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The local area guide to living in Olney

The market town of Olney is in the borough of Milton Keynes and ceremonial county of Buckinghamshire. It lies on the River Great Ouse and is moments from Emberton Park, making it a great location for outdoors lovers. Whether you like to bike, hike, or simply take in the surrounding countryside, there’s plenty to admire here.

At just four miles long and approximately two miles wide, you wouldn’t think the region would have much to offer – but you’d be wrong. The town is famous for its sports – specifically rugby - with a team dating back to 1877. The team has four senior teams, many of which play in major leagues. The younger community can partake in football, at the junior club Olney Town Colts. Other amenities here include a doctor’s surgery, pharmacy, bank and a local library. There’s also plenty of choice when it comes to eateries, with fantastic restaurants, pubs, and quaint cafes.

Information about the local residents

Olney’s population was recorded as 6,477 in the 2011 census. At this time, one fifth of the population was under the age of 16 and a slightly lower number than this aged 65 and over. Almost half of those of retirement age were still working – with only 10% of the population having retired at this time. 54% of those of working age were economically active and worked in a wide range of industries. The most popular industries included Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motor Cycles (Persons), Human Health and Social Work Activities, Manufacturing and Professional, and Scientific and Technical Activities.

0f the 2,751 households recorded at this time, approximately 41% of residents lived in detached properties and 25% in semi detached houses. A similar number (25%) also lived in terraced properties.

Nearby schools

The market town is lucky enough to have its own school, Olney Infants School, which welcomes children from across Olney. The school provides education from reception through to year two, at which point children move on to Olney Middle School.

Those children aged 11+ usually go to Ousedale School, which sits in the region’s catchment area. The school is based on two campuses with the Olney campus providing education for up to 600 children between the ages of 11 - 16. What’s more, Ousedale School is perhaps one of the best performing schools in Milton Keynes. Pupils here continue to perform well at all levels and achieved the best GCSE Maths results in 2010. The latest Ofsted report gave the school a rating as ‘good’ overall and rated other areas, such as the teaching, as ‘excellent.’

Getting around

Thanks to Olney’s size, it’s incredibly easy to travel around the town – whether you choose to walk, cycle or drive. Frequent bus transportation is also available here and for travel further afield, residents can catch a train at nearby Stewartby. Other local train stations include Milton Keynes Central and Bedford, all of which offer great links across the rail network. In fact, Milton Keynes Central offers a direct route into Euston, London, while Bedford Station takes you to St Pancras.

For those looking to access the nearby road networks, you can rest assured that you’ll have easy access to the surrounding towns, like Northampton, Bedford, and Milton Keynes. Residents here can access the M1 at Junction 14 – which sits approximately seven miles away.

Local shops

The market town of Olney is bustling with a real community feel. You’ll find all the amenities you need here plus all your High Street needs a little further afield. In the town itself there’s a Co-operative Food and a Harvest Greengrocer. If these grocery stores don’t meet your needs, you might want to visit one of the bigger brand supermarkets like Asda or Sainsbury’s. The former is located in Far Cotton, on the outskirts of Northampton, and the latter in Milton Keynes, approximately 20 minutes’ drive away.

In terms of shopping, the best place to head is The Market Place, which holds a general market every Thursday and a farmers’ market on the first Sunday of every month. You’ll also find a variety of boutiques and galleries in the town, as well as cafes and restaurants. Those that really want to shop until they drop should head to The centre:mk – a 15 minute drive away. With shops including Next, Superdrug, and The White Company, there’s something to suit every shopper’s taste. The shopping centre also offers plenty of choice when it comes to food – ensuring you are well fuelled for your shopping trip!

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.