Caldecotte Trails

A view of the lake towards the Caldecotte Arms
A view of the lake towards the Caldecotte Arms

About Caldecotte Lake

Caldecotte lake is in the southern end of Milton Keynes and is one of the most popular family destinations in the City.

The lake itself was built as a balancing lake and is completely artificial but you wouldn’t know that to look at it now. Caldecotte LocationOwned and managed by The Parks Trust it’s one of the most beautiful parks in Milton Keynes. There are loads of things to do at the lake – wine and dine at the Caldecotte Arms; run on the many trails and tracks; around the lake; fishing; sailing; birdwatching; there’s even a large kids playground and a minature train! The car park is in the same area (there are several car parks round the lake but this is the main one.

The river Ouzel runs beside the lake

Caldecotte Lake in 1961
Caldecotte Lake in 1961

and has some lovely paths up and down the valley.

The cycle/walking paths around the lake are almost exactly 5km long and this is part of the reason that it’s used by many running clubs as a standard circuit.


If you come in a car the easiest place to park is at the main Caldecotte Arms car park. The trail itself passes to the west (back) of the car park, on the far side of the minature railway.

Caldecotte Arms - Access to routes and parking
Caldecotte Arms – Access to routes and parking

To get to it you can either go to the Bletcham Way end (south) of the car park where there is a small path, or use the main route at the north end of the car park (see the map below).

About the Trails

All The Caldecotte Trails
All The Caldecotte Trails


Caldecotte Trail – 3.1ml
Walton Trail – 6.5ml
Ouzel Trail – 6.7ml
Woughton Trail – 5.0ml
Three Lakes Trail – 6.0ml
Waterhall Trail – 5.7ml

These trails are not very long or demanding.

They have been designed for families to have a nice bike ride for a morning or an afternoon.

If you like off-road mud they are NOT for you – there are some excellent off-road courses on the Greensand Ridge at Woburn Sands (only about 10 minutes away). They are, in fact, trails that I use frequently for the MK Council ‘Family Guided Rides’ every Sunday at 10.00am from the Caldecotte Arms.The rides last for about an hour and a half.

My experience of these rides shows that, because of shared use and the variable nature of the redways and cycle routes – as well as the fact that we like to stop a few times to look at interesting places – you can only do between 5 and 7mph on these routes. This means that these routes will all probably take you less than a couple of hours.

They are very suitable for people who would like to get back to (or try) cycling, perhaps because of health or age issues, but don’t want to get lost or tire themselves out. They are really good for families with smaller children – either on their own bikes or trailer bikes.

Hills – it’s not possible to do routes which have NO gradients! These routes have been chosen to have as few hills as possible but, where there are hills, I have a rule which basically says ‘If you have to go up a hill make it short and steep’ because that way you can get off the bike and walk a short way. There is nothing more tiring than a long, shallow hill – so I avoid them.

One thing I can promise though, is that all of these routes take you through some really pretty countryside, and that although you may even live nearby, you will probably be surprised by them. I’ve had loads of riders who live near the lake and who’ve said things like ‘well I never knew that was there!‘.

So they’re to be enjoyed – preferably on a nice sunny day!

Explore them on Google Maps:

See them on your phone : Click here

Note: If you have The Google Maps App on your phone you need to start the app before this will work (I think, anyway). If you don’t have the app it should just display the maps. On the App the map should show your position on the map so you can use it to navigate. It doesn’t do this outside the Maps App.

Please let me know if this works or if you have problems with it.

Here are all the trails:

The Caldecotte Trail
The Walton Trail
The Ouzel Trail
The Woughton Trail
The Three Lakes Trail
The Waterhall Trail

 Please click on any of the links for more information.