Exploring Milton Keynes: A Guide to Stony Stratford

This guide to Stony Stratford is the first in a new series I am embarking on; My MK Food Guides have gone down an absolute storm and since creating them, I have had several requests for specific town guides to locations in around Milton Keynes.

So I’m going to be exploring the areas and towns that make up Milton Keynes and creating a one-stop guide on things to do, places to eat, where to shop and where to find those hidden gems and independent businesses. I am really excited about this series, as I want to prove that there is so much more to Milton Keynes than meets the eye and every area has something wonderful to discover.

I’m starting with Stony Stratford because I am the most familiar with it; it’s very close to where I live and I spend quite a lot of time there as Dan lives just down the road in Wolverton – although not for much longer! It is such a pretty town – it even featured in my guide to the most Instagrammable locations in Milton Keynes. As with my MK Food Guides, I’ll be keeping each Explore Milton Keynes guide up to date as I discover new places.

Plus, at the bottom of each guide you will also get access to a handy downloadable map which you can take on your adventures!

Here’s an overview of what you’ll find in this guide. Click the links to jump to each section!

  1. About Stony Stratford
  2. Things to do in Stony Stratford
  3. Where to eat in Stony Stratford
  4. Places to shop in Stony Stratford
  5. Nearby places to explore
  6. Downloadable map

About Stony Stratford

Stony Stratford is a market town in Milton Keynes which historically sat on the route from London to Chester. This route is Watling Street, now the A5 and is a famous Roman route. It is in north-west Milton Keynes and the River Ouse between Stony Stratford and Old Stratford borders Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire. It’s a very pretty town and is locally known as ‘the jewel of Milton Keynes.’ It’s definitely one of my favourite towns in MK and it has so much character.

So here is a little bit of Stony history for you… The former Rose & Crown Inn was reputedly where the boy-king Edward V stayed the night before he was taken to London by his uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester who became King Richard III. He was met in Stony Stratford by his uncle, who later deposed him. The inn is now a private house but a plaque on the front wall gives a disputed account of the event, asserting that Edward was murdered in the Tower of London.

Today it remains a bustling market town with a vibrant community – there is plenty going on in Stony!

Things to do in Stony Stratford

Local Markets

Living up to its legacy, there are regular markets in Stony Stratford which feature lots of local food, drink and craft producers. Odell’s Yard and Timor Court have markets on various Saturday’s throughout the year. Attendees include Wharf Distillery, The Chocolate MIll MK, My Refill Market, Willen Ice Cream Company and Moorgate Farm amongst so many more

On the last Friday of every month, you will also find the Farmer’s Market in the market square from 9am – 1pm where you can stock up on local produce and lots of lovely food. Check out my What’s On guide for details of the local markets and events.

Eat Street MK

Eat Street is my monthly food highlight and a real asset to Stony. Run by Bob and Aida behind cheese toastie legends Good Times Cafe, Eat Street is a monthly street food market which hosts a range of vendors at York House Centre on the first Friday of every month. You’ll find some of MK’s best street food vendors here, as well as guest vendors from further afield. In the three years it has been running, it has grown in popularity and is a fantastic way to spend a Friday night. Find the next event in my What’s On calendar.

Read more: The Best Street Food Vendors in Milton Keynes

Stony Stratford Gallery

One for the art lovers, the Stony Gallery has an incredible range of paintings and artworks from both local and worldwide artists. It opened in 2019 after a fire destroyed the surrounding buildings and is hugely popular with the local community. They are collaborating with York House on some exhibitions and are even hosting a Portuguese Art Retreat. It’s a beautiful building and there are some really great pieces of work which are also available to buy.

www.stonystratfordgallery.co.uk

More things to do

  • The River Ouse – A really lovely riverside walk.
  • York House Centre – A community and arts centre. It hosts lots of local events from Music to Food Fairs. Check out their website for what’s on.
  • Whitespace Yoga – A local yoga and meditation studio.

Where to eat in Stony Stratford

There are lots of great eateries in Stony. There’s something for most tastes (though if you like curry, you’re in the right place!) I will say there are a LOT of pubs in Stony – too many to mention in this guide. And to be honest, they are all much of a muchness. The Fox and Hounds on the High Street is probably my most frequented one if I’m out for drinks. Anyway – from brunch to coffee to evening dining, here are some of the best spots to check out for food.

French Affaire

French Affaire is one of my favourite local restaurants! It opened in December 2018 and is such a delicious spot for brunch. They serve incredible crepes – my favourite is the eggs royale crepe which is packed with smoked salmon and topped with a poached egg. I dare you not to fall in love with the interior – it’s absolutely beautiful and well worth a visit. They also serve an evening menu and have great cocktails!

www.french-affaire.co.uk

The Knife & Cork

The Knife & Cork is also situated in Odell’s Yard. It’s a wine bar and restaurant serving casual dishes and tapas. It’s a really popular spot despite being tucked away from the high street so is the perfect location for a casual drink and a bite to eat.

www.theknifeandcork.co.uk

Out of Office Coffee House

Out of Office Coffee has a few locations now, but Stony is the original location. Dan and I actually had our first date here, so it also holds a special place in my heart. It is a great spot for meeting friends or making your home office for the day as they have free WiFi – I know Laura and Claire from Twins That Travel are regulars here! The coffee is good and there is an ample selection of cakes and treats. It’s a necessary alternative to Costa.

