Find perfect days out in Great Missenden and top attractions in Little Missenden village. From Little Missenden walks to Great Missenden pubs, there is much to do in this part of Buckinghamshire!
Great Missenden and Little Missenden are a pair of villages in the Chiltern Hills. They are roughly a five minutes drive apart. The villages are in the heart of the Chilterns, which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so you’ll be surrounded by beautiful beechwoods that descend into the valley and then climb the rolling hills.
With the beautiful scenery and quintessential British villages; it is no surprise that this location is the home of some of the wealthiest people in England.
If you fancy a nice walk near London, you will not be disappointed with the stunning countryside around Great and Little Missenden!
Ready to explore one of the best areas in Buckinghamshire? 🙂
Where is Great Missenden?
Great Missenden is a village located in the county of Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom. It is situated in the Chiltern Hills, about 34 miles (55 km) northwest of London. The village is known for its association with the popular children’s author Roald Dahl, who lived and wrote many of his books there.
Great Missenden postcode
The postcode for Great Missenden is HP16.
How to get to Great Missenden & Little Missenden?
Looking for best villages near London? If you are travelling from London, you have two travel options. You can drive or use public transport. If you plan to travel between the two villages on your visit, it’s best to travel by car as the buses between the two villages are somewhat infrequent. This is one of the best destinations for a day trip from London by car!
You take the same route to get to both villages. Great Missenden is just an extra five minutes down the road. You need to leave London on the A40 until you reach the A355. You travel north on this road until you reach Amersham, at which point you take the A413 the rest of the way. It takes between an hour and an hour and a half depending on the traffic.
Using public transportation
Getting to Great Missenden by train is straightforward. You take the Chilterns Railway from Marylebone, and you’ll arrive in under 45 minutes. You can travel on to Little Missenden by bus. This can add another 30-40 minutes to your journey, depending on your luck with connections.
Accommodation in Great Missenden
There are several options for accommodation in Great Missenden, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering apartments. Here are some examples:
- The Nags Head, a 15th-century coaching inn with comfortable rooms and an on-site restaurant and bar. Address: London Rd, Great Missenden HP16 0DG, United Kingdom
- The Crown Inn, a traditional pub with four guest rooms, situated in the heart of Great Missenden. Address: 16 High St, Great Missenden HP16 0AU, United Kingdom
- Missenden Abbey, a stunning former medieval abbey that has been converted into a conference center and hotel with beautiful gardens and comfortable rooms. Address: London Rd, Great Missenden HP16 0BD, United Kingdom
- The Potters Arms, a 400-year-old pub with comfortable accommodation and a popular restaurant serving local and seasonal food. Address: Fagnall Ln, Winchmore Hill, Amersham HP7 0PH, United Kingdom
- The Lee Gate Guest House, a charming bed and breakfast set in a historic building in the nearby village of Lee Common. Address: The Lee Gate, The Lee, Great Missenden HP16 9NA, United Kingdom
What is Great Missenden famous for?
Great Missenden is famous for several things, including:
- Association with Roald Dahl: Great Missenden was the home of the famous children’s author Roald Dahl, who lived and wrote many of his books there. The village has several attractions related to Dahl, including the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.
- Chiltern Hills: Great Missenden is situated in the beautiful Chiltern Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling.
- Historic Buildings: Great Missenden has several historic buildings, including the 14th-century church of St Peter and St Paul, the 15th-century coaching inn The Nags Head, and the former medieval abbey Missenden Abbey, which is now a conference center and hotel.
- Traditional village charm: Great Missenden has retained much of its traditional village charm, with a picturesque high street lined with independent shops, pubs, and restaurants.
- The Roald Dahl Literary Estate: Great Missenden is also home to the Roald Dahl Literary Estate, which manages the author’s literary legacy and licenses his works for adaptations in film, television, and other media.
Things to see in Great Missenden:
Great Missenden is one of the most affluent villages in the whole of England. It is also the home of Roald Dahl, so there is plenty to see in this delightful little village.
The high street is full of character. As you wander up and down, you can marvel at all the higgledy-piggledy streets that run off it. As you walk around, you will also be able to spot all the homages to Roald Dahl that litter the village, from the trail that runs through the village to the Cafe Twit.
The Cross Keys Great Missenden
You don’t get much more traditional than a 16th Century Pub. The Cross Keys is a great spot to rest your legs and enjoy a drink and a bite to eat during your exploration of the village. The food is locally sourced, and the welcome you’ll receive is hearty.
Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre
Roald Dahl lived in Great Missenden for 36 years, and as you look around, you can see how it inspired some of his descriptions of little villages. A visit to the Roald Dahl museum and story centre is a magical experience.
There are storytelling activities for children to get involved with, and the galleries are packed with memorabilia and even Roald Dahl’s original writing hut. For anyone who loves the stories of Roald Dahl, this place is a must.
Red Pump Garage
If you’ve read Roald Dahl’s ‘Danny, The Champion of the World’, then you’ll want to make a stop for pictures at the Red Pump Garage. This location was the inspiration for the garage in the book. Standing outside are the 1950-style red pumps and the old BP signs.
