- Countryside Rolling hills, village frills
- Country life Pubbing, boating, rambling
With woodlands fit for a fairytale and country hideaways down almost every lane, Buckinghamshire’s an accessible escape from city life.
With the postcard-perfect Chiltern Hills in the south and the historic Vale of Aylesbury in the north, Buckinghamshire is the epitome of a very English county. Market towns and village teashops abound, and the log fires of the country inns have been warming the feet of visiting city folk for centuries: it’s within easy reach of central London. This is the land of picnics and kite flying and home-made Sunday roasts – it’s a breath of fresh air at the end of the Metropolitan line.
Do go/Don’t go
Visit in April or May to catch the bluebells in full bloom and the woodlands are carpeted with flowers: floral hot spots include Penn Wood near Amersham and Ashridge Park near Aylesbury. The summer months can get crowded in the most picturesque villages and country pubs.
Planes London airports Heathrow, Luton and Stansted can all within an hour of Buckinghamshire; between them, they offer daily service to most parts of the world (www.heathrowairport.com, www.standstedairport.com, www.london-luton.co.uk).
Trains Amersham is on the Tube, at the end of the Metropolitan line, and Chilterns Railways has two main lines: one between London Marylebone and Aylesbury and the other between London Marylebone and Birmingham/Stratford-upon-Avon, calling at High Wycombe (www.chilternrailways.co.uk). If you’re heading closer to the Berkshire border, Slough can be reached from central London by in 20 minutes (www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk).
Automobiles Most parts of the county can be reached by car from London in about an hour; motorways from the capital to Buckinghamshire are the M1, M25 and M40.
- Taxis In more rural areas, cabs aren’t easily flagged down in the street; try Crystal Cars in Amersham (+44 (0)1494 434949) or Chesham Taxis (+44 (0)1494 784 182). If you're nearer to Aylesbury, Taffs Cars are a family-run company (+44 (0)1296 395003) and Falcon Taxis are one of the largest local operators (+44 (0)1296 580000).