Top places to live in Buckinghamshire Great Missenden
A postcard-perfect village nestled in the Chiltern Hills, Great Missenden and its sister Little Missenden boasts literary history and plenty of traditional shops and eateries. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
As Roald Dahl’s home for more than 30 years, and therefore the birthplace of Matilda, The BFG and The Twits, Great Missenden and its pretty neighbouring village Little Missenden do have a storybook-like quality, with pretty chocolate box cottages, traditional pubs and half-timbered shops set against the backdrop of the stunning Chiltern Hills and Misbourne Valley.
The Polecat Inn had a major refurb last year to add a swanky glass-fronted restaurant, open theatre-style kitchen and wood-fired pizza oven. Sixteenth-century pub The Cross Keys, in the heart of the Great Miss, is also a good option for families. We’re also fans of the Wild Strawberry Cafe at Peterely Manor Farm, a pretty, spacious Mongolian yurt offering homemade produce from the farm itself (there’s also a great produce shop there btw and PYO fields). Want an honest pint? The Crown in Little Missenden next village along is an unpretentious, friendly drinking option.
There are a small string of lovely indies along the high street – for gifts and homewares we like Fair Lily, Big Sky and Alphabet Soup. Teacups and Tandems sells (almost) too pretty to eat biscuits and there’s also a great independent bookshop called St Andrews Bookshop. For beauty, Oasis is a much-admired (and former Muddy Award winning) salon in the centre of Great Miss.
Great Missenden pays tribute to its heritage with the charming Road Dahl Museum – great for small kids. Award-winning Prestwood Tennis Club is nearby for members, plus you’re bang in the middle of the Chilterns with endless walks and views for days. You’re an equidistant 15 minutes from National Trust’s Hughenden Manor (former home of Disraeli, with stunning gardens) in one direction and the lovely Tudor Chenies Manor, on the Herts/Bucks border in the other.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
In 2019, in Great Missenden it was £666,149, with detached properties going for around £975,800, semi-detached for £538,100 and terraced properties for £380,357. Little Missenden is far more expensive for a detached property averaging a cool £3.5 mil (*gulp*), but terraced houses come in slightly cheaper at £325,000. Jeremy Swan and The Wye Partnership are local estate agents.
Top girls’ prep school Godstowe, Pipers Corner girls’ school (3-18 years) in High Wycombe, and The Beacon boys’ prep school in neighbouring Amersham are all fantastic options. In Gerrards Cross you’ll find girls prep Maltman’s Green , co-ed prep Gayhurst, boys day school Thorpe House and through girls’ school St Mary’s. This being Buckinghamshire there are also excellent grammar schools, many within striking distance – Dr Challoner’s in Amersham; Royal Grammar School, John Hampden School and Wycombe High in Wycombe; and the girls’ High School in Beaconsfield.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Roald Dahl’s granddaughter Sophie Dahl and her husband musician Jamie Cullum still live in the area.
33 miles. Considering they’re small villages, the commute to London is excellent (Great Missenden Station is on the Aylesbury – Marylebone line) and whips you into town in 39 mins. Season tickets from £3,024. If you’re driving, it’s just over an hour.
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