Buckinghamshire, also known as “Bucks” is a large county in the South of England with its history predating even the Anglo-Saxon period.
Its name means “The District and home of Bucca” and was named so in the 12th century, after its owner, an Anglo-Saxon landowner named Bucca. It boasts some of the most beautiful waterways in England, with the river Thames running over the border from neighboring Berkshire and the River Great Ouse which flows through Buckingham itself.
Famous residents of Bucks include children’s authors Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl and author John Chalfont, who wrote the critically acclaimed and much-loved poem “Paradise Lost”.
Towns in Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire is an important political power base in England and boasts some very old towns and population centers.
Aylesbury is the county town of Buckinghamshire and has several interesting facts associated with it. For example, the long-running and very popular TV series “Midsomer Murders” is shot on location here. It began life as a Saxon settlement called “Angels Burgh” and was an important market settlement by the 11th century.
Aylesbury is home to Wendover woods, the Buckingham Railway Centre and the grand old Waddesdon Manor house. To reach London from Aylesbury by road or rail takes about one and a half hours.
Beaconsfield is an interesting town, with its Bekonscot Model Village the oldest of its kind in the world today and the inspiration behind Enid Blyton’s Noddy, a favorite among children worldwide. A wonderful fact about the miniature village is that all its proceeds go to charity.
There is a multitude of things to do in and around Beaconsfield, with plenty of shopping and good, local transport links. Beaconsfield is about forty minutes by train from London and about fifty minutes by bus.
Ellesborough was named in Old English, and the meaning roughly translates to Ass Pasturing Hill. It was a very important location to the surrounding settlements, supplying milk and meat to the local inhabitants. In modern-day Ellesborough, there are no asses; however, there is a busy market weekly.
There are also several points of interest, like Beacon Hill, as well as the houses of former residents Sir David Jason, and racing driver Jackie Stewart. Ellesborough is one hour and twenty minutes from London by car, and around three hours away using rail and bus.
Parks and Gardens Stowe Garden
Stowe Garden is a wonderful treat for garden and outdoor enthusiasts, with its forty-plus temples, ornamental lakes and beautifully sculpted open spaces.
With activities galore, spectacular walks through period gardens, and unique sights whatever the weather, Stowe Garden is the pride of Buckinghamshire. View the website here: Stowe Gardens
An aristocratic treasure, Cliveden House is a delightful old manor house rich in history and tradition. It was acquired from an Italian diplomat by the Duke of Buckingham in 1666 and has served many purposes in its long and storied life, including but not limited to a hospital in the First World War, with a memorial garden in tribute to this still in place at the house today.
With glorious manicured gardens overlooking the river Thames, as well as the Storybook Play Den to entertain younger visitors, the house has a story rich in royalty and of course, scandal. Find out more here: Cliveden House
Ascott is a classic, sweeping English country garden estate, with hundreds of varieties of plant and tree; all planted in carefully selected order to both surprise and delight the eye of the onlooker. Ascott House is a treasure trove, full of rare paintings and treasures from as far back as the year 1500 and also features clever topiary and wonderfully placed herbivorous borders.
The most famous feature of Ascott House and Gardens is the Serpentine Walk, closely followed by its winter-bound Skating Pond. To view more information visit the website here: Ascott Estate
Attractions and Places to See
Roald Dahl Trail
Roald Dahl was one of the nation’s most beloved authors, and in celebration of this, the Roald Dahl trail was born.
Follow your tour guide as they take you on a whirlwind tour of the places that inspired Dahl’s masterpieces, including Danny the Champion of the World, Matilda and the Fantastic Mr. Fox. You can find out more about it here: Roald Dahl Trail
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
The Waterside Theatre is an ecclesiastical delight, offering West End productions, children’s shows, comedy performances, and with its unique 100,000 piece wood decorated auditorium, it deserves to be near the top of any tourist’s must-see list. Find out more about the Waterside Theatre here: Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
Gulliver’s Land Theme Park
Gulliver’s Land is a theme park packed with rides and attractions for all ages. Based around the famous “Gulliver’s Travels” books, the park has roller coasters,
A dinosaur park, a “Nerf Zone” where kids can use “Nerf” guns to shoot lightweight foam projectiles at each other in complete safety, as well as a mini water park and of course, a gift shop. View latest deals here: Gulliver’s World Milton Keynes
Things to Do
Buckinghamshire is packed with fun days out and action-packed activities for all ages.
Go Ape Treetop Adventure
Go Ape, Black Park is one of the premier venues in Buckinghamshire for outdoor activities. Zoom down zip wires, jump off the Tarzan swing, and negotiate challenging tree-to-tree crossings as you race your opponents to the finish line.
To top it off, Go Ape offers Segway tours and bike riding in the beautiful 550-acre forest as well as wonderful views out over the majestic Chilterns. Visit their website here: Go Ape
Olney Village is a tourist retreat, featuring the Cowper and Newton Museum, home of the notorious slave trader William Cowper from 1768 to 1786. Olney also features raft and duck races, which is a fun July day out for all the family.
You can also visit the 14th Century Church of St. Peter and St. Paul which is open to the public year round. Find out more about Olney here: Olney Village
Buckingham Old Gaol Museum
The town of Buckingham’s premier attraction is the Old Gaol Museum. The building itself was erected in 1748, as a purpose-built prison. For around 60 years the Old Gaol doubled as a Police Station, and before it became a museum, had also been a fire station.
It now sports a restaurant and gift shop and details the history of some its more notorious inhabitants including prize fighter Samuel Byrne, who was jailed following the manslaughter of another prizefighter Alexander M’Kay in 1830. More details are available here: Buckingham Old Gaol
Afternoon Tea Ideas in Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire, with its royal past and politically astute upper classes have a unique and powerful heritage, with influential figures of power, often meeting up in its renowned tea rooms to discuss the latest goings-on in court and country life.
Grovefield House is a stunning hotel hidden away in acres of fine, secluded grounds in Burnham. Their afternoon tea offering includes piping hot English tea, accompanied by tempting hot scones and homemade pastries, not to mention delicious sandwiches and preserves.
An 18th and 19th-century retreat for the renowned brewer John Fullerton, Grovefield is a wonderful getaway into the life of the upper echelons of society. Find out more about Grovefield House here: Grovefied House Hotel
The Crowne Plaza, Marlow
The Crowne Plaza, Marlow has a wonderful view over a lake and is within easy reach of Marlow itself. The menu offering here is superb, with delicious finger sandwiches, superb English tea, as well as warm scones and a glass of Prosecco included.
Find out more here: Crowne Plaza Marlow
Wedding Venues in Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire plays host to the homes of some of the most influential people in Britain’s history, so it comes as no surprise that it also boasts some of the finest buildings for wedding venues too.
Taplow House is a fine Georgian-era manor house hugging the border between Buckinghamshire and Berkshire and has been home to some very powerful aristocrats throughout its history, including the Marquees of Thomond and the Grenfell, who had among their number a very powerful MP for the area.
The house itself boasts fine gardens, wonderful cuisine, and stately decor and is a very romantic retreat for weddings, with bedrooms decked in Egyptian sheets and plush soft furnishings. View the website here: Taplow House
Steeped in military history, Latimer Place served as a holding house for German prisoners of War who inadvertently revealed military secrets that helped Britain and America win the Second World War.
Boasting contemporary and Victorian architecture, it has won several awards for excellence and has a whopping 197 en-suite bedrooms, a swimming pool, a sauna, and gym.
Find out more about Latimer Place here: Latimer Place Weddings
Caravan Club Sites
Buckinghamshire has some outstanding areas of natural beauty, and as such attracts many campers and caravanners yearly.
• Wyatt’s Covert – Tilehouse Lane, Denham
• Gulliver’s Camping and Caravanning Club Site – Livingstone Drive, Milton Keynes
• Cholsey Grange – Cholsey Farm, Ibstone, High Wycombe
• Oak Farm Certificated Site – Broughton Lane, Broughton, Aylesbury
• Home Farm – City Road, Radnage
• Cosgrove Leisure Park – Main Street, Cosgrove, Milton Keynes