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Long Crendon Manor

Top places to live in Buckinghamshire Long Crendon

Don't let the tranquil surrounds fool you - Long Crendon has a bustling community, and plenty of great schools on the doorstep. Plus, the commute is a breeze. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

Image: David Lindley

WHY?

Rolling fields, thatched cottages with honeysuckle around the door, historic coaching inns and a gentler pace of life: Long Crendon is prime Midsomer Murders country. But, er, without the murders. There’s a mix of locals and big city incomers with young families here, tempted by the excellent school options (see below), laidback village life and an easy commute to London or Oxford.

EAT

On the high street, The Churchill Arms serves decent Thai food, while The Angel, on Bicester Road, looks like a pub but is actually a fine-dining restaurant (the weekday lunch deals are fantastic value). It has B&B rooms if you want to try (the area) before you buy. There’s also some superlative gastropubs in the surrounding villages. In Easington, The Mole & Chicken has gorgeous views from its terrace (go on a summer evening and look out for Prince William, who’s been known to stop by for a pint). The Hundred of Ashendon (in Ashendon as it happens) is a super-cool Bib Gourmand-winner run by an ex St John chef, while The Pointer in Brill is another awards-magnet. Finally, NORSK, a 10 minute drive away in Haddenham, is a stylish, Scandi-inspired café and lifestyle store, with modern menus, slick service and chic interiors and gifts.

SHOP

There’s a small square in the village centre with a Bestbuy and a butcher, and you can pick up homemade bread, veg, dairy etc from the farm shop at Long Crendon Manor, which is just past the square. You’ll need to head five minutes down the road into market town Thame for a big supermarket (there’s a decent Waitrose there), plus a Tuesday street market and a clutch of good indie shops.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

There isn’t much in Crendon itself and the bus service is limited so you’ll need a car to make the most of your surroundings. Waddesdon Manor, the Rothschild house and gardens, is 20 minutes away and provides your hearty walks and fine art fixes. Also 20 minutes away but a somewhat different proposition is that glittering palace of designer delights, Bicester Village. Oxford with its historic buildings, world-class Ashmolean museum and shiny modern Westgate Centre (if you’re going to eat in a shopping mall, make it this one – the roof terrace restaurants are great) is a 30 minute drive, while closer to home, the picture-perfect village of Brill is a 10 minute drive and its famous hilly common, presided over by a 17th century windmill, is a locals’ favourite spot for burning off some energy.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

£711,933. In 2019 terraced properties sold for an average price of £301,000, detached properties cost an average of £863,100, and semi-detached properties were £473,571. ­Need a local estate agent? There’s none in the village but try Hamnett Hayward, Fisher German, Andrew Murray and Colombs in Thame.

HOT PROPERTY


SCHOOLS

The village’s primary school, which has been rated “outstanding” by Ofsted since 2008, is massively over-subscribed, and nearby Cuddington and Haddenham both have the same issue. Good independent prep options are the co-ed Ashfold School (15 mins away), Godstowe in Wycombe (20 mins) or Headington Girls, Dragon School or Oxford High in Oxford (30 mins). Long Crendon school kids are unusual in falling automatically into catchment for the outstanding secondary comprehensive Lord Williams‘ in Thame and also for Bucks grammar schools – there are three excellent grammars in Aylesbury and another three in High Wycombe.

BEST KEPT SECRET

Notley Abbey, an elegant country house wedding venue on the edge of the village, was once the home of Hollywood royalty Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, in the 1940s and 1950s. There’s plenty of walks nearby if you fancy a discreet peek at how the other half lived.

COMMUTE

Your best bet is Haddenham & Thame Parkway, a 5-10 minute drive from the village. Pay-as-you-go station parking is extortionate at £8.50 per day, and a season ticket, with parking is north of £6000. Expensive, yep, but it’s a relatively reliable line, you can almost always get a seat in the morning and you can be in Marylebone in 33 minutes on a fast train (stopping services take 45-55 mins).

View the full Top 200 Places to Live

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