High Wycombe

High Wycombe is the largest settlement within the county of Buckinghamshire, and is located in a picturesque part of the Chiltern Hills. The actual town lies mostly within a small valley, with expansion over the years spreading outwards and up the surrounding hills.

High Wycombe was a mill town during medieval times. Later it developed a large furniture industry during the 19th Century. It was particularly famous for chair making, which saw the town make almost 5,000 per day towards the later part of the century. Now it is a combination of both a mill and market town. The surrounding backdrop of the Chiltern Hills are tranquil, but more deprived areas still exist within the town itself following the decline of local industries. The town centre is currently undergoing a large multi-million development, which will see much greater shopping facilities arrive, as well as the re-surfacing of the River Wye, which had previously been tunnelled over in the 1960’s.


Just north of High Wycombe, the National Trust site of Hughenden Manor can be found. This Manor House was home to Queen Victoria’s favourite Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, and is open to the public who may be interested in the collections of personal belongings, artwork and colourfully lush gardens which were designed by wife Mary Anne Disraeli. The backdrop allows for impressive views of the Chiltern countryside and children can enjoy the Tracker Park which is designed to teach the history of the Manor House. Tickets prices: adult £6, child £3, family £15.

Within the Castlefield area of the town, an Iron Age hill fort can be found, and may be of interest to enthusiasts of Saxon constructions. The fort was used to observe the Danish invasion, and now lies in an unlikely location adjacent to a council estate.

Wycombe Air Park is one of the busiest airfields in the country and is open to tourists, with a small picnic area situated below the control tower and refreshments available at ‘The Clubhouse’. The air park has been featured in various films and the cult television series ‘Doctor Who’. It is used for aircraft such as gliders and also has a helicopter school. In June 2007 it shall host the AeroExpo 2007.

Wycombe Summit is Britain’s longest dry ski slope, featuring a main slope, a training slope and 7 teaching areas for both skiing and snowboarding. As of September 2006, the slope was closed pending redevelopment into a ‘real’ snow slope and ice skating rink.

Rye Park (known to locals as The Rye) is found a short walk from the high street in the town centre, and is the second largest park in the region. It contains a large stretch of water, known as The Dyke, which is suitable for permit fishing. There is also an outdoor swimming pool which is open during the summer months, and a nature reserve with various nature trails around The Dyke.

Wycombe Museum is found within an 18th Century house on Priory Avenue and concentrates it’s exhibitions on the famous furniture industry. It also has a picnic areas, gift shop and refreshments on the ground floor.


High Wycombe currently has two major shopping centres: The Octagon and The Chiltern Centre. A third, The Eden Centre, is expected to open in spring 2008. This new shopping centre will feature a brand new two-floor Marks and Spencer and a new House of Frasier department store. Currently, the Octagon and Chiltern Centre host most of the famous high street retailers, such as the Body Shop, Next, Marks and Spencer and River Island.

Nightlife and Eating Out

The usual array foreign cuisine can be found in the centre, such as Indian, Chinese, Thai and Italian. Several larger chains can be found too, such as Frankie and Benny’s and TGI Friday. For a quick and tasty meal, head to the Noodle Bar. If you have a large appetite for Chinese food, try EAMAYL (eat as much as you like).

The Frogmoor area of the centre has the largest density of bars and pubs. Those of significance being the Flint Cottage, a pub entirely built from pieces of flint, whilst The Office caters for the gay scene. The two main nightclubs are The Blue Room, and the recently refurbishes Pure & Obsession, popular with the urban music crowd.

For the theatrically inclined, The Swan Theatre offers audiences one of the finest theatres outside of London, with a diverse programme of productions ranging from opera to pop acts.

Tourist Information

  • High Wycombe Tourist Information Centre, Pauls Row, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP11 2HQ
  • Telephone: 01494 421892
  • Website: www.wycombe.gov.uk


The nearest airport is Heathrow which serves most international destinations and is easily reachable by bus (20 miles). By car the journey takes 30-50 minutes depending on traffic on the M25.

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