A short train ride from London to Princes Risborough and you'll find yourself in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are quirky places to stay, luxurious places to stay, vineyards and breweries to visit, walks to be taken, historic houses to roam and farm shops to browse, and much more besides.
A Quirky Spot to Stay
There are some wonderfully quirky places to stay in the Chilterns to suit all budgets and tastes. Chadwell Hill Farm has not one but two shepherds huts, rustic but cosy with a vintage feel, bunk beds can be added for kids. What's really fun is that you can bring your horse as one of the huts backs on to a paddock and there are some wonderful bridleways through the hills. Or if you fancy glamping, bell tents are on offer too with beds and soft furnishings to make your stay comfortable and hassle free. There's also room in the farmhouse for a B&B stay with delicous breakfast made from ingredients grown on the farm.
Not far away is Orchard View Farm where you can bring your own tent or hire a lovely bell tent with views across the farm with its rare breed animals. There's a farm shop with its own butchery and restaurant on site so you don't need to bring all the cooking gear and can enjoy fresh local produce cooked for you for a stress free stay.
Or how about staying at the gastropub The Nags Head in Great Missenden? This 4-star, silver awarded 15th Century inn has contemporary styled interiors, AA Rosette cuisine, and a warm welcome. Explore the pretty village of Great Missenden, once home to famous author Roald Dahl and celebrated in The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, with plenty of lovely countryside walks to choose from too.
A Taste of Wine and Beer
The Chilterns are a prime spot for English wine and beer. Daws Hill Vineyard produces an award-winning sparkling wine which you can buy direct from them but it also hosts numerous events in their vineyards, from blind tastings, willow obelisk weaving, lavendar wreath making, wine and cheese evenings, sunset drinks, vineyard walks and more.
The Chiltern Brewery is the oldest independent brewery in the area, using traditional methods with the finest ingredients sourced in England. The brewery shop sells the full range of bottled and draught beers; plus locally made wines, ciders, condiments and a delicious range of products such as fresh beer bread, malt fudge, beer cheese and fruit cake that are all made using their fine ales.
A Touch of History
Princes Risborough is a pretty market town with history stretching back more than 5000 years! The countryside surrounding the town is rich in prehistoric sites and in 1343, Edward the Black Prince was made custodian of the manor of Rysburg (at the time the town was called Great Rysburg). Enjoy a variety of shops, cafes and pubs and the vibrant market on Thursdays with a great mix of stalls.
Hughenden Manor is a definite must-see when visiting the Chilterns. Once the home of Victorian Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, it was also the secret site of WW2 map makers and on Hitler's hit list. The formal grounds, orchard and woodlands are spectacular and the house is impressive but not too large to explore.
You may recognise West Wycombe Park and village from film and tv. The Pallaidan house has appeared in many a period drama such as 'Downton Abbey' and 'Cranford' and the quaint, historic high street has properites ranging from the 16th to 18th century, so perfect for filming. You can walk up Wycombe Hill for a wonderful view over the countryside, or visit Hell Fire Caves for a spooky walk beneath the hills. Don't miss a visit to West Wycombe Walled Garden Cafe with delicious food and great views, plus a pottery shed with an artist in residence where you can attend workshops and buy gifts.