Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

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.

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When to 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.

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Getting there

  • 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).