Missenden Abbey was built in the 12th Century and has a long and colourful history. It began life as an Abbey. It was a favourite stopping off point of King Henry III. However, when Henry VII went on a dissolution spree, he claimed the land and the buildings for the crown.
The property was eventually passed out as a sign of favour to a private family by Queen Elizabeth I. It continued to change hands for years until it was gifted to the county of Buckinghamshire.
Once you see how beautiful the manor house and 10 acres of grounds are, you’ll find it hard to believe that no-one seemed to want to hold onto the place!
Great Missenden village history
Great Missenden has a rich history dating back to the medieval period. Here are some key historical facts about the village:
- The name “Missenden” is believed to derive from the Old English words “mycene dene,” meaning “valley of the friends.”
- The village was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as “Misendene,” and was recorded as having a population of around 50 people at the time.
- Great Missenden grew in importance as a market town during the Middle Ages, with weekly markets and an annual fair granted by royal charter in the 14th century.
- The 14th-century church of St Peter and St Paul is a prominent feature of the village, with its distinctive tower and spire visible from miles around. The church contains several notable features, including a 15th-century rood screen and a 17th-century pulpit.
- The 15th-century coaching inn The Nags Head has a long history, and was used as a staging post for coaches travelling between London and the West Country.
- Great Missenden played a significant role in World War II, with the village serving as the headquarters for the code-breaking operation at nearby Bletchley Park.
- The village gained wider fame in the 20th century as the home of the children’s author Roald Dahl, who lived and wrote many of his books there. Dahl is commemorated with several attractions in the village, including the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.
Pubs in Great Missenden
Great Missenden has several pubs that are popular with locals and visitors alike. Here are some examples:
- The Nags Head – a historic coaching inn on the High Street, with a bar serving real ales and a restaurant serving classic pub food.
- The Cross Keys – a traditional pub on the High Street, with a cozy interior, outdoor seating, and a menu featuring British classics and international dishes.
- The Red Lion – a 17th-century pub on Great Missenden’s outskirts, with a large garden, a range of real ales, and a menu of classic pub food.
- The George and Dragon – a friendly local pub on High Street, with a cozy interior, outdoor seating, and a menu of pub favorites and international dishes.
- The Potters Arms – a 400-year-old pub located in nearby Winchmore Hill, with a focus on locally sourced and seasonal food, real ales, and a friendly atmosphere.
In addition to these pubs, there are several other drinking and dining establishments in Great Missenden, including wine bars, cafes, and restaurants.
Things to do & see in Little Missenden:
Little Missenden, as the name suggests, is a much smaller village. This much smaller village only has a few shops and a small parish church. However, it does also have a wealth of luxurious manor houses. Wandering around the homes in the area is quite a humbling experience.
The parish church in little Missenden is made from flint and limestone. The earliest parts of the church are dated from the 10th Century. Meanwhile, the younger parts can be dated to the 18th Century. It’s a real treasure of a building, made all the more impressive by the fact that it is still a thriving and vibrant place of worship.
Get free-range eggs from locals
Little Missenden is home to a lot of properties with an abundance of land. This has resulted in a large number of residents taking up chicken rearing. As you wander through the village, it’s not uncommon to see signs offering eggs from the homes in the area.
Red Lion pub
The Red Lion is housed inside a lovely 17th-century cottage. The bar is made from black beams, and the landlord is everything you’d expect from a small village pub. There’s a piano in an inglenook and pheasant decor in the dining room. Stepping into this pub is like stepping into a novel. It is well worth a visit.
Little Missenden is in the heart of the Misbourne Valley. There are numerous walks and excursions you can find that start and end from this small village. So if you want to experience the area’s outstanding beauty, this is an ideal spot to find some walks.
The homes in Little Missenden are truly lovely. There is a mix of 17th-century cottages and more modern timber-framed dwellings. As you wander around, you can take in the subtle shift in architectural styles over the years.
Places to visit near Great & Little Missenden:
- Old Amersham: 5 miles away from Great & Little Missenden
- Wendover: 5 miles away from Great & Little Missenden
- West Wycombe: 9 miles away from Great & Little Missenden
- Marlow: 12 miles away from Great & Little Missenden
- Henley-on-Thames: 20 miles away from Great & Little Missenden
- Windsor: 20 miles away from Great & Little Missenden
- Sonning on Thames: 22 miles away from Great & Little Missenden
- St. Albans: 24 miles away from Great & Little Missenden
- Wallingford: 28 miles away from Great & Little Missenden
- Goring on Thames: 30 miles away from Great & Little Missenden
- Abingdon: 32 miles away from Great & Little Missenden
Is it worth visiting Great & Little Missenden?
Great Missenden and Little Missenden offer two different experiences of life in the Chiltern Hills. So, if you can visit both, it’s well worth it. However, Great Missenden is the place to start, especially for anyone who grew up reading the books of Roald Dahl.
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