www.outofofficecoffee.co.uk

Read more: The Best Coffee Shops in Milton Keynes
Iced Coffee at Out of Office Coffee

Calcutta Brasserie

If you are after a curry in Stony, there are plenty of curry houses, it’s difficult to know where to start! One of the best and most popular is definitely Calcutta Brasserie. It’s nothing special but they do a great Sunday buffet and the interior is really beautiful. It’s situated inside an old church and it’s definitely a unique dining location. I love the Biriyanis from Calcutta – they really are delicious and a great meal in one.

www.calcuttabrasserie.co.uk

Other restaurants to check out

  • Anatolia – Modern Turkish restaurant on the high street.
  • Casa Cento – Italian restaurant. It’s not the best Italian in MK, but it’s okay.
  • Kardamon Lounge – Another good Indian restaurant in Stony Stratford.

Where to Shop in Stony Stratford

I think the reason I love Stony so much is that it remains fairly untouched by chains restaurants and shops – it really does have quite a unique feel to the high street. In addition to the local markets, here are some of my favourite places to shop in Stony Stratford.

On the High Street

On The High Street is probably one of my favourite shops in Milton Keynes! It’s great for finding unique gifts and trinkets. Everything is sourced from local independent businesses in and around Bucks and Northamptonshire so it is a real celebration of local talent. You’ll find beautiful pieces of handmade jewellery, funky paintings and even a cheeky sign or two from Outhouse!

Lovely Living

This shop is #InteriorGoals. For all your bijou interior needs, Lovely Living will make that cash burn a hole in your pocket. From beautiful candles to unique prints, vases and furniture it’s the shop your boyfriend will probably dread!

Indian Arts

This is a really unique little shop and has some great ethnic inspired furniture and accessories. It’s like stepping into a little Aladdin’s cave of colourful furnishings and bejewelled mirrors which will add a touch of the east to your decor.

The Siren Vintage

If you need a vintage shop, The Siren Vintage is the one. A Pandora’s box of pieces of the 1920s to the 50s it has a huge range of clothing and furniture pieces.

Odell & Co.

Odell’s is a bit of a Stony institution. The shop is split in two: you have the Ironmonger’s and the kitchen shop. In the Ironmonger’s you’ll find all sorts of DIY goods. It’s probably your Dad’s dream! On the other side is the kitchen shop which is literally PACKED with beautiful things for the kitchen. I can’t wait til I have my own to kit out because I’m heading straight there.

Woodstock Artisan Bakery

I absolutely love this little bakery! Situated on the end of the high street, Woodstock’s sells a range of delicious homemade cakes, bread and pastries to satisfy your sweet tooth. Everything is freshly made on the premises and you can also find jars of homemade jams and chutney’s from Jam Moo Kow.

Stratford Arcade

Stratford Arcade is a beautiful little arcade featuring a handful of shops, cafes and a hair salon! In here, you’ll find the Coffee Bean Cafe, Stony Card Box (my go-to local card shop!), Stony Sweet Shop and more.

More places to shop

  • Back to the Fuschia – Creative florists in Timor Court.
  • Willis Flowers – Florist on the high street.
  • Lux – A great little bag and accessory shop in Timor Court.
  • Willen Hospice Book Shop – My favourite local stop for second-hand books.

Other places to explore near Stony Stratford

Stony Stratford borders Northamptonshire; in fact, some streets are literally split with an MK and NN postcode and have different council rubbish collections. The River Ouse is pretty much the boundary between the two counties. Thanks to the A5, you are within a stone’s throw of a few other great spots to explore…

The Shoulder of Mutton, Calverton

A stone’s throw from Stony Stratford is the village of Calverton which is SO lovely. It’s a very peaceful, rural village and there is a really good pub there too. The Shoulder of Mutton in Calverton does a great roast!

The Drink Shed, Pottersbury

A quick two mile drive down the road, The Drink Shed is run by local distillery, Wharf Distillery and is situated out the back of Cherry Lane Garden Centres on the way to Potterspury. It is under a five-minute drive from Stony and is a great shop for stocking up on local beverages from independent distillers in MK, Northants and across the country.

The Super Sausage, A5

Featured in my Best Brunches Guide, The Super Sausage is the ultimate greasy spoon and well worth a mention. About a five minute drive from Stony, this biker cafe is well worth a visit when you’ve had one too many the night before…

READ MORE: The Best Brunches in Milton Keynes

So there we have it! My ultimate guide to Stony Stratford! I’d love to hear your suggestions on where to eat and explore in this pretty little town – drop me a Tweet or a comment below! And of course, I’ll keep this as up to date with new launches and additions as much as I can.

Let me know your favourite places to go in Stony Stratford!

Your Guide to Stony Stratford

Save my map of Stony Stratford to Your Places on Google and use it to navigate your way around this little market town and discover new gems.

Simply open Google Maps on your browser, open the tab on the left-hand side and click on ‘My Places‘. You can then create your own map or add to this one.

Now, all the places you want to visit are easily accessible on your phone and you can quickly see what’s around you, wherever you are. You can also add notes to each point on the map.

Happy exploring!

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I'm Sophie, a 20-something Milton Keynes food & travel blogger helping you to discover great eats and adventures in MK, Bucks and beyond.

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