Near to London
Got some time to spare? While you’ll never be short of things to do in Buckinghamshire, its central position makes it a great place for exploring central and southern regions. Wherever you’re staying, you’re never more than around 45 minutes away from London by train, so a trip to the Natural History Museum, Harrods, Big Ben or taking in a West End show is very do-able. The southern part of the county borders Berkshire, where you can visit one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK – Royal Windsor. See the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle, take a tour of the Queen’s second home, explore the shops or simply enjoy a stroll along the Long Walk in the magnificent Great Park.
Got the kids with you? Then Windsor cannot be missed as it’s also home to Legoland, a thrilling place for younger children. A little further south is Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures for older thrill-seekers. Thrills of a different kind can be found at Ascot Racecourse, famous for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes during Royal Ascot week in July, although race meetings are held regularly throughout the year. Nearby you’ll find Windsor Racecourse, which can be accessed via a river cruise if you want to make a special event of it.
Wherever you’re staying, you’re never more than around 45 minutes away from London by train, so a trip to the Natural History Museum, Harrods, Big Ben or taking in a West End show is very do-able
Zoos, museums and history
Speaking of rivers, Henley-on-Thames is a really pretty town for exploring, either by boat or on foot, and the River and Rowing Museum is simply charming. If you’re lucky enough to be staying in June/July you might be able to book tickets for the regatta or the fabulous festival. To the west of the county you’ve got some amazing places to visit, not least the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Leavesden, where Harry Potter fans can experience the magical props, animatronic creatures, costumes and sets used to create the eight-film series over 10 years. Make sure you stop off for a Butterbeer in the cafe, and of course take your chances with Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans (fingers crossed you don’t get vomit flavour).
Animal lovers should stop in to The Natural History Museum in Tring, just over the border in Hertfordshire, where you can see the incredible zoological collections of Walter Rothschild. If you prefer your animals more alive, head to either Whipsnade Zoo in Dunstable or Woburn Safari Park just outside Milton Keynes. History lovers will be in their element.
The surrounding counties are home to such gems as Hatfield House, Elizabeth I’s childhood home, in Hertfordshire; Woburn Abbey, with links to the safari park, in Bedfordshire; The Roman Theatre of Verulamium and Hypocaust in St Albans; Althorp Estate, former home of Princess Diana in Northamptonshire; and the monumental Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire – the only non-royal non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. You’re also a stone’s throw from historic Oxford. Here you can spend the day exploring the shops or university colleges, punting along the river or visiting one of its excellent museums, such as the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Pitt Rivers Museum or the Bodleian Library. Whichever direction you head off in, you’ll find something fun at the end for sure!
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