The small village of West Wycombe is a beautiful place to visit! With stunning cottages, nice park and hill there is a lot to do on a day trip to West Wycombe in Buckinghamshire!
West Wycombe is a gloriously unique English village in the Buckinghamshire countryside. It is owned and maintained by The National Trust and is steeped in history and natural beauty. The whole village is just one medieval street, and it was once a vital coaching stop between Oxford and London.
There are many well-preserved 16th to 18th-century buildings which show the villages colourful past. It is a quaint little spot for a day trip from London or a relaxing place to stay for a quiet getaway in England.
Here is everything you need to know about visiting West Wycombe.
Where is West Wycombe village?
West Wycombe village is north of Reading and east of Oxford, hidden away within the Chiltern Hills. The Chiltern Hills are an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a true staple in the great British countryside.
West Wycombe’s tiny footprint in Buckinghamshire makes it easy to miss, and but it is a real gem in the South of England. Just three miles west of High Wycombe along the A40 road, visiting West Wycombe is easy and well worth the trip. The village is next to the stunning West Wycombe Park.
West Wycombe postcode
The postcode for West Wycombe is HP14.
Where to stay in West Wycombe?
If you are planning to stay in this part of Buckinghamshire then book the George and Dragon Hotel in West Wycombe – it really is a stunning hotel with lots of character!
How to get to West Wycombe village?
Looking for best villages near London? West Wycombe is easy to get to from all across the country, and there are various travel options available to visitors;
- By Car: Driving to West Wycombe is simple; you can find the village on the A40 just west of High Wycombe. It can be reached from the M40, M4 and M25. There is plenty of parking within the village, in the large car park on Chorley Road.
- By Train: While West Wycombe doesn’t have its own railway station, that doesn’t mean it can be reached by train. The closest train station is High Wycombe which offers Chiltern Railways services to London Marylebone and Birmingham Snow Hill.
- By Bus: There are multiple buses running into West Wycombe every day. You can get a bus from High Wycombe or Oxford, and the buses stop outside West Wycombe village hall.
West Wycombe really is one of the top places to visit on a day out of London!
What is West Wycombe famous for?
West Wycombe is a village in the county of Buckinghamshire, England, and is famous for several reasons:
- West Wycombe Park: The village is home to the West Wycombe Park, an 18th-century country house and estate which is open to the public. The park is renowned for its landscaped gardens, Palladian architecture, and its association with the Dashwood family.
- Hellfire Caves: The Hellfire Caves, located just outside the village, are a network of man-made chalk and flint caverns, which were originally excavated in the 18th century. The caves are known for their association with the Hellfire Club, a notorious society of high-society rakes and hedonists who were said to hold meetings there.
- St Lawrence Church: The village’s parish church, St Lawrence Church, is a Grade I listed building which dates back to the 14th century. It is renowned for its architecture, including its tower, which is visible from miles around.
- West Wycombe Village: The village itself is a charming example of a traditional English village, with many historic buildings, quaint shops, and picturesque countryside.
- Dashwood Mausoleum: The Dashwood Mausoleum is a Grade II* listed building and monument located on the summit of West Wycombe Hill. It was built in the 1760s as a family burial place for the Dashwood family.
Overall, West Wycombe is famous for its heritage, architecture, and association with the Dashwood family and the Hellfire Club.
Things to do in West Wycombe
Although West Wycombe might be very small, there is still plenty to see and do. From a village store and traditional butchers to a quaint gift shop and local café, visitors can enjoy every little thing that West Wycombe has to offer.
West Wycombe Hill
West Wycombe Hill is a beautiful area of the Buckinghamshire countryside, offering unbeatable views across the county. It is a great place to enjoy a picnic when the weather is nice, and a lovely spot for a walk in the great outdoors.
It covers 55 acres of woodland, scrub and grassland, so there is plenty to explore. West Wycombe Hill is a national trust area and was once home to an Iron Age settlement.
Dashwood Mausoleum stands tall on the edge of West Wycombe Hill. It is an open-air hexagonal structure that is formed from a range of triumphal arches. Sir Francis Dashwood constructed the unique structure in the 1700s.
In the middle of Dashwood Mausoleum is a dedication to Dashwood’s wife, Lady le Despenser. There is also a wall plaque to commemorate Dashwood’s mother and stepmother. These aren’t the only things you will find on a trip to the Dashwood Mausoleum, as there are various other niches to discover.
Saint Lawrence Church
This church of England church takes pride of place at the top of West Wycombe Hill, overlooking West Wycombe Road. You can see the Saint Lawrence Church tower from many miles around, and the top of its tower is the highest point across the Southern Chilterns.
The Hellfire Caves
Possibly the top attraction in West Wycombe is The Hellfire Caves. These man-made caves were created by Sir Francis Dashwood, who was co-founder of the Hellfire Club. Tunnels, chambers and halls are dug a quarter mile down into the earth, under Saint Lawrence Church.
Within the tunnel network is the main hall, Steward’s Cave, Franklin’s Cave and a banquet hall.
West Wycombe Park
West Wycombe Park covers a huge 45 acres of landscaped gardens. In the heart of the park is West Wycombe House, which was home to the Dashwood family for more than 300 years.
West Wycombe Park has been designed to the tastes of Sir Francis Dashwood, with an abundance of eccentric and ornamental buildings. A stroll through the park is a great day out, and you will come across plenty of hidden gems.
West Wycombe Estate
West Wycombe Estate is home to West Wycombe Park and West Wycombe House. It spans across 5000 acres and is a stunning example of the Chilterns countryside. The first Sir Francis Dashwood built the house itself, and it was extensively remodelled by his son, the second Sir Francis Dashwood.
