Top places to live in Buckinghamshire Hambleden
Hambledon ticks all the boxes for village living (pretty stone cottages, charming Post Office, rural vistas) whilst being just a 10 minute drive from thriving Marlow and Henley. Win win. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
Part of a clutch of picture-perfect villages that make up the Hambleden Valley and encompassing the stunning Culden Faw Estate, the sweet village shop and quiet streets lined with brick and flint cottages make this village a popular filming location with an IMDb profile to envy including deep breath – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Witches, The Avengers, 101 Dalmatians, Into The Woods, Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci. The village is also just a short car ride away from cosmopolitain Henley and Marlow.
In the heart of Hambleden village is The Stag and Huntsman, a gastropub (with killer wallpaper) serving refined pub classics, plus boutique rooms and two self-catering cottages. Or head to neighbouring villages in the Hambleden Valley including Skirmett for fellow gastropub The Frog in a beautiful 18th century coaching inn; Fingest for quaint, quintessential country pub The Chequers Inn; Freith for small plates, pub classics, plus steaks and burgers from a charcoal grill, most of which is sourced locally, at The Yew Tree.
You’ll need to head to either Marlow, Henley (both a 10 minute drive), Reading (27 minute drive) or designer outlet Bicester Village (43 minute drive) for ‘proper shopping’ but The Village Store should have most things you need including a Post Office, groceries, locally sourced meat and honey, freshly baked goods, and wine.
Culden Faw Estate with its 3,500 acres of mature beech woods, parkland, rolling hills and unspoilt chalk valley is beautiful for walks, plus is home to Culham Court Cricket Ground. You’re also in stately home territory here including the Clooney’s wedding reception venue Danesfield House Hotel and Spa, just a seven minute drive away, plus National Trust-owned Cliveden House with its luxury hotel, formal gardens, fantastic literary festival and afternoon tea to boot is 24 minutes in the car. Wormsley Estate which hosts the annual Garsington Opera is also a 24 minute drive. Greys Court, one of the loveliest National Trust properties in the area, and privately-owned 850 year old Stonor Park with its new children’s play area Tumblestone Hollow, festivals and foodie events are also nearby. The River & Rowing Museum in Henley centre is great for kids and offers small but brilliant exhibitions in an accessible, unpretentious space. There are also walks aplenty along the Thames Path, Chiltern Way and Shakespeare Way.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
On average properties go for £526,667. Detached are most expensive at £675,000, floored by semi-detached at £485,000 and flats at £420,000.
In neighbouring village Freith there’s a C of E Primary School rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted. Or in Marlow there are two schools rated as ‘Outstanding’ primary Danesfield School and secondary Sir William Borlase’s Grammar. Nearby independent schools include academically and pastorally excellent co-ed St Mary’s; welcoming day/boarding co-ed (with girls’ Sixth From) Shiplake College; nurturing yet academically strong day/ boarding prep school for girls Godstowe.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Don’t miss the carpets of blue that cover the Culden Faw Estate mid-April to late May. Insta catnip.
There’s no train station in Hambledon so head to either Marlow and Henley, both a 10 minute drive, to catch a train to London in 46 and 41 minutes respectively. A season ticket from Marlow is cheaper at £3,836, compared to Henley’s £4,140. Driving will take you just over an hour.
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