The Best Things to Do in Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire has so many things to do, you're spoiled for choice
If you’re looking for a break from big cities and a fast pace of life, head to Buckinghamshire. With no huge urban centres, instead it boasts a collection of remarkably charming market towns and peaceful countryside. There are also plenty of distinguished regal-looking country estates, so you can get plenty of exteriors inspiration for your own palace back at home. If you’re spending a few days in this green, verdant place, you’re going to need an itinerary, and that's where we come in. Here at Plum Guide, we've put our expert heads together to provide you with the ultimate guide to spending time in Buckinghamshire. And we recommend you heed our advice, because we really do know our stuff. Here is our take on the best things to do in Buckinghamshire.
Visit the Roald Dahl Museum
In the adorable town of Great Missenden (which is well worth exploring) is a mecca for book lovers everywhere - the Roald Dahl Museum. This unique institution is definitely one of the best places to visit in Buckinghamshire for families. Big kids and little kids will be thrilled, because who doesn’t love Matilda, Bruce Bogtrotter, Danny the Champion of the World and The Twits? Don’t even try and pretend you’re too old for this. There are three galleries at the museum, all packed with gripping interactive exhibits. You learn about the author’s school days, see the desk and hut he wrote all of his magical tales in and even find out how his life influenced his stories. Best of all, the entire experience is designed to fire up imaginations and get visitors thinking of their own incredible stories and all the travels they’re going to take. Don’t forget to buy a pen from the gift shop to write all your ideas down.
Take a trip to Marlow
This pretty town should be on your list of things to do in Buckinghamshire for many reasons - it’s perfect for strolling around taking in the sights, there are lots of cafes which do a mean slice of cake, and the shopping options might mean you end up carrying more bags home than you bargained for - but the main reason is the swan census. Don’t worry, you’re not developing early-onset old age, we did just say swan census. An archaic historical law means that every July, ‘swan-upping’ takes place here. All unmarked and mute swans belong to the queen, so this fascinating event means that all swans in Marlow and the surrounding area are gently rounded up, tagged and released. Now that’s a sight worth seeing.
Stroll through Dockey Wood
This picturesque stretch of forest on the edge of the Ashridge Estate is gorgeous all year round, but the in-the-know time to visit is in spring. For a few precious weeks that remind you that beauty is fleeting, life is short and that big meeting you’re currently worrying about doesn't matter in the long term, the forest floor erupts into a display of bluebells so beautiful it takes your breath away. Millions of bluebells bloom here, carpeting the woodland with dusky blue and purples flowers. The trails through the forest stretch for miles, and visitors travel from far and wide to enjoy the sight. Definitely bring your camera.
Play a round at Stoke Park Golf and Country Club
James Bond fans (we know you’re out there), assemble. Remember the thrilling golf match between James Bond and Goldfinger? This is where it was filmed. If your not-so-secret dream has always been to be 007, you’re going to love Stoke Park. This course is famously well-designed, so ignore the whinging of anyone who doesn’t like golf and go ahead and enjoy it. The entire course was reclaimed after the Second World War when it was used for potato farming. After you’ve played, grab lunch at the club and pretend that M has sent you on a secret mission to enjoy yourself as much as possible.
Head down to Ivinghoe Beacon
This iconic hill marks the end of the Ridgeway National Trail, which is thought to be the oldest road in Britain. And age jokes aside, it’s well worth seeing when you’re considering things to do in Buckinghamshire. Loved by ramblers and nature enthusiasts, the walking trails on the steep chalk hill offer incredible views of the countryside and was in fact used as a film location for Harry Potter and Star Wars, which might encourage your kids to put down their iPads and join you for a walk. The remote, unspoiled feel of the Ivinghoe Beacon makes it a perfect option for a day trip from London, improved even further by the large number of model aircraft enthusiasts who flock here. The uphill wind produced by the landscape makes it a perfect location for flying radio controlled model aircraft, making for an enjoyable sight of wild countryside and soaring toy aeroplanes.