New watersports centre and cafe to open at Willen Lake

Image one - artist impression of new building - banner.jpg
06 June 2019


Willen Lake, Milton Keynes’ most popular park has successfully secured planning permission for its next phase of improvements.

The improvements will be entirely funded by The Parks Trust, who are an independent charity that cares for green space in Milton Keynes. The income generated from activities at Willen Lake and car parking contribute towards this.

The next stage of improvements follows the success of phase one in 2017, which saw the opening of Splash ‘n’ Play, a coffee and ice cream kiosk, additional toilet facilities, and a new, surfaced car park offering an additional 300 spaces. The second phase looks to enhance visitor experience even further, taking into account feedback from customers on what improvements they would like to see.

Phase two will include the peninsula on the western side of the lake and create a vibrant promenade along the waterfront, improving public access to the water’s edge. At the tip of the peninsula will be a pair of curved buildings under a single roof, overlooking the lake. The new plans offers fantastic benefits for visitors including; a purpose- built centre for all watersports activities at the lake with modern changing rooms, showers and additional public toilets.  They will also include a new café/restaurant offering indoor and al fresco dining at both ground and first floor levels, overlooking the Lake to the east and south. Both buildings will be fully accessible, with level access, lifts, accessible toilets and baby change facilities.

Furthermore, the children’s play area is being upgraded and extended, with a new secure Toddlers’ Play area located close to the Cafés outdoor seating area. Once complete the new play area at Willen Lake will have over an acre of free play offering the biggest free play area in Milton Keynes.

The design for this new building, has been influenced by the original plans for Willen Lake. In the 1970s the MK Development Corporation produced indicative design proposals for Willen Lake and the peninsula. These included a circular café with viewing terraces on two levels, as per Helmut Jacoby’s design.

Robert Wood, General Manager at Willen Lake Said: ‘We have listened to our customers and are pleased to be able to offer new facilities and amenities at Willen Lake that will enhance the customer experience further.

The creation of this new building, will bring all of our watersports under one roof and will open up the areas around the waters edge, creating a relaxing environment and allowing for spectacular views across the lake’.

Phase two of the development is due to commence in the autumn of 2019 and is scheduled to be ready for the summer of 2020. During this period the current café, wakeboarding centre and most of the play area will remain open.


Events you may be interested in


    • The Parks Trust hosted over 450 events and activities in their parks in 2018

    • Over 15,000 visitors came to activities and events across the parks in 2018.

    • 91% of event attendees said they had a Excellent, Very Good or Good experience at our events in 2018!

    Discover our parks

    • Campbell Park

      Facilities:

      • Toilet-icon
      • fire-1345869_960_720_icon.png (1)
      • Beer.png
      • Cafes.png
      • playground-white-and-black-logo
      Campbell-Park-drone-view-beacon-pond-mk-rose

      Located at the heart of Milton Keynes, Campbell Park hosts many of Milton Keynes’ major festivals and events. Its imaginative mix of formal gardens, water features, woodland and open pasture mean it’s an ideal spot to enjoy the changing seasons.

      Refreshments
      There are no refreshment facilities in Campbell Park other than during special events. However, there are a wealth of cafes, bars and restaurants in the nearby city centre, theatre district and Xscape centre.

    • Willen Lake South

      Facilities:

      • Toilet-icon
      • fire-1345869_960_720_icon.png (1)
      • Beer.png
      • Cafes.png
      • playground-white-and-black-logo
      The Watersport Centre at Willen Lake, come on down and hire a boat!

      Willen Lake is Milton Keynes’ most popular park. Visitors take part in watersports activities, go cycling, enjoy the playground, try the high ropes course or simply picnic along Willen’s shores. It’s a great place to entertain all ages of family and friends, whether it’s a visit to the café or restaurant, a stroll, trying a beginners’ course in sailing or hiring a pedalo or bike.

      Refreshments
      The one4six café and The Lakeside Pub operated by Fayre and Square.

    • Howe Park Wood

      Facilities:

      • Toilet-icon
      • fire-1345869_960_720_icon.png (1)
      • Beer.png
      • Cafes.png
      • playground-white-and-black-logo
      Howe Park Wood - park.jpg

      Howe Park is probably the woodland mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086. Parts of it may be rare surviving fragments of the 'wildwood' that covered the whole of lowland Britain after the last Ice Age, 6-11,000 years ago.

      Refreshments
      There is a café at Howe Park Wood serving cakes, drinks and cold foods.

    }