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How to spend 48 hours in Buckinghamshire

You will be surprised how much you can pack into 48 hours in Buckinghamshire. Take some inspiration from our weekend guide.


Day one

Start the day off bright and early in pretty Marlow and look out for Team GB rowers training on the River Thames. Enjoy breakfast at one of the town’s lovely cafes – try Bill’s for its pancakes, or Coopers for speciality coffee. Explore the boutiques and little shops in the compact town centre. You will, of course, then need a cake – head to Burgers Tea Room and Bakery.

If you’re feeling energetic, stroll the five-and-a-half miles along the Thames to picturesque Cookham (allow approximately two hours for the walk). Alternatively, from June to September, you can hop aboard Salters Steamers passenger boat service for a leisurely amble along the river. When deposited in Cookham head to the Stanley Spencer Gallery, a wonderful collection of more than 100 of his paintings beautifully housed in a recently-renovated chapel.

Picturesque Marlow is popular with rowers

Picturesque Marlow is popular with rowers

From Cookham you are short trip away from the glorious Cliveden house and gardens, owned by the National Trust, and forever linked with the 1960s Profumo affair. Book in for a sumptuous lunch or high tea in the restaurant, or enjoy more informal fare in its cafes. Then spend the afternoon wandering through Cliveden’s 376 acres of magnificent formal gardens and parklands.

Jump on the boat back to Marlow and enjoy a sundowner and dinner on the terrace beside the water at The Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel. Culture vultures could take in a show in nearby High Wycombe at its charming theatre, the Wycombe Swan. Time to spare? Hire a rowing boat by the hour from the landing stage in Higginson Park in Marlow. Boats are available for hire from June to September.

From Cookham you are short trip away from the glorious Cliveden house and gardens, owned by the National Trust, and forever linked with the 1960s Profumo affair

Day two

Head on over to Aylesbury for a good breakfast. Pop in to the excellent Buckinghamshire County Museum where you can learn all about the county’s natural and cultural heritage, or find out about the county’s most famous resident, Roald Dahl, at the fabulous Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery (opening times vary). Visit the cafe for a light bite, or instead head on over to The Five Arrows, Waddesdon, for a slap-up lunch.

From there it’s time to dust off that National Trust pass once more and explore wonderful Waddesdon Manor, formerly the Rothschild’s weekend retreat! Book to explore the sumptuous furnishings inside the house, or simply enjoy the acres of landscaped gardens and stocked aviary. Refreshments can be bought at the Stables cafe if needed.

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

If trains are more your thing, take an enchanting ride on a steam train at the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway. Don’t forget to visit the Chinnor Windmill, currently being restored by volunteers and open to the public on alternate Sundays. Or why not visit the Buckingham Railway Centre in Quainton where you can experience a fascinating display of working engines?

Round off the day with the mouth-watering seven-course tasting menu at the Artichoke restaurant in Old Amersham, raved about by the locals and gathering a reputation as a bastion of fine dining.

Read more about Buckinghamshire

Image credits: ©David Hughes/stock.adobe.com; The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

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