Buckinghamshire’s lush countryside and excellent travel connections are luring more and more people out of London to buy homes.
Buckinghamshire, or ‘Bucks’ as it’s commonly known, is a county in south east England.
Its charm lies in its ancient woodland and countryside. More than a third of the region is taken up by the Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The north is not lacking in charm either thanks to its wooded valleys and open vales.
But it’s commuter interest that has really put the county on the homebuying map. Towns such as High Wycombe and Amersham form part of the prized London commuter belt thanks to their superb travel connections.
Because of this, average values are high – currently a fairly hefty £442,000 (you can check here for the latest prices).
Looking for a commuter base? Northamptonshire is another popular county for London commuters – take a closer look by reading our guide.
Living in Buckinghamshire: what to expect
Traditional Buckinghamshire property is built of local brick and flint. Cottages of these materials can still be found in many of its towns and villages.
As well as walking or cycling in the Chiltern Hills, the county offers activities such as snow sports and indoor skydiving at Milton Keynes’ Xscape centre, or you can watch Formula 1 racing at the Silverstone racetrack.
Where to start your property search
Urban living: Buckinghamshire offers everything from charming 17th-century cottages to country piles and elegant Georgian houses to executive housing and modern family homes.
Amersham comes with the added bonus of easy access to the countryside.
‘Old’ Amersham to the south is particularly sought-after due to its attractive period housing. Look along High Street for terraced period cottages with long front gardens and timber-fronted houses, or check out the historic properties on Missenden Road. Barn conversions and sprawling detached residences can also be found off London Road East.
For modern housing, look to the ‘new’ town of Milton Keynes. It’s designed in a strict grid pattern with the major shopping mall at its centre. The Conniburrow area has mews-style flats whereas Downs Barn is more expensive. Its leafy streets are lined with roomy executive homes that boast attached single or double garages.
You’ll get more for your money away from the commuter towns. Buckingham for example, doesn’t have a train station, so can be better value for money.
Within the town, you’ll fine traditional flint cottages on Well Street, and listed versions with timber fronts can be found on the outskirts. For something more modern, take a look at the 20th-century semis on Overn Crescent or check out the new Westfields development.
Rural living: Villages sitting in and around the rural idyll of the Chiltern Hills are highly desirable and can command higher prices. Take a look at favourites such as Great Missenden, the Chalfront villages and Hambleden if you have the budget.
Outside of the Chiltern Hills are other attractive villages. Satellite areas to commuter towns will be pricey, so look towards the north for more affordable alternatives.
Long Crendon is not far from the M40 and sits midway between Oxford and Aylesbury. It’s best known as the backdrop to episodes of popular TV series Midsomer Murders and has a charming High Street lined with historic cottages and occasional thatched homes. Find spacious listed homes on Bicester Road or opt for a traditional country house on Chearsley Road.
Haddenham is another popular village outside of the Chiltern Hills. It’s a large village of two halves – the older southern end is more desirable thanks to its history and its lanes made with walls of witchert (a Saxon word for ‘white earth’). Georgian homes can be found on Churchway, or chocolate box cottages on Townside.
Getting around Buckinghamshire
By rail: Many stations in Buckinghamshire run trains to London Marylebone, including Amersham, Aylesbury, Beaconsfield, High Wycombe and Wendover. Travel times range from just 22 minutes from Beaconsfield to 55 minutes from Aylesbury.
Additionally, Milton Keynes operates a Virgin Trains service to London Euston, which takes 35 minutes. Virgin also provides services to north west England, the West Midlands, the Scottish Central Belt and North Wales.
From Milton Keynes access to the M1 is easy and takes you straight into the capital. The M25 can also be accessed from Buckinghamshire via Junction 16.
By air: London Luton Airport and Heathrow Airport are both less than an hour’s drive away. Heathrow has 80 airlines that travel to 185 destinations in 84 countries, including New York and Hong Kong. Luton is currently undergoing redevelopment and has flights to more than 30 countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Things to do in Buckinghamshire
History: Buckinghamshire is proud of its contribution to literature – children’s author Roald Dahl spent 30 years living in Great Missenden, which is where he wrote some of his most famous stories. Take a look at the museum dedicated to him in the village and don’t miss the annual Roald Dahl Festival.
Learn about World War II at Bletchley Park, home of the codebreakers. This estate played a major role in the war by providing secret intelligence. It was also the birthplace of modern information technology.
The Chiltern Open Air Museum is open from spring to summer where you’ll find more than 30 historic buildings that have been saved and restored. There’s also an Iron Age roundhouse, Tudor Barn and working Victorian farm.
Cultural: Milton Keynes boasts an impressive theatre. Opened in 1995, the 1,400 seat auditorium hosts Christmas pantomimes, dance, drama, musicals, opera, comedy and children’s shows. Its development programme also means locals can take their pick of workshops and classes.
Theatrical offerings are also available in the Swan Theatre in High Wycombe. It hosts both local and professional companies performing cabarets, tribute acts, musicals and comedy. It also holds events such as masquerade balls.
Outdoors: Get out a bicycle or put on your walking shoes to explore the Chiltern Hills. The Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers 324 square miles and is made up of bluebell-filled woodland and arable land. For a longer expedition, follow The Ridgeway or The Thames paths or check out The Chilterns website for shorter strolls.
There’s more than 2,500 miles of public rights of way to explore, including the towpaths and trails beside the Grand Union Canal.
Other outdoor hotspots include Stockgrove Country Park and Bacombe Hill, which has rare orchids and butterflies.
Shopping: Market traders open their stalls in towns such as Aylesbury, Chesham and Winslow. Buckingham’s street market has been operating for more than 600 years and sells fruit and veg, clothing and games. The town also hosts a flea market and occasional artisan and continental markets.
For mainstream shopping head to centre: MK in Milton Keynes. There’s also an Open Market, which has fresh produce, sweets and gifts.
Food and drink: Taste the best that Buckinghamshire has to offer at The Hand and Flowers in Marlow. It’s the only pub to hold two Michelin Stars and prides itself on serving unpretentious British flavours and rustic French dishes. Chef Tom Kerridge cooks up plates such as pork and mushroom terrine and loin of Cotswolds venison with salt baked celeriac.
Enjoy a pint at one of the region’s many country pubs. The Jolly Cricketers is a particular favourite in Seer Green. Five cask real ales and artisan ciders are provided by this freehouse Victorian pub, which also has a ‘posh sausage and mash’ day.
On the old Victorian estate of Heatherden Hall is the home of one of the world’s leading TV studios, Pinewood.
4 reasons to live in Buckinghamshire
Excellent commuter base for those working in London
Lush valleys, the Chiltern Hills and open vales on your doorstep
Choice of handsome Georgian houses, flint and brick cottages and new executive homes
Plenty of shops, theatres and stately homes
Does Buckinghamshire tick all your boxes? Let us know in the comments below.