We were really excited to learn in August 2018 that a new art trail was being installed in Milton Keynes. It’s called the ROCLA art trail – an acronym for Redhouse Park’s Own Collection of Lasting Art. There are lots of pieces of art to see dotted around the area, as well as a really good park so it’s an excellent place to take the kids to do something for free. Watch my video below and then scroll down for all the information. Bear in mind we visited before the trail officially opened and everything was installed on 2nd September so not everything was in place when we visited.
Where is the ROCLA art trail?
Unlike other trails you may take your children around which are often in country parks or woodland, the ROCLA art trail is located in the Redhouse Park area of Milton Keynes which isn’t too far from Newport Pagnell. You could park on any of the roads really and pick up the trail at any point. We however started at the play area – the address for which is Rowditch Furlong, Redhouse Park, Milton Keynes, MK14 5FD
What is the ROCLA art trail?
Ten artists were challenged to produce new pieces of art that you can see and enjoy for free by walking around the Redhouse Park area. There are wood and metal sculptures, a mosaic, a pipe sound bench and light sculptures. Each commission will have a plaque containing a QR code which gives you more information about the piece – although when we visited before it launched I didn’t see the QR codes. There’s also 36 bugs on lampposts.
What were the highlights of the ROCLA art trail?
All of the pieces are worth spotting. The most impressive ones though are the fairy bench – which is the most beautifully carved bench with hidden fairy doors and a owl. Look high and low to spot everything. We also really liked the animals on bikes which are made out of scrap metal and are made by Festive Road which produces all of the big puppets in Milton Keynes. My two sons also found the pipe bench interactive and it was fascinating to read about the history of the pipes. When we visited the butterfly mosaic hadn’t yet been installed. There’s also some sculptures high up in the trees which light up and would be better appreciated at night. There are loads of bugs on the lampposts – just keep looking up.
What’s the play area at Redhouse Park like?
It’s really good! There’s a dragon / monster (?) lurking there which is good fun. The big climbing frame is a good size and would most suit slightly older children. There’s a fast zipwire and an astroturf football pitch. For younger ones there’s a small climbing frame, roundabout and swings. It’s definitely a good one for a family with different aged children and lots of space to run around and have a picnic. It’s not fenced off though.
How do we find out more information about the ROCLA art trail?
There’s a copy of the map below – definitely have that to hand or print it out before you go. There’s an open day for the trail on 2nd September which you can go to. All of the information about that, the individual pieces, and the downloadable spot the bug sheet is here.
Because it’s in a housing estate you mostly walk on paths and so the trail is accessible for buggies and wheelchairs. It’s also a good place to take the dog for a walk.
What else can we do in the local area?
We discovered whilst we were there that Redhouse Park backs on to Linford Lakes nature reserve but we didn’t have a chance to explore it. The nearest best parks are Stanton Low Park in Oakridge Park as well as the dragon park and Little Free Library in Great Linford.
I'm Laura, mum of two boys - aged six and four. I started this website at the end of Sept 2015 whilst on maternity leave. I now work four days a week and do this blog late at night once the little boys are sleeping. It's won several awards over the last four years and I continue to run it for free and mostly focus on free, cheap, and good value days out. Do drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to contact me. Don't forget to follow all of our latest adventures on facebook, instagram and twitter and have a look at all of the videos of the places we visit on the Milton Keynes Kids YouTube Channel - subscribe to it for notifications every time I add a new place. And remember... you may been reading this post months after we visited, do check with the destination you're visiting for up to date opening times and prices. If you find this blog useful then please do comment on my posts and leave me a Facebook review - it makes doing this all the more worthwhile.