was the stumps of wood sticking out of the ground at various intervals and we both quickly yelled "THE FLOOR IS MADE OF LAVA!" and set ourselves the task of getting to the other side of the play area.

Children's play area at the Ouzel Valley Park, Milton Keynes

I'm not saying it was the most fun we had on the walk, but I will admit that it was super fun racing against Flyfour and he may have taken a photograph of me and be open to bribes to show the aforementioned photo!

Flyfour and I had a lovely time just talking together, making jokes, trying to work out what trees we were walking past and renaming the birds that we saw. The route took us just over 45 minutes, but it was really more of an amble than a walk and did include us stopping to play on the Children's play equipment, make a fuss of a couple of dogs and accidentally gate crash a teenage girls "urban" photoshoot with her best mate!

The Ouzel Valley Park is found in Milton Keynes beside the V10 Brickhill Street and is bordered on the north by H6 Childs Way and in the south by H8 Standing Way. There are multiple car parks in Woolstone village along Newport Road, and one at the junction of Pattison Lane and Marshalls Lane. Parking is free, but be warned there are no toilets unless you walk up to Willen Lake.