It was a beautiful sunny day so we thought we would go for a walk, like lots and lots of other people. But walking around Willen Lakes in Milton Keynes meant there was lots of space, even when buggy ‘runners’ came past us.
We decided to go clockwise round the lakes and so almost the first sight was the Peace Pagoda. I have driven past it on the M1 countless times, but up close it is really impressive. The golden statue of Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha is on a raised dais in a canopy, around which is carved the his life story. Not far from the pagoda is a Buddhist monastery. Also nearby is a large labyrinth, with four quadrants and a solitary tree standing at its heart.
On the northern edge of the lake is Willen Hospice with a short walkway to the water, and a lovely view for contemplation. We often stopped to watch the many swans gliding and feeding. There was hardly any wind so the lake offered excellent reflections of the trees and buildings which surround it. In awkward contrast to the Pagoda is the giant wheel in process or being erected.
The lake is very popular for water sports as well as for walking and cycling. There are bicycles and electric scooters for hire.
Just across the road is the Milton Keynes Tree Cathedral. Another of the many wonderful facilities the city offers to residents and visitors.
Just in case you were wondering if this blog has been sponsored by the tourist board, let me reflect on the way in which this walk had a calming and restorative effect on me. This was a result, I think, of the Peace Pagoda, but also just being outside in the sunshine, seeing people of all ages and the wildlife.
Two hours of gentle strolling proved to be a healing experience.