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The historic Buckinghamshire market town of High Wycombe has been famous for the manufacture of fine furniture since the early 19th century, specialising in chairs. The industry was Victorian High Wycombe’s main source of income, following on from its Medieval and Tudor function as a mill town famed for its linens and lace. The market, founded in the Middle Ages, still takes place weekly in the town square. High Wycombe’s other claims to fame include fine Georgian architecture and the loveliest Chilterns countryside in the region. Easy access to London by rail or road makes it a good base location for touring the countryside by car, as well as for exploring the capital.
Who to Book With
High Wycombe has a choice of trusted international players in the car hire sector, including Enterprise, Budget, Hertz, Avis and Rhino Car Hire. Booking online in advance is recommended, especially during the summer months, as the town is a popular base for self-drive holidays. With a car you can take in nearby attractions such as the Hellfire Caves, Hughenden Manor, the famous university city of Oxford, and Marlow on the River Thames.
Best Time to Go
Summer is the best time for a holiday in High Wycombe, with the Chilterns Hills blooming with wildflowers and the weather warm and inviting. Spring and autumn also have their charms, but winters here can be cold and snowy.
Need to Know Essentials
You must show the following when you pick up your rental car:
- A valid UK photo driving license or an International Driving Permit
- Your passport or another form of secondary photo ID
- The credit card used for the online booking
- A print-out of your rental confirmation if possible
Driving in and around High Wycombe presents no problems for experienced drivers, as the roads are kept in good condition, are well signposted and generally easy to navigate. British driving habits are mostly civilised, with aggressive driving a rarity and frowned upon. Petrol stations are plentiful, with most accepting card payments. Parking in town is car-park oriented, using pay-as-you-park meters. Warning triangles and visibility vests should be carried, and seatbelts must be worn by all occupants. The laws on drink-driving are strictly enforced, and it’s best not to risk it, as fines are steep.
Although self-drive is best for exploring this charming corner of Southern England, public transport options are efficient, if comparatively pricey. Trains and buses link the town with London, Oxford, Buckingham and most other major urban centres, as well as with Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports. Taxi travel is convenient but expensive.
High Wycombe’s train station lies on the main line between London and Birmingham, with fast trains as well as local commuter routes on offer. Chiltern Railways operates the service, offering hourly express trains to London’s Marylebone Station. Both Oxford and Shakespeare’s town of Stratford-upon-Avon can be accessed by rail, and tickets can be purchased online.
High Wycombe has an extensive list of taxi companies, with cabs booked either online or by phone, and rates either fixed or quoted at the time of booking. The High Wycombe Taxi company charges around £30 for a trip to Heathrow Airport.
National Express buses run to London’s Victoria Bus Station and are an economic way to visit the capital. Bus services in and around High Wycombe are run by Buckinghamshire County Council and outsourced to local company Carousel Buses. Regular routes run across the town and to a number or rural destinations, as well as to Heathrow Airport.
The Chiltern countryside, some of the loveliest in the southern counties, is well supplied with motorway links, making High Wycombe a good base for holidays spent exploring this listed area of outstanding natural beauty.
Hambledon - For a scenic drive covering everything from historic mansions to superb views, start at West Wycombe, with its eerie Hellfire Caves. Heading towards Marlow, you’ll pass through quaint Turville village, continuing on to Skirmett, with its charming old church and High Street, before you reach historic Hambledon. Marlow’s Thames-side pubs are perfect for lunch and a pint.
Ashridge Estate - The drive to the Ashridge Estate winds from High Wycombe via the A355 and A41, passing through Chesham and Tring before arriving at the National Trust property, set on the Chilterns’ highest ridge. Five-thousand acres of woodland, heaths and downlands are found here, and Ivinghoe Beacon, inhabited since pre-history, gives superb views across the county.
Cliveden - One of Britain’s most famous stately homes, once the haunt of Georgian monarchs and the glittering American couple Waldorf and Nancy Astor. Now a National Trust property and private hotel, its glorious grounds and gardens stretch to the banks of the River Thames. From High Wycombe, follow the M40 signs, passing under the motorway to Wooburn village and Cookham.