A Jewel of Milton Keynes
Subject to ticket
Taking your darling out to a match of any kind within the sporting variety can be a daunting yet fun experience. Of course, choosing a place to take someone who has no interest in sports can mean you have to bribe them with a similarly fun activity to balance the books. Arena MK then is a great middle ground of sporting focus and town centre activities to get a stern ‘no’ to a possible ‘maybe’.
Getting to the Stadium is a little harder than just going for a little walk. Other stadiums such as Wembley Stadium in North West London or even the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff are no more hassle than getting off the train and taking a short walk.
Arena MK is a little different. Situated nowhere near Milton Keynes town centre but kinda close to Bletchley, commuting in isn’t quite as easy as you might have hoped. However, the local transport is going to be your saviour as a number of taxi companies congregate outside Milton Keynes central and will get you to the stadium for less than £6 including traffic.
Alternatively, there are several busses which service the station from both ends. Situated on Grafton Street and stopping at the ‘Granby Industrial Estate’ is the Number 1 bus, whilst V7 Saxon Street proudly allows the 25, 50, 70, 300, 673, F70, Max 150, Sapphire 6 and X31 to stop at ‘Stadium Mk’. Both however will require a very small walk (less than 3mins) to the stadium, but both stops do have the Stadium within sight.
Entering the stadium is as simple as locating the section your ticket reads and walking in through there. From then it’s an easy walk to your seat as this modern stadium is filled with open, airy corridors and the occasional food vendor dotted around.
It means that if the game is a little too slow for your liking, there’s no shame is darting off for a mid-match hotdog, hot chocolate or even a beer.
However, the likelihood that you have to bribe your date with something they want to do if they’re the lucky recipient of a spare ticket is pretty high.
Luckily, Arena MK, despite its preposterous distance from the city centre, does have its own hub of activity.
Surrounding the grounds are several activities. For food, expect to see both a KFC and McDonalds on their own small islands just beyond one of the many car parks, whilst the side of the arena is lined with a Nando’s and TGI Fridays and a Prezzo a little further down.
Of course, if you want to make the promise of eating here after or even before the match, I would strongly make the case that you book beforehand to avoid disappointment and/or looking foolish.
An unsuspected hidden gem is neighbouring ODEON Cinema which could provide an excellent bartering chip of ‘if you come with me to see what I want to see, and we’ll see something you want to see.’
Alternatively, Arena MK does have non-eating and sitting down things to do and the proximity of the Primark, River Island and H&M provide the chance for you to barter a shopping excursion if a shopping trip is the winning hand of cards you have to play.
Of course, these assumptions are all made on the notion that your date doesn’t want to come with you to watch the sporting activities.
Of course, there is a concession to make here- how good of a venue is Arena MK if your dates WANTS to come with you?
Well then the whole dynamic of bartering can be replaced with extra incentives to better round out the your afternoon together.
And if things are going swimmingly, you can always check into the Double Tree by Hilton which is just through the stadium too.
- A great modern stadium that doesn't feel like it might fall down or need repair.
- Plenty of things to do in and around the stadium.
- Despite the distance from the Train station, transport options are cheap and frequent. The choice is yours as a customer.
- Even if you don't want to go to the stadium, there's enough around the location to make a day of your visit.
- Surprisingly nice scenes for a photo. It seems to be some secret, unspoken spot where everyone takes pictures, even if they're not going into the stadium.
- It may 'only' be a two mile walk from the station, but this is going to take you an hour because it's almost impossible to walk safely or directly.
- It's still an open air stadium and those get cold. Wrap up accordingly.
- Large crowds aren't for everyone, so keep this in mind.
- Forget about turning up last minute, because large crowds mean traffic and traffic means missing something.
- Be perfectly clear on where you want your taxi to pick you up from- there's too signs for 'Double Tree by Hilton' and if you're like us, being at the 'wrong one' means missing your train home.