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Willen Lake North

North Willen Lake is home to one of Milton Keynes’ best-known landmarks, the first Peace Pagoda to be built in the western world - and to a rich and varied bird population.

What to see and do

Don’t miss

The Peace Pagoda was built by the the monks and nuns of the Nipponzan Myohoji as a symbol of world brotherhood . Above it, cherry trees commemorate the victims of war, while prayers and messages of hope decorate the nearby One World Tree.

Alongside the Pagoda is the distinctive Buddhist Temple, where the public is welcome inside or to visit the grounds with their Japanese and Zen gardens.

Drawing on Native American culture, the stones of the Medicine Wheel are aligned with the earth’s energies so that thoughts and wishes expressed at its heart may be ‘amplified’.

At the north end of the lake you’ll find The Labyrinth, and Willen Hospice.

Find out about the artworks at Willen Lake and in our other parks here.



Fishing at the lake is managed by Milton Keynes Angling Association.

Winter sledging

The slopes above the labyrinth are popular with sledgers in winter.


A full range of watersports and leisure activities is also available at Willen Lake South.


For full programme see our events pages.



Scrubland on the island is kept in check by volunteers to provide more varied habitats for a wide variety of bird species.

Nearby, bird scrapes have been created to provide the shallow, sheltered waters that attract wading birds to the site, while volunteers have helped buld and install nesting boxes for sandmartins.

The best views are from the birdhide on the south shore of the lake.


Interpretation panels


Bird hides


Bridle path

Picnic tables



Jogging: distance around the lake 2.2km

Need to know

Getting there

North Willen Lake is situated between the H4 Dansteed Way and H5 Portway, and between V10 Brickhill St and V11 Tongwell St.

Opening times

The park and car parks are open at all times throughout the year. There is no admission fee for the park, although one of the car parks is pay and display.

Car parking

Free parking is available at the following locations:

Beyond playing fields off Portland Drive, Willen village

V11 Tongwell St between H5 Portway and H4 Dansteed Way

There is a pay and display car park at the V10 Brickhill St between H5 Portway and H4 Dansteed Way (Pagoda and temple).  This car park is managed by Napier Parking.  Annual permits are available from Napier Parking at £150 for all Willen Lake car parks and £80 for the Peace Pagoda and Tree Cathedral car parks only.  You can download permits from Napier here.

Disabled parking concessions at Willen Lake

If you are a blue badge holder and are exempt from paying  vehicle  tax  you are eligible to claim a free annual parking  permit for Willen Lake (worth £150).  You can download an application form from www.napierparking.co.uk.  Together with your completed application form you will need to provide a copy of your blue badge. Please note that an administration charge of £10 will apply. 

For more information please telephone Napier Parking Ltd on 01730 828103 or email services@napierparking.co.uk


There are no toilets at North Willen, but there are public toilets by the play area on South Willen Lake.


Nearest refreshments are at the Lakeside Hotel and Cafe (weekends and school holidays) at South Willen Lake.

The Camphill Community runs a vegetarian café opposite the main car park.

Disabled access

There are good all-weather paths around most of the lake with steep gradients at the flood control structure and up to Peace Pagoda. Access to the bird hide is via an unmade path: the alternative path is via the South Lake.

Related items

What's on at Willen Lake North

Make a day of it

North Willen Lake is linked into the Ouzel Valley Park via the South Lake.

Photo's of North Willen Lake