The house is beautifully unique and looks like a Palladian villa that would blend in effortlessly in Greece or Italy.
The high street in West Wycombe is the whole of the village, and while it might be small, there are plenty of shops and pubs to visit. There is a butcher selling local produce and the village store for all your essentials during your visit.
You can stop by for a drink or bite to eat in the Apple Orchard coffee shop or choose something a little heartier and stronger in the George and Dragon pub.
The village of West Wycombe has plenty of old buildings for visitors to see. The majority of the buildings along the high street date between the 16th and 18th centuries. Luckily, they have all been very well preserved.
The village and its buildings are cared for and maintained by the National Trust.
The Swan Inn in West Wycombe can only be described as a traditional English pub. It is a grade II listed building on the high street and offers a comfortable and rustic place to enjoy a pint of real ale.
Not much has changed in the Swan Inn for many years, and a visit to this pub is like travelling back in time.
West Wycombe post office
West Wycombe Post Office and village store is on the high street and has been run by the local Marshall family since 1988. The building itself is from the 16th century and still has its original timber beams.
It is the perfect place to pop in for local produce, ice cream on a hot day, or some penny sweets for the little ones.
Church Lane is one of the only other streets in High Wycombe. The tiny lane runs from the village hall round to the end of the high street. It is where you will find the entrance to Hellfire Caves and Saint Lawrence Church.
The Apple Orchard
The Apple Orchard is right in the heart of West Wycombe high street and is a local café, furniture and gift shop. Spread across thirteen showrooms and run by a husband and wife duo, there is everything from fine furniture to rare gifts on sale.
After browsing the various stores, you can relax with coffee and cake in the coffee shop.
West Wycombe village history
West Wycombe village has a long and fascinating history, dating back to at least the 12th century. The village grew up around a crossing point on the River Wye, which was an important trading route in medieval times.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the village was dominated by the Dashwood family, who were wealthy landowners and political figures. The Dashwoods played an important role in the development of the village, commissioning many of its most famous buildings, including St Lawrence Church, West Wycombe Park, and the Dashwood Mausoleum.
In the 18th century, the village became famous for its association with the Hellfire Club, a notorious society of high-society rakes and hedonists who were said to hold meetings in the Hellfire Caves, which were excavated on the nearby hillside.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, the village declined in importance, as new transport links and economic opportunities arose elsewhere in the region. However, it remained a popular destination for tourists and day-trippers, who were attracted by the village’s historic buildings and beautiful countryside.
Today, West Wycombe is a thriving village, with a mix of residential, commercial, and tourist activities. It is still known for its heritage, and many of its historic buildings have been preserved and restored.
Pubs in West Wycombe
There are a few pubs in and around West Wycombe village that visitors can enjoy. Here are some examples:
- The George and Dragon: This pub is located in the heart of West Wycombe village and is known for its traditional English pub atmosphere and excellent food.
- The Dashwood Arms: This pub is located in the nearby village of Piddington and is a popular spot for walkers and cyclists. It serves a range of beers, wines, and spirits, as well as traditional pub food.
- The Crown at Radnage: This pub is located a few miles from West Wycombe and is known for its high-quality food and friendly atmosphere.
- The Harrow at Hughenden: This pub is located in the nearby village of Hughenden and is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. It serves a range of beers, wines, and spirits, as well as traditional pub food.
These are just a few examples of the pubs that can be found in and around West Wycombe. Visitors are sure to find many other great options in the surrounding area.
West Wycombe coffee shops
There are a few coffee shops and tea rooms in and around West Wycombe village that visitors can enjoy. Here are some examples:
- The Apple Orchard Cafe: This cafe is located at the nearby National Trust property, West Wycombe Park, and serves a range of hot drinks and light refreshments. It also has a beautiful setting with outdoor seating available.
- The Dashwood Cafe: This cafe is located in the heart of West Wycombe village and serves a range of hot drinks and light meals. It also has a charming atmosphere with outdoor seating available.
- The Kitchen at West Wycombe: This cafe is located a short distance from the village, at the nearby West Wycombe Garden Centre. It serves a range of hot drinks, as well as a variety of breakfast and lunch options.
- The Tea Set: This tea room is located in the nearby town of Wendover and serves a wide range of teas, coffees, and cakes. It has a vintage feel with indoor and outdoor seating available.
These are just a few examples of the coffee shops and tea rooms that can be found in and around West Wycombe. Visitors are sure to find many other great options in the surrounding area.
Places to visit nearby West Wycombe village:
- Turville: 5 miles away from West Wycombe
- Marlow: 7 miles away from West Wycombe
- Old Amersham: 10 miles away from West Wycombe
- Thame: 14 miles away from West Wycombe
- Henley-on-Thames: 15 miles away from West Wycombe
- Sonning on Thames: 18 miles away from West Wycombe
- Dorchester-on-Thames: 19 miles away from West Wycombe
- Wallingford: 21 miles away from West Wycombe
- Goring on Thames: 23 miles away from West Wycombe
- Abingdon: 27 miles away from West Wycombe
- Pangbourne: 28 miles away from West Wycombe
Is it worth visiting West Wycombe in Buckinghamshire?
West Wycombe might be very small, but it shouldn’t be underestimated. There is still plenty to see and do in this quaint little English village. It is well worth a day trip if you are staying in the nearby area and want to experience some rich and colourful history in Buckinghamshire.
So, is West Wycombe village on your UK bucket list? 🙂
If you liked our article about West Wycombe, then please check out the below posts too:
- Cheap breaks UK
- Famous landmarks England
- Places to go South England
- Cheap day trips from London
- Places to visit London
- Places to see in England
- Forest close to London
- Best countryside near me
- Places to live outside London with easy commute
- Nature trails near me
Articles you may like: