The Chilterns often rival the Cotswolds for one of the UK's best countryside escapes. Yet, this area of outstanding beauty is closer to London than its counterpart and comprises several popular commuter towns such as High Wycombe. With its excellent green spaces and travel connections, living in High Wycombe means you're only ever 30 minutes away from the capital.
Recent regeneration has led to a significant increase in interest in the Buckinghamshire town. And young professional renters look to it as a strong alternative to costlier London postcodes. There's plenty to do here too, from a spot of retail therapy at the Eden Shopping Centre to scenic strolls in the Chilterns.
The Hellfire Caves
Go deep underground at The Hellfire Caves and explore over half a mile of human-made caves originally designed to hide a secret society of wealthy pagans. Upon entering the caves, expect to find winding passages and statues of the Hellfire Club.
The caves last for over half a mile and feature a banqueting hall and various chambers. The final destination is the Inner Temple, which requires the crossing of the River Styx. You can see how the Hellfire Club socialised with their famous guests like Benjamin Franklin.
Find at Church Ln, West Wycombe, High Wycombe HP14 3AH
Phone no: 01494 533739
Find at @Hellfirecaves
If you're living in High Wycombe and want to go for a scenic stroll, head to Hughenden Park. You can wander 60 acres and admire sweeping views across open countryside. It's the largest park in Wycombe and a popular spot for getting back to nature.
Enjoy a picnic during the warmer months, or take your little four-legged friend for a stroll. There are streams to admire, as well as lush greens to soak up as you discover the park. When you're finished, why not head to Hughenden Manor, which borders the park?
National Trust - Hughenden Manor
Known as the country home of statesmen, Benjamin Disraeli, Hughenden Manor is owned by the National Trust. The grand Victorian mansion is set in parklands of almost 1,500 acres and offers the chance to wander the grounds and the country home.
Discover art collections at the accredited museum or visit the garden, which has been restored to reflect its look in the 19th century. Expect to find an array of unusual plants, including Chimaera' Adamii'.
You can’t go wrong with a good, juicy burger. And if you’re living in High Wycombe, you’ll want to get yourself down to Burger Daddy for some serious patties. The funky burger joint has an array of patties, including Dirty AF, Mac Attack and Flippin’ Good.
There’s also wings, mac & cheese and a range of milkshakes. Choose your flavour from Kit-Kat, Oreo, Brownie, and more to complement the daddy of all burgers.
Find at 156 Desborough Rd, High Wycombe HP11 2QA
Phone no: 01494 444188
Eden Shopping Centre
Every town needs a shopping hub where you can do some serious shopping. For those living in High Wycombe, Eden Shopping Centre is the place to go for your retail needs. Spread across 850,000 square feet of space, Eden is one of the larger UK shopping centres.
There are more than 100 shops to browse, including jewellery store Beaverbrooks, a Gap outlet and Zara. Once you've finished shopping, grab a bite to ear and enjoy entertainment in the form of the cinema and bowling alley. There's even a library on site.
If you don’t fancy walking in the Chilterns, grab a drink and relax at the Chiltern Taps. There’s a range of craft beers to sample, and an extensive food menu that includes pub favourites as well as pizzas and tapas.
With 12 sports screens, you’ll never miss a game - whether it’s Premier League football or rugby. And a pool table means you can move the sporting events from the big screen to real-life. Cement your status as High Wycombe’s de facto pool extraordinaire.
Find at 120-123 Oxford Rd, High Wycombe HP11 2ND
Phone no: 01494 917080
Living in High Wycombe means you have access to plenty of scenic open spaces. Chiltern Hills, otherwise known as The Chilterns, is a natural area of outstanding beauty and a great place to get some fresh air.
Hike the rolling green hills or ride your bike to the backdrop of the gorgeous countryside. The expansive open spaces mean you can walk for hours on end, even ending up in popular nearby areas like Henley-on-Thames.
Find at High Wycombe
When a restaurant is named “The Works”, you know you’re in for a treat food-wise. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, The Works is somewhere you’ll want to pay attention to. From waffles to crepes and just about everything else in between, get ready to treat your taste buds.
There are savoury treats too, in the form of hot dogs, eggs royale and English breakfast. Oh, and if you fancy yourself as an escape room artist, you'll be happy to know that The Works has partnered with Escapologist. Navigate three food-themed escape rooms.
Find at 11 High St, High Wycombe HP11 2AZ
Phone no: 01494 451952
Living in High Wycombe
High Wycombe provides town-centre living on London’s commuter belt, so you can be in and out of the capital with minimum fuss. But even without the convenient travel links, High Wycombe stands tall in its own right with fantastic open spaces, cultural venues and great restaurants and shops.
Have you got a favourite High Wycombe hotspot? Let us know @essliving