With its beautiful green spaces and some of the best schools in the country, Buckinghamshire has always been popular with Londoners keen to swap the town for the country whilst keeping a foot in the city camp. Amersham, Beaconsfield and Gerrards Cross have traditionally been the go-to destinations for families looking for a change-in-lifestyle property, but not anymore.
Written by Lisa Proffitt | 18th September 2020
Moving out of London: Escape to Buckinghamshire
Freed from the daily commute, 90 minutes has replaced 60 minutes as a very do-able journey-time for city workers, and those additional 30 minutes have had a significant effect on the shape of the property market. The spotlight is now shining further south into the county where large rural properties are available at great value for money.
Here’s why families are making the move to South Buckinghamshire:
Families fleeing the city generally have a mental picture of their perfect village, and Buckinghamshire is packed with idyllic ones. “Quintessentially English” is a phrase often used to describe them, never more fittingly so than for the village of Mentmore. Largely unchanged since 1880, estate cottages around the village green enjoy sweeping views across the Chilterns countryside. The village may be Victorian but Mentmore’s high speed rural broadband connection makes it perfectly suited to working from home in 2020. When necessary, trains from Cheddington two miles away reach London in 44 minutes. The Forge, located on the site of a former smithy, is the only newly built home in the village. The contemporary property was designed by award-winning residential architects and its attractive exterior is complemented by spacious, contemporary interiors. The property is ideal for those seeking a 'lock up and leave' home as it has been designed with an emphasis on security.
Long Crendon, also in Aylesbury Vale, is described by Country Life magazine as the sort of village that everyone dreams of buying a house in. Picture-postcard pretty – Midsomer Murders was filmed here - this village of thatched cottages has an old fashioned high street, a village green and a thriving local community, one of the key things buyers are looking for in a village after the isolating experience of lockdown. Commuters will need to drive to Haddenham & Thame Parkway two miles away for trains to Marylebone which take 39 minutes. Take a look at Harefield Cottage - a Grade II listed 16th century thatched cottage in Long Crendon.
MK had a headline moment back in July when home sellers there became overnight winners of the stamp duty holiday. Inquiries for homes worth between £400,000 and £500,000 in the Buckinghamshire postcode went through the roof, jumping by 136% in just one week, according to Rightmove. Savvy buyers know that concrete cows are far from the whole story. There are numerous sought after towns and villages with a MK postcode. The town itself has an impressive list of cultural centres and amenities, including one of Europe’s largest covered shopping malls, a theatre, multiple cinemas and an indoor skiing and skydiving centre. For commuters, trains from Milton Keynes to Euston take just 36 minutes. This modern five bedroom detached house in Little Brickhill is within reach of railway stations at Bletchley or Milton Keynes which are both within 15 minutes’ drive.
Top-performing senior schools:
Buckinghamshire is one of the last remaining counties where education is fully selective. There are 13 grammar schools and 21 senior schools in the county, many rated outstanding by Ofsted. The Royal Latin in Buckingham, Aylesbury Grammar and the single sex Grammars in High Wycombe are all schools that people move house to be close to. With outside space commanding more attention than ever in schools as well as homes, the private schools in Buckinghamshire benefit from bucolic countryside settings. Thornton College has 25 acres of beautiful grounds, Stowe school a staggering 75 acres of Capability Brown landscaped gardens and nearby Akeley Wood is surrounded by fields of horses and trees. Drop your children at those school gates and you may struggle to persuade them to come home.
Stately homes and National Trust properties:
Buckinghamshire has more stately homes than any other county and most of them are open but need to be booked in advance. Stowe landscape gardens near Buckingham town and Waddesdon Manor, a French-style chateau near Aylesbury with glorious gardens and a woodland playground, are both perfect for family days out. Check out the National Trust website for a list of all the properties in the county and their covid guidelines.
Dog friendly pubs:
If you move to the country you’ll need a dog and The Jolly Cricketers in Seer Green has scooped the coveted title of the UK’s best dog-friendly pub in the Sawday’s Pub Awards 2020. This red-brick traditional pub has been rightly recognised for making four-legged friends feel as welcome as their humans. With the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the doorstep this perfectly placed pub is a hit with owners and dogs alike.
Michael Graham has been helping people move in and around Buckinghamshire for more than 50 years. If you would like us to recommend areas and help you find your ideal country home, please do get in touch. The houses below are all in Buckinghamshire villages with great local schools, fantastic amenities and excellent transport links.