"High Wycombe - it's really not that bad!" Top 5 Page for this destination High Wycombe by SallyM

High Wycombe Travel Guide: 78 reviews and 146 photos

We are on the brink of a new era. If only....

I once read in a travel guide to the UK that Wycombe is a depressing town where you may have to change buses. Well, I make no apologies for the old bus station, which was very depressing. But a shiny new bus station which opened in 2008 has improved the situation no end. However, Wycombe has suffered from poor town planning decisions in the 1960s (and later) which have saddled it with some very ugly buildings. The new Eden shopping centre to the west of the town centre hasn't really helped - it's out of scale with its surroundings and not exactly a thing of beauty.

In the past, Wycombe has also been treated as a bit of a joke, with references in old sitcoms to Wycombe as a rather boring place:

For example "This is about as much fun as a wet weekend in High Wycombe" (Yootha Joyce in 'George and Mildred')

"I'm living in High Wycombe with a madwoman" (Tim Brooke-Taylor in 'You Must Be the Husband')

And Alan Partridge referred to a night of passion in the Queens Moat House in High Wycombe, a hotel that sadly does not exist. In the past, the town was rather short of hotels, but a couple of budget hotels (Premier Inn and Travelodge) have recently opened to add to to the choice of accommodation in the town centre.

In his book 'In Your Dreams', Tom Holt made High Wycombe the portal to the land of the Fey.

But High Wycombe is now a university town, with the shiny new Bucks New University building.

And if you want another claim to fame, Terry Pratchett used to work for the local newspaper.

And Wycombe is unique in being the only town in the country to weigh the mayor each year to see whether he or she has put on weight at the taxpayers' expense. If only London did the same with Boris! "Crikey!"

Furniture town

Situated in the Chiltern hills, about half way between London and Oxford, High Wycombe has a long history of furniture making, with people known as 'bodgers' turning chair legs for the famous Windsor chairs in the local beech woods. Sadly, most of the factories are gone now, but you can find out about the history of the furniture industry in the Wycombe Museum.

Historic buildings near the centre of the town include the remains of a 12th-century hospital. The remains of both a Roman villa and an Iron-Age hill fort have been excavated, but there is not much to see on these sites now. However, there are things to see and do in the locality.

Where to go

Two National Trust properties are located close to High Wycombe: Hughenden Manor, the home of Benjamin Disraeli, the Victorian novelist and Prime Minister, and West Wycombe Park, the home of the Dashwood family. A Sir Francis Dashwood was a leading light in the Hellfire Club, and you can also visit the (privately owned) Hellfire Caves in the village of West Wycombe.

Wycombe Swan theatre hosts a good range of travelling productions of plays, as well as stand-up comedy and tribute acts.

As far as eating out is concerned, the general rule used to be that the better restaurants were at the eastern end of the town, and Frogmoor is best avoided, but some new eateries have opened in the Eden development, mainly national chains like Pizza Express, Zizzi, Wagamama and Nandos.

There are however a lot of great restaurants in the surrounding area (mostly in former pubs).

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Good train service to London, nice countryside
  • Cons:Town is unremarkable
  • In a nutshell:Don't just change buses!
  • Last visit to High Wycombe: Jul 2015
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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SallyM Used To Live Here!

SallyM

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