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Brill windmill

Top places to live in Buckinghamshire Brill

It's in the name! This pretty village is perfect for those who crave countryside life, but don't want to stray too far from city amenities. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

Image by Ben Webb

WHY? 

Brill – affectionately known as ‘Brill on the Hill’ – has a Grade II listed windmill sat on a (yes, you guessed it) big hill that looks over the border between Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. And it’s a suitably rural symbol for this sweet, red-bricked little village that woos residents and visitors alike with its bucolic charms but yet is only a 15-minute drive to Thame and 33 minutes to Oxford.

EAT

The Pointer in Brill itself is a country pub with rooms, all cosy nooks and timber beams, that prides itself on a seasonal menu and a warm welcome. It’s just the sort of place you’d be delighted to see after a winter walk. And if you can’t stay in one of its eight en-suite rooms, you might find time to pop next door to the pub’s butchers shop, which sells seasonal, local meats, eggs, charcuterie and pastries on Saturdays. 

SHOP

Brill is small – precisely why it’s so revered – so aside from the butchers/deli, there is not a lot on offer apart from a Londis for the essentials (nearby Thame has a large Waitrose and decent high street). However, there is many a farm shop in the surrounding area where you can buy local produce, such as Howe Farm Flowers in neighbouring Dorton. It offers a PYO service and workshops on how to cut and arrange the farm’s beautiful homegrown blooms. 

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

Aside from the windmill, the National Trust’s Boarstall Tower, a 14th-century moat house and gardens, is nearby but still currently closed due to Covid. Rushbeds Wood, 56 hectares of ancient woodland, is also close and home to a gentle 1.5m wildlife walk plus most monthly work parties, if you fancy embarking on some conservation in your free time.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

Pretty decent at £369,444. Semi-detached properties go for £355,833; terraced properties are a little less at £396,667. Hamnett Hayward in Thame has some lovely period cottages on its books.

HOT PROPERTY

SCHOOLS 

The C of E village school goes through from Reception to Year 6 and is reassuringly ‘Good’ according to Ofsted. For secondary, there’s Lord Williams’s in Thame and Waddesdon School and grammar schools in Aylesbury.

BEST KEPT SECRET

Brill was featured in John Betjeman’s 1973 documentary Metro-Land.

COMMUTE

55 miles. You have two options by train going to London – from Haddenham & Thame Parkway (20 minute drive, 37 minutes on the train, £4,340 for a season ticket) or from Bicester (18 minutes drive, 44 minutes on the train, £5,256 for a season ticket). It’s 1 hr 26 minutes by car. 

View the full Top 200 Places to Live

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